How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants On Your Birmingham, AL Property
August 6, 2021
Here in Birmingham, fire ants are pretty much a fact of life for the majority of the year. Every spring, we see their giant dirt mounds pop up in fields, gardens, back yards, and even up against sidewalks and buildings. This invasive species poses several different problems for area home and business owners – as well as our local environment. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent these ants from taking over your property the same way they’ve taken over the Southeast. Let’s talk about them.
Dangers Of Fire Ants
Of course, the most infamous danger posed by fire ants is their fiery sting. Fire ants are about the closest thing you can get to wingless hornets. When their nest is disturbed, they swarm by the thousands, crawling in a wide circle around their mound and stinging anything they find near it. This can result in dozens to hundreds of stings.
Most of the time, these stings are initially painful and then extremely itchy. This can leave you scratching and open you up to infection and scarring. However, for most individuals without sensitivities, fire ant stings won't require any medical intervention besides some topical creams. The biggest danger they pose is to people with allergies to insect venom. Even one fire ant sting has the potential to send an allergy patient into anaphylactic shock, and hundreds of fire ant stings can be fatal.
The other big danger fire ants pose is to the local ecosystems they invade. These ants originally hail from South America and were accidentally introduced in the 1930s right here in Alabama. Since then, these ants have established themselves through a wide swath of the Southern United States, out-competing native ants and driving them away. Fire ants pose a huge threat to indigenous species of ground-nesting bird here in the Southeast. In fact, a major factor in the sharp decline of quail numbers in our home state is due to these aggressive predators preying on eggs and chicks.
Fire Ant Prevention
Fire ants are a tough pest to get rid of for homeowners on their own. Granules and poisons tend to cause the ants to disperse and recolonize rather than die completely off, which is why you often notice multiple new nests popping up around your property after you kill one fire ant mound. That means keeping them off your property is key. The bad news is this is easier said than done.
Fire ants aren’t picky eaters, and they can devour just about anything. That includes not just the typical things most ants seek out like poorly covered cookie jars or outdoor garbage, but things you wouldn’t think of, like the veggies or fruits in your garden, dead animals around your property, and even living animals that can’t get away.
That means the prevention measures you take that work with other ants – such as tightly covering garbage or storing foods properly – may not work with fire ants. Of course, you should continue to take these measures to reduce your property’s attractiveness to fire ants, but the reality is you’re likely to need professional help with this stubborn pest.
Here at Havard Pest Control, we’ve been dealing with pests endemic to Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi since 1947. That’s almost as long as fire ants have been in the United States. That means we’ve got decades of experience dealing with this dangerous and invasive pest. So give us a call at (800) 898-0264 or visit our contact page to schedule your free inspection today and begin effective home pest control.