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The the dreaded fire ant

Generally, ants are harmful not only because of the damage they can cause on farms, and buildings but also because of the physical damage they inflict on animals and even on human beings. Thus certain species like the "fire ant", are extremely aggressive and can inflict serious pain on you. Because this ant is endowed with a "fiery sting", and capable of devouring its victims to the bone. In this article, we will provide you with ample information on this particularly formidable insect.

Its origins

The red fire ant, or simply fire ant, is one of the 266 species of biting ants of the Formicidae family, widespread in several regions of the world (United States, China, Australia, etc.), via transport of goods by plane or by ship. Native to South America, although it is now best known in the United States, where it is found in most southern states including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia. It is now considered one of the most invasive species in the world because of its very significant impact on ecosystems, agriculture, and human health.

How to recognize it?

The fire ant is distinguished by its orange (or red) color but also by its painful bite (1.2 on the Schmidt scale). Like all ants, the fire ant has a body of perfect bilateral symmetry, organized by a rigid exoskeleton: its body contains no bones or internal supporting tissues, but only a tough integument to provide support and protection. She breathes through her tracheas. Its body consists of three main parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. It has three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae attached to the head.

His lifestyle?

Very resistant, it is adapted to both floods and droughts. In addition, it does not hibernate and resists cold down to around -10°C. However, it prefers moist and shady areas. Workers and soldiers are sterile females. The queen lays thousands of eggs. The number of males is very low because only one of them is enough to ensure the whole process of reproduction. Males and virgin queens are winged and mate in flight. After inseminating the females with their sperm, the males die. The fire ant does not bite. It uses its mandibles to cling and like bees, wasps, and bumblebees, it injects its venom using a stinger located at the end of its abdomen and can sting several times in succession. It attacks en masse and its bite causes very painful burning and itching that can cause allergies in sensitive people, even causing death in some cases.

What can be done against this insect?

The fight against this dangerous and invasive ant is done by limiting its proliferation while eliminating areas conducive to its development (damp corners, heaps of grass, shaded areas). Regarding the use of insecticides, many products are available. Finally, it is possible to call on professionals in the field for better treatment, in this sense Metroplex Pest Services is there to help you.

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