Fire Ants are one of those aspects of summer days playing in the yard that nobody looks forward to. Sometimes it seems that their ant mounds are absolutely everywhere – that there is no escape from them. If you stand in one place too long, your legs, toes, and ankles will pay the price for weeks. Fortunately your Nelon-Cole technician is well-trained and equipped to make your yard safe this summer; we are only a phone call away.
fire ant mounds are normally easy to spot once they get well established
For those looking for a little more background information on this invasive pest and how to deal with painful, itchy bites we present here some helpful information that can hopefully offer some relief if you find yourself a victim to their defenses.
What's a Fire Ant?
In the US, there are many different types of fire ants. They are most often found in the Southwest and Southeastern states (typically the warmer states). The most common and aggressive kind is the red imported fire ant, which is reddish-brown and about 1/8-inch long (about half the size of a pencil eraser).
fire ants are normally quite small, and can be hard to see individually
Red imported fire ants live in colonies that first nest in the ground, and then create a mound of dirt over the nest. These mounds can grow up to 18 inches high and over 2 feet wide! While they are normally quite easily seen just by looking across your yard (especially the larger ones), some fire ant mounds can remain hidden, especially in taller grass. You often won’t know a mound is there until they have started investigating you.
Red imported fire ants' nests can be found on lawns, in parks, on playgrounds, in fields, and in pastures. Some red imported fire ants can even create nests in walls of buildings (Nelon-Cole can help find these, too!).
with an educated eye, fire ants can be distinguished from other ant varieties
What a Sting Looks and Feels Like
A person who gets stung by a fire ant will feel a sharp pain and burning, hence the term ‘fire’ ant. Someone unknowing person who steps on a fire ant mound may often suffer numerous stings at once, as the ants have been disturbed where they all live together. Each sting will turn into an itchy white blister over the next day. Numerous bites in a local area can often cause numbness for a period of time, slight swelling, and redness.
What You Should Do
There are tons of ‘old farmer’s remedies’ that are floating about that may or may not help decrease the pain and itchiness of fire ant bites. Some of these may or may not work but you should be aware of any unusually harsh reactions that may be a symptom of an allergic reaction.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives (red patches on the skin that sting and itch), nausea, dizziness, a tight feeling in the throat, or trouble breathing. Someone who has these symptoms needs to get medical attention right away.
Under most circumstances a person experiencing a small number of fire ant bites in a localized area can follow these steps for faster relief -
Wash the area with soap and water.
Apply a cold compress (like ice wrapped in a clean towel) to the area.
Check with the doctor if you have redness, swelling, or itching.
What a Doctor Will Do
Under more serious fire ant sting conditions or allergic reactions, a doctor may suggest that you take an antihistamine to control swelling and itching. If you have a more serious allergic reaction to a fire ant sting, the doctor may issue you a shot that fights the reaction. People who know that they are allergic to fire ant stings also sometimes carry emergency medicine that they can give to themselves to prevent a severe reaction from happening. Such allergies are more common than you might think, but with care a fire ant bite seldom leads to very serious medical issues.
some ant mounds may spread out laterally, rather than be very tall, making them harder to see
How to Avoid Getting Stung
Socks and shoes should always be worn if you are terribly worried about fire ant bites, but the best strategy to avoid painful fire ant bites is to have your lawn professionally treated by a certified Nelon-Cole technician. Over the counter sprays and granules can be effective temporarily, but usually do nothing more than to cause a colony to move to another untreated area. Our technicians are trained in eliminating the problem altogether, leaving your lawn safe for carefree summer activities.
Do you see some fire ant mounds creeping up around your lawn? If so, call Nelon-Cole today and get a FREE consultation on how we can safely take care of the problem for you and leave your lawn ready for you to enjoy without having to worry about these pests leaving you with unwanted gifts from your time outside! 888-7-TheWeb – we are ready to talk to you today!