When fire ants become a problem.

The Green Pest Guys quarterly treatment includes spot treatment of ant mounds, but if we start to see numerous fire ant mounds penetrate your yard, then we will recommend a special fire ant treatment.

Red imported fire ants, or Solenopsis Invicta are medium-sized (from ⅛ to a ¼ inch) red and black colored ants that build mounds of soft soil. You probably won't notice this ant species until you walk barefoot through your yard and accidentally come into contact with a few of them. When attacking, fire ants first use their mandibles to grip their prey and then inject venom through a stinger. Their sting usually leaves a white pustule on the skin. Fire ant stings are painful for most humans and fatal to some.

These pests are very social, they use pheromones to issue commands and organize their attack with other worker ants and are known to attack potential threats or prey in large numbers. A fire ant colony may contain around 250,000 workers, thus increasing the likelihood that multiple stings will be inflicted. Fire ants are not pest and child-friendly but are very active and aggressive, they will attack and sting any intruder that stumbles on their colony.

Introduced to Alabama in 1930, the imported fire ant has become a common nuisance throughout the southern United States, ranging from Florida to California and as far north as Oklahoma and Virginia. They have spread and thrived throughout the southern states because of the warm climate and lack of natural predators. Their mounds can contain several queens making it more resilient in the event of an attack. Simply put, if you have imported fire ants, you need a professional.

Experience has shown us that there is no single cure-all for fire ants. We use a `multi-layered approach using bait and non-repellent spray treatments. Your Green Pest Guys technician will analyze your home inside and out and then create a custom plan guaranteed to keep these pests away.

John Walters