Fire ants are some of the extremely dangerous and damaging ant species. They not only destroy property and habitats but are equally dangerous to all animals including humans & pets.
Fire ant is the common name for several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis. They are, however, only a minority in the genus, which includes over 200 species of Solenopsis worldwide.
Red fire ants are generally omnivorous, feeding on proteins, honeydew, seeds and most foods found in homes. Fire ants range in color from red-brown to black, and grow up to 1/4 inch in length. They build nests or mounds about 1 foot high, usually in grassy areas like lawns and pastures. Unlike most anthills, fire ant nests have no single entrance.
As the temperature rises and conditions become dry, fire ants enter homes in search of food and water. This can cause problems ranging from the nuisance of finding ants in stored foods and potted plants to the real danger of stings-particularly multiple stings when fire ants climb onto sleeping inhabitants.
Fire ants are very aggressive and are voracious feeders on small ground fauna, including insects, spiders, lizards, frogs, birds and mammals.
Encounters with fire ants usually involve dozens of ants moving quickly and undetected. By the time they sting, there may be tens or hundreds of ants on your body, and they tend to all sting at once. Stings from fire ants can cause a painful, burning and itching sensation, which can last for an hour. Multiple stings give the sensation that the body is on fire.
In the United States, people in fire ant-infested areas have changed their habits to avoid exposure to the ant. Activities such as mowing and gardening could also result in ant stings.
The impact of fire ants is not restricted to people. Pets and domestic animals can also be stung and injured, and may have allergic reactions or be blinded by exposure to the venom.
Fire ants could seriously affect the vegetation communities in natural areas. Their habit of eating or damaging seeds could alter the ratios of the various seeds available to develop, which could significantly change an ecosystem over time. Fire ants also predate or disturb the insects and animals that pollinate native plants, which may also cause long-term changes to the vegetation of our bushland areas.
Mounds formed by fire ant nests can be a serious problem in lawns, sporting fields and golf courses, which could have economic impacts. The ants’ activities and nesting materials can cause expensive damage to sensitive electrical equipment. They chew on insulation and can cause short circuits or interfere with switching mechanisms. Air conditioners, traffic signal boxes, and other devices can be damaged.
Fire ants can significantly affect the agriculture industry. Newborn or hatching animals are particularly prone to attacks that can lead to death. The ants can make it impossible for animals to reach food or water without being seriously stung, which can lead to starvation and dehydration.
Fire ants often feed on seeds, and can fatally damage some plants by tunnelling through roots and stems.
Mound-building behaviour can interrupt or destroy equipment, such as irrigation systems, and can also damage machinery during harvesting operations.
Let us have a look at some news articles:
Killer fire ants INVASION: Warning over global spread as deadly swarms invade
By Stuart Winter, Aug 7, 2017
Both Japan and Australia are today mounting operations to stop red imported fire ants getting a stranglehold in a worldwide invasion that has left 80 people dead.
The fire ants – abbreviated to RIFA and the with the scientific name of Solenopsis invicta – have already left their marks on thousands across North and South America as well as China and Taiwan.
So far, there has been only one sting victim in Japan but this has not stopped the authorities launching a full-scale hunt and eradication operation at ports around the country where the ants may have arrived from China.
It has already exterminated clusters discovered in seven major ports, including Tokyo and Osaka, and is setting traps and carrying out search and elimination missions at another 68 sites.
More than 500 ants were found at Yokohama last month as well larvae and pupae – a worrying sign that the ants are breeding on Japanese soil only two months after they were first discovered in the country.
Fire Ants Almost Kill 13-Year-Old Boy
June 15, 2009, Fox News
Patrick Dodson, 13, and his mother, Donna Dodson, learned that one Sunday afternoon in March while doing yard work at their Central home.
Patrick Dodson fetched a bag of mulch made from a tree blown down by Hurricane Gustav in September. It tore open as he headed to the flower beds, and his leg was covered in hundreds of ants.
Patrick’s mother washed the ants off his leg, applied an antihistamine cream.
But 20 minutes later, Patrick came to her with a flushed face and swollen lips and nose. Donna Dodson took him to an after-hours clinic, where he passed out while she was filling out paperwork.
He came to in the exam room, got a shot and passed out again. The clinic called an ambulance to take him to the emergency room.
“The venom from the ants just shut his body down,” Donna Dodson said. Doctors at Baton Rouge General Medical Center gave him intravenous fluids to flush out the venom. His blood pressure kept dropping. His heart stopped beating twice.
The most common tool used to manage fire ants are insecticides. However, besides being extremely toxic and harmful to the environment, and do not effectively solve the insect problem. Moreover, studies show that the more exposed the fire ants is to the insecticide, the more resistant the fire ant will be. Therefore the insects know that it is hazardous to them with their sensory cue and learns to avoid.
C Tech Corporation has come up with a solution to combat fire ants menace. Termirepel™ is a low-toxic, non-hazardous termite repellent which has been designed for various applications as well as natural materials like wood. It is a unique blend of green chemistry and smart technology which acts as an effective repellent and at the same time guarantees safety to the environment, plants, animals and ecosystem.
It is durable at extreme climatic conditions such as changes in temperature, rainfall, etc. Our product is ROHS, ROHS2, ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001:1996 complaint and FIFRA exempted.
Termirepel™ does not kill but only keep the ants away by making use of their sensory mechanisms. Aggressive species are further deterred from attacking by advanced mechanisms like Aversion, feeding disruption, oviposition deterrence, growth inhibition, mating disruption, chemo sterilization. This further modifies the response of insects towards the Termirepel™ containing products which makes them to stay away from the application.
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