a red fire ant climbing on a rock

BREDA “Bug Bites” — Dealing with Fire Ants This Summer

June 15, 2022

How do you get rid of fire ants?

Spotting mounds of dirt in your lawn is somewhat of a signal to Southerners that warmer weather is here to stay. There are various types of ants that could be living in your yard, but one of the most common ant varieties in Georgia is fire ants. While ants are a bit easier to steer clear of than mosquitoes when you're outside, it's best to make sure that you evict any ants living in your yard as swiftly and effectively as you can.

Here are some facts about Georgia fire ants that will help you as you fight to reclaim your yard!

Did you know that pouring boiling water on a fire ant mound will never eliminate the entire colony?

Have you ever seen images from a severe flood where the fire ant mound is floating downstream? (If you haven't, here's a quick video to watch!) In flood situations, the fire ants will literally hold hands and form a tight ball. They will rotate themselves to minimize the amount of dead in order for the colony to survive the flood. Check out this article from How Stuff Works that shows the frightening amount of fire ants that became buoyant in a Texas flood.

If fire ants can survive raging floods, they will obviously survive a pot of boiling water. Will you eliminate some ants? Sure. Will you get to the queen and stop the entire colony? No. There's an old saying we pest managers like to share about DIY fire ant control: "You don't kill them; you just push the fire ants to the neighbor's yard."

Did you know that fire ant colonies can spread out over multiple mounds?

Have you ever walked in a freshly cut pasture and seen 10 fire ant mounds all within a few yards of each other? These fire ant mounds actually make up one entire colony and they're all working together. These colonies may have multiple queens laying eggs in multiple mounds, but these fire ants are all within the same colony. A terrifying and difficult unity to break up!

Did you know that fire ants aren't the only ants that bite?

If you thought you only had to worry about fire ants biting you, think again! The truth is all ants bite, but not all ants sting. Just like bees and wasps, only the female ants can sting. (Kind of ironic that bees and ants are cousins!) Ants have tough mouthparts that allow them to devour a food source, which means they have the ability to bite anything, including you. If you ever look at an ant's mouth parts under a microscope, you would understand why ant bites hurt. Those tiny mouth parts look like serrated scissors, perfect for tearing into food or your skin!

If you find yourself needing pest control and want it handled thoroughly, don't hesitate to give us a call. The BREDA Guarantee promises to fix your pest problem and keep it fixed—no matter the circumstances. Schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 770-466-6700.