If there is one type of ant you want to get rid of fast, it’s Red ants. This type of ant refers to a group of fire ants that are red in color. Red ants are a group of aggressive ants. This aggressive type of ant bites with its mouth, holding on then stinging to inject venom into people. This is because they sting simultaneously and repeatedly. And they, therefore, can result in some intense pain. There are more than five million Americans every year who suffer from fire ant stings.
A person who gets stung by a fire ant will feel a sharp pain and intense burning similar to fire. Stepping on a mound means you will receive a lot of stings at once. Each sting will turn into an itchy blister by the next day. Victims of red ant bites complain of a burning pain at the site of the bite. Some report the pain reminds them of burning fire, hence the name Red ants.
Red ants generally infest parks, lawns, schoolyards, athletic fields, and golf courses, where they pose a medical threat to people and animals. Their mounds of Red ants also detract from the appearance of the landscape and can damage lawn care equipment.
How to get rid of red ants?
Domestic class products for red ant control available to homeowners will generally contain ant bait with the active ingredient carbaryl or propoxur. The application of such red ant products as boric acid or diatomaceous earth can be effective in reducing the number of ants infesting a household. There is a wide range of other commercial products available to professional pest control companies.
Red ant control products should be applied to areas around doors, windows, and other areas where red ants may enter the premises—dust or spray Red ant runways and hills found in lawns and gardens. Effective control may necessitate locating and destroying colonies found within 300 feet or 90 meters or so of the house.
Get rid of Red ants in your garden, naturally?
Red ants, also known as fire ants, surpass the combined damage done by some of the most annoying pests every year. In many areas of the world, Red ants are an invasive species. Their stings can be painful. So how can you get rid of Red ants, naturally?
Red ants love to hide in gardens under lawns, pots and paving slabs. They have a painful sting, hence the name “fire ant.” Having a Red ant colony in your garden can pose a hazard to your home, so the best measure is to get rid of anthills. Here is how to get rid of ants in the yard naturally.
If you are not a pest control expert, getting rid of Red ants might be best left to pest control professionals. It’s always best to make sure that you know what type of ants you are dealing with. Some species of ants, like the black ants, are completely harmless.
But it’s best to get rid of aggressive ants before they can cause havoc in your garden. You have many options to try to keep Red ants away. The good news is that some of them don’t require the use of any dangerous pesticides.
Related post: Do Sugar Ants Bite?
Use plants and scents to get rid of Red ants
Plants with essential oils give off an offputting scent for unwanted ants. You can try putting dried peppermint leaves, cinnamon sticks, coffee grinds, chili pepper, paprika, or cloves by the openings of Red ant nests. The offputting scent is supposed to encourage the Red ants to abandon their nest and, hopefully, relocate somewhere outside your garden.
As another option, you can use some crushed up mint or a squeeze of lemon. Red ants hate the smell of garlic. You can try to place some garlic cloves around or at entrances to Red ant nests.
Get rid of Red ants with hot water
Boiling water is a popular pest control technique. Hot water is a natural way to deal with a badly-placed ant nest. Find the entrances and pour boiling water inside the nest. Repeat this process until you continue to see Red ant activity in your yard. Just repeat the process until the ants are dead or gone.
Get rid of Red ants with oil and dishwashing liquid
Mix one teaspoon of natural liquid dish soap with three teaspoons of cooking oil (canola oil and olive oil work best) with half a gallon of water. Once you mix it all together, you should be ready to pour it into the nest.
Get rid of Red ants with white vinegar
Pouring one quart of white vinegar into the nest can get rid of the unwanted Red ants. One advantage of this ant control method is that it’s not harmful to your plants or the ground, but it will kill the Red ants on contact.
Get rid of Red ants with sugar and boric acid
The boric acid and sugar method seems to be the most effective way to get rid of Red ants. All you need to do is to sugar with boric acid until it turns into a paste. Then apply small quantities of the paste near the entrances to the Red ant nest.
Red ants love sweet-tasting things. Therefore, they will be naturally drawn to the paste. When the ants eat the paste and carry the rest back to the nest for the queen, they are essentially poisoning her. Soon after consuming the sweet paste, other ants and the queen will die due to the boric acid.
How to get rid of Red ants inside?
Inside the house, force the pesticide product into infested wood through existing openings or newly drilled small holes. Where possible, locate and treat red ant nests and surrounding areas. Spray or dust the product into areas where the Red ants may hide, including cracks and crevices, along baseboards, behind and beneath sinks, stoves, refrigerators, cabinets and around garbage cans, plumbing and other utility installations. Repeat treatment if reinfestation occurs. Maintain good sanitary practices to prevent a Red ant reinfestation.
