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Fire Ant Control in Myrtle Beach, SC

house2fadedThe fire ant is an excellent example of how an invasive pest can adapt and thrive when introduced into a new environment. The first fire ants were not discovered in South Carolina until they were found in some nursery plants during the 1960s. Although entomologists eradicated all of the fire ants they found, they obviously missed some; fire ants are now established in every county in the state.

Why Fire Ants Are Dangerous

Fire ants deliver a painful sting that many people liken to the feeling of having a hot match applied to their skin. When they sting, fire ants produce a pheromone that triggers others to attack. This can result in dozens or even hundreds of fire ants attacking the intruder. Each ant can deliver multiple stings and may deliver 12 or more stings per minute.

The pain, however, is only one danger. Approximately 1 percent of the American population is allergic to fire ant venom. Allergic reactions can range from nausea to breathing difficulties. Furthermore, the pus-filled welts raised by the fire ant's sting can become infected or result in scarring.

Where Fire Ants Are Typically Found

Most people encounter fire ants in their lawns or fields. Fire ants build dirt mounds that can be up to 18 inches high. They prefer sunny areas such as lawns, cultivated fields, pastures, parks, and meadows.

However, fire ants are also known to nest in and around trees and stumps. During the winter, they may move indoors and nest near water heaters or under bathtubs. At times, fire ants will build nests in wall voids, in crawlspaces under homes, beneath garden sheds or in cracks in the masonry. In South Carolina, fire ant colonies have occasionally been found inside nursing homes, restaurants, hospitals, pet stores and offices.

What Attracts Fire Ants?

Fire ants are omnivores, so they can survive on a variety of foods. They tend to be attracted to sweet plant materials, grease, and protein. When foraging, they will scavenge dead animals and insects, but they have also been known to kill small animals and insects for food. Therefore, the presence of high populations of insects, small mammals or worms on your property can attract fire ants.

In addition to an easy source of food, fire ants are attracted to moisture. Areas that are heavily mulched, dripping exterior faucets, leaks inside the walls and outdoor potted plants can all be potential sources of water for fire ants and attract them to the area.

Handling a Fire Ant Invasion

If fire ants invade your property, you should contact a reliable pest control company. Whether the fire ants are located inside or outside your home or business, the first thing that needs to happen is to have them correctly identified. Treatment methods depend on the type of ant that needs to be eradicated, and there are several types of ants with the same reddish color and of similar size.

Many of the home remedies found on the internet are dangerous or illegal as well as ineffective. For example, if you try to dig up the mound, you will probably suffer multiple stings, and since the tunnels may extend more than 25 feet from the mound, your chances of eliminating the queen are extremely low. Flooding the mounds with soapy or boiling water will likely kill only the ants that are on or near the surface.

Instead of wasting your time and money on ineffective treatment methods, contact a professional pest control company. Professionals have access to effective baits, granules, and insecticides that are not sold to unlicensed individuals. Professionals also understand the life and behavior of fire ants, enabling them to know which option works best under certain conditions. For example, baits work best when applied between April and October; they are not as effective when the weather is cold and the ants are not likely to be foraging. Professional pest control technicians also know how to choose the safest options for both indoor and outdoor infestations.

Titan Termite & Pest Control can help you solve your problems with fire ants, fleas, termites and other pests. We have the experience and knowledge to deliver effective options quickly and efficiently. Our customers include homeowners as well as industrial and commercial clients. Contact us for a free estimate.

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    Po Box 71415
    North Charleston, SC 29415-9820