Why Do Fire Ants Make Mounds?

May 4, 2017By

Have you ever noticed that you don’t really see ants in the winter? It’s always a sure sign of spring when the first ants start making their way into your home or garden again. But knowing why ants are gone during the winter can help you get rid of the fire ants around your property. Here’s why.

 

Why Fire Ants Make Mounds

Insects are not able to regulate their body temperatures like mammals do. When it’s warm out, their blood is flowing and they can be active. When it’s cold out, their bodily functions slow down to the point of becoming dormant. So during the winter, fire ants snuggle down into the ground and become dormant. Because their bodies are using so little energy during this time, they don’t starve to death. They are very much alive down there, just waiting for some better weather to come along.

So, the first reason that mounds are created is to help regulate temperature. The mound is a multi-layer home that ants build to create different temperature zones. In the very cold months, the queen and larvae are moved to the lower levels of the mound to keep them warm.

When it gets warm, you start to see fire ants coming up out of the colony to search for food. Suddenly they are starving because their bodies are heating back up and they need calories. The mounds are once again used to keep the most important members of the colonies warm when the queens and larvae are moved to the upper layers.

The second reason mounds are created is that they are also simply side products when ants start to clean out their tunnels in preparation for mating and searching for new food. They tunnel out new areas and bring the dirt up to the surface to get it out of the way. This is the main reason why most homeowners see an abundance of new fire ant mounds in the spring and summer – new food stores require room, and hatching babies also require room. The new mound is the ants’ equivalent of a demolition project.

Get Rid of Fire Ants Today

If you start to see fire ant mounds on your property, there’s no doubt you’ll want to get rid of them. These aggressive insects can not only pack a powerful sting when agitated, but they also tend to wreak havoc on gardens, fruit trees, and more. Fire ant mounds are pretty noticeable due to the very different appearance between a standard ant and a fire ant. Fire ant stings can result in painful reactions, including severe reactions for  those with allergies, and fire ants have a tendency to swarm and sting en masse, making them a big threat to children and animals who may just be curious.

Fire ant mounds have also been known to cause issues with electrical equipment. The ants’ nesting materials and their nesting habits can affect sensitive equipment. Fire ants can also cause damage to buildings, vehicles, and other property. Fire ants have even been known to cause blindness in young livestock, or to infest food or water that is left outside for domesticated animals. Your pets or livestock will tend to avoid this water or food, which can lead to dehydration and malnutrition.

At Fischer, we specialize in getting rid of fire ants all across Louisiana. Contact us online right away to treat this very serious issue. You can also call us at (800) 391-2565, or email us at fischer@fischerenv.com for more information. Learn how we will inspect and treat your property with our residential treatment checklist.

Filed in: Ant Control