Ants Do’s and Dont’s

With all the media coverage focusing on that other pest, one wonders if ants are still No. 1? Ants continue to be a commonly encountered and significantly problematic pest in most regions of the country. And while pest species might vary with geography, there seems to be ant species that thrive in and around structures in almost every region of the world, much to the delight and sometimes consternation of pest professionals. Will 2012 be the year ants reassert themselves to solidify their top pest status? We’ll see soon enough In any case, below are ant control Dos & Don’ts for your consideration.

Deadly Force, Fire Ants

Fire ant stings are dangerous because of the venom injected into the victim that causes pain, swelling and other local affects plus the possible severity of the individual’s allergic reaction. This reaction may be so severe that victims might suffer sweating, slurred speech, chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling, nausea, vomiting and anaphylactic shock. Death can occur in sensitive individuals, including the very young or elderly. One source reports that fire ants sting as many as 14 million people each year, and anaphylaxis may occur in up to 6 percent of these individuals.

Mounds of Trouble

The red imported fire ant (RIFA) entered the U.S. through the port of Mobile, AL, sometime during the late 1920s to early 1930s. Since then, RIFA has spread across the South and is now found from the Carolinas to California. It is estimated RIFA currently inhabit more than 300 million acres in the U.S. today — a landmass early twice the size of Texas.

How to Solve a Long Term Serious Ant Problem: A Case Study

The first step in resolving a pest problem is the correct identification of the target pest. These ants had been previously identified as Odorous House ants but the ants observed here were Argentine ants. These ant species are similar in appearance and behavior. While a misidentification would be incorrect, their behavior would be close enough such that the control methodologies would be similar for both.