Why Have Fire Ants Taken Over My Yard In Spring, TX?
Fire Ant Control For Spring Properties
The presence of fire ants around your Spring property is a huge problem, as it exposes you and your loved ones to the perils of infestation. As evident in their name, fire ants can give off quite the sting. They cause large welts that give off a burning sensation, and when they feel threatened, they become quite aggressive. That’s why addressing your fire ant control needs is so important.
To effectively stay on top of your fire ant control efforts, there are a variety of ant attractants around your property to think about. What is it that brings fire ants onto your property in the first place? Understanding this is an important place to start in controlling fire ants around your property, as well as preventing them in the future.
When fire ants come into our homes and businesses, these red-hot invaders are mainly looking for shelter, somewhere to nest and breed, and enough food to feed their large colonies. Areas with these attractants are more susceptible to ant activity, and addressing these hotspots can go a long way in keeping you protected from fire ant infestation.
If you think you may have a fire ant problem around your home or business, the best thing you can do is secure professional pest control services. Being proactive in your fire ant control efforts is always a good way to protect yourself from infestation preemptively.
What Are Fire Ants?
The beginning step to dealing with fire ants is to understand what they look like, what behaviors they exhibit, and what threats they pose. The first thing to remember is that fire ants prefer warmer climates, making Spring an ideal place for them to settle down. Fire ants like to nest in wide-open spaces and sunny areas in irrigated soil, and they usually nest around yards, gardens, parks, and roads.
As social creatures, they function within large colonies that center around one or sometimes multiple queens. Fire ants create mounds in soft soil where they can grow their populations. Their colonies appear as fluffy mounds of worked soil on your land. One thing to note about their mounds is the fact that they do not have an opening in the center, unlike the mounds of most other ant species.
It’s common to find new mounds after rainfall, as the dampened soil makes it easier for fire ants to create their tunnels which they use to function moving forward. After their colony is situated, they build and utilize their underground tunnel system to travel to other mounds and transport food and resources. When it comes down to the individual fire ants, the typical worker ant embodies the following characteristics:
- Oval shaped, segmented body
- Measures 1/8 - 3/8 inch in length
- Brownish-copper colored head and thorax
- Blackish-red colored abdomen
- Has six legs and antennae
If you’re wondering how dangerous fire ants are, you can gather their ability to sting from their fiery name. Fire ants are often considered much worse than many other types of ants because of their territorial and aggressive nature. If they feel threatened in any way or feel their colony is in danger, they will attack any creature that gets in their way.
Upon feeling threatened, fire ants can become aggressive and crawl up surfaces ready to bite anything in their path. They’re very defensive when it comes to protecting their nests and repeatedly end up stinging intruders. Once disturbed, their behavior changes greatly. Fire ants disperse right away when their mounds are disturbed. They scurry away and then start crawling up things vertically, which is a very specific characteristic of fire ants.
When fire ants bite, they release a venom that causes severe itching and burning, almost like your skin is on fire. For most people, getting bitten by a fire ant means some mild pain, possible welts, irritation, and maybe some nausea. However, people can experience very severe reactions to fire ant bites depending on the individual.
Everyone reacts differently to a fire ant bite. Young children and elderly people, for example, are more likely to have adverse reactions. Additionally, people with serious allergies can go into anaphylactic shock, making the fire ant bite fatal in certain cases. To protect yourself from fire ant bites, it’s a good idea to stay on top of your fire ant control needs.
How To Prevent Summer Fire Ants In Spring
The best plan of action when it comes to a fire ant infestation is to take preventative action. This means making the necessary repairs and changes to your property to keep yourself protected. Taking the proper preventative measures around your property can help you get ahead of the problem, which can be beneficial in reducing the chances of a large-scale fire ant infestation. The faster you’re able to address any issues, the more effectively you can minimize the scope of the infestation. Here are some ways to prevent fire ants in Spring:
- Address any leaky spigots or hoses to reduce excess moisture.
- Clean up spills and crumbs and keep food in tightly sealed containers.
- Don’t leave pet food out and store it in sealed plastic containers.
- Eliminate access points by sealing all cracks and crevices around the outside of the home.
- Eliminate any standing water and any sources of excess moisture.
- Eliminate exposed attractants (sugar, grease, spills, etc.)
- Inspect your gutters to make sure rainwater isn’t soaking your outside walls and perimeter soil.
- Keep all surfaces clean (sweep floors, wipe up spills, etc.)
- Keep branches, trees, and bushes directed away from the house.
- Keep leaves raked away from your foundation walls.
- Maintain a high level of cleanliness and practice proper sanitation.
- Maintain functional downspouts and gutters to keep water flowing away from the foundation.
- Make sure your mulch is less than three inches deep.
- Pick up any fallen fruit from around trees and remove ripe fruit from trees.
- Refrain from stacking wood near your home.
