Fire Ants


Actual Size: 2-6mm

Characteristics: Blackish to red. Fire ants have a stinger in their abdomen.


  • Fire ants are an aggressive species, and they will push out native species of ants.
  • Most venomous ants bite and then spray acid into the wound; fire ants bite and then use their stinger, located on their abdomen.
  • Colonies are typically mounds in open areas.
  • They eat young plants and seeds, though fire ants will also attack small animals.

Fire Ant Habits

Fire ants often nest near moisture-laden areas, like rivers, well-watered lawns, and streams. They create mounds, burrowing in the soil. Some colonies have multiple queens, but smaller nests typically only have a single queen. They reproduce rapidly, and can spread throughout a lawn or open area very quickly. Unlike most venomous ants, fire ants bite to hold their prey, and then use their stinger in their abdomen to deliver venom.

Problems with Fire Ants

The sting of a fire ant is the primary issue. Most humans describe the sensation as feeling like ‘fire’, hence their name. Fire ants can also aggressively dominate local or native ant species in the area, disturbing eco-systems and the animals that eat native ant species. Fire ants are considered invasive, and up to $5 billion is spent in the U.S. alone on fire ant treatments.

Prevention of Fire Ants

The best prevention step is to eliminate any potential food sources by keeping your home or business clean. Regular lawn maintenance can keep fire ants from invading an open area, and eliminating standing water can reduce their available water source. At-home pesticides generally only kill the ants you see, not the colonies themselves. If you’re having difficulty preventing fire ants from returning or expanding their nests, it’s time to call a professional exterminator.

Eliminating Fire Ants

Each species of ant can be radically different from the next, and to truly eliminate fire ants, you need a specific pest control treatment plan. It’s always best to call a pest control professional when stinging insects are involved, especially if you or others around you are sensitive to stinging insect venom.