The Red Imported Fire Ant "RIFA" (Solenopsis invicta) is a globally invasive species, in part because it lives in high densities and may dominate potential food sources. The species is omnivorous, opportunistic, and exploits recently disturbed habitats by searching for food sources through a pheromonal pathway. The species utilizes a foraging distance of around 40 m from the mound. Evolution has modified the ants' sting in various ways to produce chemical substances to inject in, smear upon, or expel predators and potential competitors. Unlike many other ants, S. invicta only uses its jaws to grip, and instead uses its abdominal petiole to inject 0.01 to 0.11 μl of poison. Furthermore, these ants use their poison for prey capture in territorial disputes and for colony defense.
Nest Sites/Characteristics: Fire ants are pest of the southern United States with a solid footing in the great state of Texas. Native fire ants rarely become structural pests. The Red Imported fire ant "RIFA" and black imported fire ants have spread to more than 13 southern and western states and continue to expand their range. These ants cause serious medical, agricultural and property damage. The RIFA is very aggressive and will sting repeatedly, especially when their colony/mound is disturbed; something those of you that have ever step on learned the hard way.
Fire ants typically nest out doors in sunny areas of exposed soil or lawns. If untreated, fire ant infestations may reach 30 to 100 single queen mounds per acre, containing up to 80,000 ants. Over time, colonies may "Link," creating super-colonies of up to 250, 000 ants. Mounds are rounded and range from a few inches to several feet across. Each mound has several tunnels just under the soil surface extending out several feet. After rain, nest in sandy soil are rebuilt with sponge-like surfaces. When disturbed, fire ant workers pour out of their mound and aggressively attack the offender.
Colonies generally have their own territories. They forage in established trails. Red imported fire ants will sometimes nest in areas of exposed soil within buildings such as bath traps. They also build outside nests adjacent to foundation walls and slabs. Fire ants are attracted to electrical junction boxes and air conditioners. They also nest in gas and water meter boxes and follow pipes into the building.
They are survivors building rafts and bridges to further their expansion thus survival.
Feeding Preferences: RIFA prefer high-protein foods, but to honest they will eat just about anything including almost any plant, animal matter and your 4th July BBQ.
As always should you have any questions about the Red Imported Fire Ant or just want to say hello, contact First Response Pest Control at 214-864-0669 We proudly provide service in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Coppell, Highland Village, Lantana, Corinth, Lake Dallas, Denton and surrounding areas.