How to get rid of Red ants in the kitchen?
For commercial food processing or preparation areas, use products specifically labeled for such sites. Carefully follow all label directions and precautions. Remove or cover all food, packaging material, and utensils before treatment. Afterward, wash all surfaces that may be in contact with food and rinse thoroughly with potable water before re-use.
If treatment is being done professionally, occupants and pets should not be present during application and for sufficient time afterward to allow thorough drying of the product and ventilation of the premises.
Note: When applying pesticides, leaving any dead Red ant carcasses on the floor is advisable. This is because other scavenging ants will either ingest or bring the dead ants back to the nest to feed the rest of the colony. In this way, the pesticide’s effect is passed on.
How to detect a Red ants nest?
The first step is a thorough inspection area of improper ventilation, exposed structural lumber, high moisture, and areas where wood is in contact with the soil. A good indicator of the presence of a colony is a high concentration of ants in a particular area, e.g., under the kitchen sink.
Red ant colonies can sometimes be located by sound. An active colony produces a dry rustling noise that can be pretty loud. In some instances, when other noises in the house are at a minimum, this rustling can be heard simply by standing in the middle of the room. In other cases, the use of a wine glass or stethoscope to listen to the walls will aid in detecting the nest. Most activity occurs at night, as they are night foragers. Following foraging ants to see patterns in their movement can also help isolate the source of infestation.
Signs of a Red ant infestation
There are several obvious signs of infestation, such as Red ants traveling about searching for food or swarms of winged reproductive ants trying to escape to the outdoors, usually in the spring. Piles of sawdust-like borings expelled from their galleries, slitlike openings in woodwork, faint rustling in walls, floors and woodwork are other common signs.
Red ant control measures
Fixing conditions that attract Red ants should be the first step of pest control measures to get rid of Red ants. Start by clearing away any infested or decaying wood from around your home. Also, remove firewood from the premises and away from the sides of the house and other buildings on the premises. Finally, replace ant-infested or decaying wood with sound material like wood, aluminum or plastic.
Investigate and correct humidity problems in your home. Removal of potential food sources will discourage Red ants from entering houses. This can be accomplished by keeping food in sealed containers and by implementing good sanitary practices such as regularly sweeping up all crumbs and other food fragments.
Chemical ant control methods have two major goals: eliminating existing Red ant nests and preventing further pest entrance. Therefore, chemical ant control is most effective when used in conjunction with the above methods of physical Red ant control. However, it should be noted that once a colony is well established, it is usually necessary to locate and treat the actual nest site to achieve permanent or long-term Red ant control. In difficult instances, this job may best be left to a professional exterminator.
What do Red ants eat?
Red ants are omnivorous insects, eating both plant and animal matter. Insects and small invertebrates (both live and dead), meat products, grease and fat, grains and cereals, as well as a variety of sweets such as syrup, honey, sugar, jelly and fruits provide sustenance for foraging workers. Food is seldom carried back to the nest. Workers usually consume it on the spot and regurgitate it back at the nest to nourish developing larvae, non-foraging workers and the queen.
How to treat Red ant or Fire ant bites
Red and or Fire ant stings are different from wasp or bee stings in that a single worker ant can bite and sting numerous times. First, the worker attaches to the skin with its mandibles by pulling and then pinching the skin. Then the Red ant will arch its back slightly and force its stinger into the skin.
It will then pivot (staying attached) and sting again, continuing to do so in a circle. And because Fire ants attack in droves, there will be numerous Red ants doing the same thing simultaneously, resulting in intense pain and burning.
The fire ant’s venom differs from bee and wasp venom in that it has a protein base. In addition, about 95% of fire ant venom is water-insoluble and contains hemolytic factors. These hemolytic factors cause histamine to be released, which causes a sterile abscess at the sting site.
The venom also contains several allergenic proteins. These proteins are mainly responsible for anaphylaxis in allergic patients.
How to avoid ant stings?
The best way to deal with stings and the associated medical emergencies they can cause in extreme cases is to avoid getting stung in the first place:
- Learn to recognize places and situations that may involve Red ants.
- Avoid nests and mounds or even being near them. It can be challenging to tell when you’ve gotten too close, and even a slight disturbance will cause them to start swarming all over you. You don’t even have to damage the mound – if you get in the way of a food trail close to the nest, that could be enough.
- Educate children and guests about fire ants and the hazard they present.
- Always wear protective clothing when outside working, such as boots, and tuck your pants into your socks so that it is harder for them to find a way to get at your skin.
- To the best of your ability, control fire ant activity in frequently used areas.