Fire ants have been in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area since 1989. Since then the state has been treating them in hopes to stop them from setting up a secure foothold, but since the fire ants have become more resistant to treatment, the state has stopped the treatment leaving private property owners and city managers scrambling to find treatments on their own.
Dangers of Fire Ant Colonies
Fire ants are easily identifiable with their reddish-brown bodies and slightly larger size than the typical household ant. They create their nests outside and the mounds can be up to two feet in diameter and up to a foot and a half high. This is an extremely invasive species of ant that expands rapidly once they have invaded your yard. A fire ant bit is quite painful and will hurt for several minutes after the initial bite. Fire ants are also known to swarm people and animals if they feel threatened.
Many people simply avoid fire ant mounds and the areas where they are but if they have invaded your backyard, it can be difficult to do the things outside or send your kids out to play if you are worried about being bitten by fire ants. The bites can also cause severe reactions that can make it difficult for people to breathe.
Protecting You and Your Family from Fire Ants
Since fire ants are so invasive, there is not a lot you can to stop them from establishing a colony in your yard. However, once they are there you need to treat for them right away. Once you completely eliminate the fire ants, you can rest easy and resume your activities outside again.
Unlike the common methods for preventing household ants from infesting your home, fire ants are difficult to treat because they have extensive tunneling systems that can extend more than twenty feet away from the mound. They may also have interconnected mounds that they will flee to another section of their colony and carry the queen with them to protect the colony.
Since the tunneling systems are so expansive, it is important to hire a professional to treat the fire ants in your yard. They are specially trained to completely eliminate the entire colony. They can also complete treatments that can help to prevent a new colony from coming into your yard again. The larger the colony gets, the more difficult it can be to treat, and so it is important to contact a professional as soon as you expect there is a fire ant problem.