Fire Ant

Fire ant is the popular name for ants in the genus Solenopsis. There are over 285 species worldwide. They are stinging ants and most of their common names reflect this, for example, ginger ants and tropical fire ants. Many species also are called red ants because of their light brown color.

Characteristics

The bodies of fire ants, like all insects’ bodies, are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen, with three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen.

Behavior

A typical fire ant colony produces large mounds in open areas, and feeds mostly on young plants, seeds, and sometimes crickets. Fire ants often attack small animals and can kill them.

Risk to Humans

Fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting (from the abdomen) and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called Solenopsin. For humans, this is a painful sting, a sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire – hence the name fire ant – and the after effects of the sting can be deadly to sensitive people. The liquid is both insecticidal and antibiotic.

How to get rid of them?

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