Ferocious Red Imported Fire Ants— Danger in the Grass!

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Fire Ant BitesFire Ant Bite
Photo Credit: Daniel Wojcik/USDA/ARS

Red imported fire ants can kill.  Those especially vulnerable are children and elderly people.  Your pets and livestock are often targets, too. 

The imported red fire ant is extremely aggressive bites several times when it attacks.  It is known for the fiery, painful sting, hence the name fire ant. The bitten area then forms an extremely tender and itchy pustule.  These pustules can last over 10 days.  It is important to maintain excellent hygiene with these bites, or secondary infections of a serious nature can result.

Mowing the lawn is hard enough without getting bitten by these nasty critters.  As anyone will tell you who has sustained more than one bite at a time, the experience is painful and uncomfortable in the extreme.  These bites can cause death in about 1% of the population who are allergic to the red imported fire ant venom.

The voracious fire ant does not discriminate between humans, pets, insects, wildlife or domesticated animals.  They even attack plants and cause substantial crop damage every year.   Those mounds contain thousands of ants, and if disturbed, someone is going to get hurt.

Familiarize yourself with the imported red fire ant biology.  Know what their mounds look like and educate your children.  Be alert when you are out mowing the yard.    Spotting mounds while doing lawn maintenance is often the first line of defense.  

Everyone who lives and plays in areas infected by imported red fire ants needs to be prepared.  When it comes to imported red fire ants, no one is immune.  They are an equal opportunity misery.


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