The reality of fire ants is that individuals who have an allergy to their venom can have a reaction. If there is a severe reaction, it can result in shock or even death. But this is incredibly rare. Most encounters with fire ants, even for sensitive individuals in the high-risk category, won't amount to much more than a few itchy bites and minor symptoms.
You don't need to live in fear of these ants, but there is good reason to be cautious. In this way, they're a lot like mosquitoes. With mosquitoes, your chances of contracting a deadly disease and having symptoms that are actually deadly are low. Mosquitoes are mostly just miserable pests. But we all manage the risk of mosquito-borne viruses by taking precautions. The same should be done with fire ants.
How To Make Fire Ants Less Dangerous
There are many ways to mitigate the risk of fire ant bites and the potential for unwanted wounds and medical symptoms. Let's take a look at a few of the best.
1. Protect Your Baby
Babies cry. Some babies cry a lot. They cry when they're hungry, they cry when they're tired, they cry when they're uncomfortable. The reasons go on and on. So, if your baby cries, you may ignore the cry, assuming that he or she will settle down on their own. When fire ants start biting your baby, you may not realize it.
- Inspect the ground around an area you intend to put your baby down, such as on a blanket or in a car carrier. If you see ant mounds, it is best to find another location.
- Keep in mind that it is possible for fire ants to get into a home. If you've seen fire ant mounds in your yard, be alert to the fact that they could get inside. Seal exterior entry points and consider having the mounds treated by a licensed pest control professional.
2. Teach Your Kids
When your kids run around outside in your yard, or in other outdoor areas, it is important that they know what fire ants and their mounds look like. This will help them to avoid areas where these ants have established colonies.
- Fire ants make volcano mounds. They're most likely to be found in open, sunny areas with grass or vegetation present. They can also be found in rotting logs, around the trees in your yard, and underneath your driveway and walkways.
- Fire ant workers range in size from 1/16 to ¼ of an inch long. They are red in coloration and may have a dark-colored abdomen, depending on the species.
3. Practice Personal Fire Ant Prevention
You never know when you're going to have an encounter with fire ants. These ants are everywhere in West Palm Beach. If you want the best chance of avoiding bites, consider these tips:
- Apply mosquito repellent to your feet. A product that has DEET in it can be highly effective.
- Wear socks. Fire ants are unable to sting you through a pair of socks.
- Be aware that fire ants can have many entry points into their colony. When these ants swarm, they won't just come out of the entrance of their volcano-shaped mound. It is best to leave the area if you notice fire ants.
4. Keep Fire Ants Out Of Your Yard And Away From Your Home
While it is entirely possible for fire ants to encroach upon your property for no reason at all, there are some things that attract fire ants. If you remove these attractants, you can resist fire ant encroachment.
- Fire ants are protein eaters. If they can find sources of protein in your yard, such as open garbage cans, lots of insects, leftover food from a cookout, pet food, and similar food sources, they will be inspired to grow a population in your yard. Keep things clean to deter fire ants.
- Fire ants eat sweets. If you have trouble with aphids, or some other plant-damaging insect that produces honeydew, you can have trouble with fire ants. This sweet food source will draw fire ants close to your exterior walls.
- If fire ants come close to your home, it is best that they don't find a way inside. Inspect your exterior and seal any gaps, cracks, crevices, wood holes, and other potential entry points.
The Best Protection From Fire Ants In West Palm Beach
As always, remember that the service team at Above and Beyond Pest Control is standing ready to assist you with all your home pest control needs. We offer ongoing, year-round pest service that works to get control of pests in your yard before they find a way to get into your West Palm Beach home. If you'd like to learn more, or you would like to schedule service, reach out to us today. We also provide reliable commercial pest management.
Above & Beyond and Justin have been servicing our property for many years. We are very pleased all the way around.