- Regularly mow your lawn and keep all vegetation well-trimmed.
- Remove leaf piles, stacks of wood, and other material ants can use for harborage.
- Repair leaky pipes, faulty faucets, and malfunctioning drains.
- Scrub around ant entrances to eliminate their pheromone trail.
- Store trash in tightly sealed garbage cans outside, away from the structure of the building.
- Take out garbage regularly and keep it in a trashcan outside with a lid.
- Turn mulch every few weeks to reduce moisture build-up.
- Use a dehumidifier in moisture-rich areas of the house like basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
- Use ant baits in areas where ants are active or conducive to activity.
- Use weather stripping or mortar around the foundation.
- Wipe down counters, sticky jars, or sugary residue that will attract ants.
Even if you implement all of the preventative measures above, fire ants can still become a problem on your property. If you discover any ant activity or you think you may have an infestation on your hands, the best thing to do is rely on a team of experienced pest professionals. Modern Pest Control is here to address all your fire ant control and prevention needs.
Why Professional Pest Control For Fire Ants Is Worth It
On top of being dangerous, fire ants can be extremely hard to get rid of. There are a number of reasons for this, one of the main ones being that fire ants reproduce rapidly, meaning populations can be difficult to stay on top of. The number of ants per colony makes it almost impossible to kill them all.
Say you’ve targeted one mound and destroyed a single ant colony. You may think this is the proper solution, but there are already multiple other developing mounds around your property without you knowing it. You can kill a colony of ants, but if the queen survives, they will simply repopulate.
There are a lot of DIY methods that people try on their own, but those efforts are largely pointless in the long run. Do-it-yourself fire ant control is seldom effective and can even be quite dangerous at times. Many methods involve applying certain substances to the fire ant mound in an attempt to destroy the colony.
Some sources suggest putting orange peels on the mound or sprinkling grits on it. Some say to pour club soda or boiling water over the mound, and some have even tried gasoline. Dumping things all over the mound can be extremely harmful to the environment, not to mention the fact that it only aggravates the fire ants and makes them more aggressive. That’s why DIY treatment methods are never the right way to go, and professional pest control for fire ants is completely worth it.
Call Modern Pest Control For Comprehensive Fire Ant Control
If you’re looking for efficient and effective fire ant solutions for your property, Modern Pest Control is here to help. We’re here to help identify, eliminate, and prevent fire ant activity around local homes and businesses. No matter the nature of your fire ant problem, we’re here to provide innovative pest control strategies to resolve pest problems quickly and effectively.
Since 1952, our independently owned and operated company has functioned on the following philosophy: To deliver prompt, personalized pest control using the latest pest control strategies and methods in the industry. We are proud to provide the latest, most advanced pest control strategies and techniques around, remaining committed to IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategies that our valued customers can rely on.
With our effective fire ant control services for your property, you can protect yourself from the nightmare of infestation. We’re familiar with this fiery species, and we have decades of experience dealing with them. Our fire ant control process includes the following steps:
- Inspection - A thorough walk-through and inspection of your home's interior and exterior where we will determine areas where fire ants are active, as well as any conducive conditions and potential entry points. After that, we develop a customized treatment strategy to effectively tackle your fire ant activity throughout your property.
- Service – We’ll treat your home, garage, and the perimeter of your structure to eliminate fire ants, fire ant mounds, and conditions conducive to fire ant activity. We develop our treatments to cater to your needs, whatever those needs may be.
- Follow-Up - We offer ongoing fire ant control services to ensure that we protect your space from infestation throughout the year. Our service technicians are here to bring you superb customer service and lasting results.
All of our pest management professionals undergo rigorous training because bringing you the absolute best pest control is our number one goal. With over 65 years of experience in the pest control industry, you can count on us to bring you the lasting results you’re looking for.
When it comes to commercial fire ant protection, the team at Modern Pest Control offers a long list of quality services to facilities such as nursing homes, healthcare providers, schools, homeowners associations, condos and apartment buildings, warehouses, churches, camps, cabins, office buildings, storage facilities, and more. We take into account industry regulations, corporate policies, and specific pest issues to bring your business complete coverage from fire ant infestation. Some of the services we provide include:
- Visual inspection of facilities and ground
- Customized treatment and pest prevention plans
- Addressing sanitation issues and modifications to keep the building pest-free
- Installing pest monitoring decide around the active infestation
- Developing a treatment strategy that will deliver results
- Ongoing access to pest control records and logs 24/7
We are proud to work with organizations such as BOMA, the Greater Houston Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Green Building Council to keep local businesses protected from pests using the latest regulations and pest control methods. We’ve also been trained by the Food Industry Sanitation Auditors (FISA) and American Institute of Baking (AIB), giving us the expertise to deal with an infestation in food handling facilities. Call us today to learn more about our fire ant control and prevention needs. We’re here to help.