Why Do fire ants (and other ants) come out after it rains?
Fire ant mounds seem to pop-up just after large rain storms. But is it actually associated with the rain itself? Are there other ants affected by the rain as well? Read on to find out!
This spring and summer’s heavy rains in the McKinney and Frisco area have been great for keeping us out of the droughts we have faced in years past but many people have noticed an unwelcome side effect of all that rain. The fire ants have been worse this year for many residents than in previous years!
While red imported fire ants are common to this area, it is important to know a bit more about them in order to understand how to control them around your home.
The red imported fire ant.
You might know them by a few other names and you may even have called them some choice words if you’ve accidentally run into their mounds in the past, but let’s dig in a little bit deeper into why they act the way they do.
To begin, let’s look at where red imported fire ants originated.
Home, Sweet Home
As you may have guessed from their name, red imported fire ants are not native to Texas but were introduced to the United States from South America. They have since flourished and spread through many of the southern states. These ants may not be native to the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex but they have come to call it home.
What Do They Eat?
Similar to other ants, they feed on a variety of food sources and will eat anything from mammals to honeydew from aphids. They will even store seeds within their mounds to be eaten at another time. If they weren’t so obnoxious, they would be considered amazing by most of our modern day standards.
Why Does Water Affect Them?
Imagine that you lived in a home underground and one day it rained a couple feet of water! There would be no way to stop the water from destroying your home. This is the same level of destruction that happens in a heavy rain storm to fire ants and other ant species. However, red imported fire ants are quite resilient. Not only do they create rafts by linking their bodies together during flooding events, they also get right to work rebuilding when the rain stops and the floods recede.
This is one of the main reasons why you see new ant mounds in your yard after it rains. You see, the soil is soft and makes a better building material just after a rain storm so the ants reconstruct quickly and throw a few new additions on while they’re at it.
What To Do
If you are having trouble with fire ants or other ants around your home or business there are a few control measures that we would recommend.
First, it’s always a good idea to stay clear of fire ants if you don’t know whether or not you are allergic to their venom. Most people experience a painful sensation at the site of a fire ant sting but some can have severe allergic reactions so please use caution. It is a good idea to call a professional to deal with any sizable mound in your yard.
These ants can be controlled with either a liquid treatment to their mound or by using bait products spread around their mound. If you’re having trouble taking care of these ants around your home, give us a call at Ellsworth Pest Control and we will put together a solution for your home and family.