Did you know that fire ants derived their name from the burning sensation they caused when they sting? Those who experienced the nasty bites often remember the feeling of being burned by fire! Who wants to experience this? You might think we’re “out of the woods” from any danger from fire ants as our Houston area weather cools and ants go underground. However, even though fire ants aren’t as visible in the winter months, now is a great time to treat fire ants to reduce the severity of problems next spring when fire ant season begins again.
Fire ants are very small stinging insects that are characterized by their copper brown head and darker abdomen. When they sting, they release toxic venom called solenopsin that causes a painful burning sensation in our skin. Aside from pain, normal reaction to the bite usually appear in the form of redness, itchiness, and swelling which turn into pus-filled blisters that lasts for days. These are usually treated with hydrocortisone and antihistamines and are watched carefully to prevent any infection. However, some people who are allergic to these bites experience severe reactions such as rapid heart rate, difficulty in breathing, nausea and throat swelling which needs immediate medical care.
The peak fire ant season in Houston, TX usually occurs during spring to fall wherein they actively invade our lands and build more dome-shaped mounds where their colony resides. These mounds are usually without opening and are commonly located on our backyards, playgrounds, picnic areas, lawns, fields and in other moist areas like riverbanks and pool areas. Because these are locations where families usually get together and where the kids play with their friends and pets, management of fire ants is very much necessary to keep everyone in our community safe and sound.
Since fire ants are affected by electricity, they also tend to destroy street lights and other electrical devices. Sometimes, they even invade the inside of our houses particularly the shower area and kitchen sink prompting home owners to call professional ant control help. Because of this, billions of dollars is being spent particularly in the Texas area for the management of fire ants which keeps the need for Houston fire ant control very much active.
The usual ant treatment recommended includes Baiting and Drenching. Baiting is more of a preventive treatment used best for new and small fire ant nests. Drenching, on the other hand, is best for nests that actively threaten the community and thus, needs to be eliminated quickly and easily. By just remembering these procedures, we can safely protect our family from those painful fire ant bites!
If you have experienced problems from fire ants and want to greatly reduce the problem they might cause next spring, now is the time to take action! Contact BioTech Pest today and speak with a pest control expert. We can help diagnose your problem and recommend a winter pest control treatment.