Fire ant infestations are becoming a serious problem in North Carolina and throughout the southeastern United States. First introduced by accident into this country in the 1930's, they have rapidly laid claim to the southern states and do not appear to be going away any time soon. The fire ant is much more aggressive than native ants, and will sting when threatened - a feeling much akin to being burnt (hence the name).
Our main method for fire ant treatment is baiting. We apply baits around the entire area where fire ants are a problem. Using an electronic hopper attached to an ATV with a speedometer, we can achieve precise dispensing control and ensure proper application. Many homeowners make the mistake of applying chemicals only to the visible mounds. The mound is not the location of the entire colony. When this type of treatment is applied, the fire ants will simply relocate and build their mounds in another location; it is not an effective way to kill fire ants.
Fire ants can be distinguished by their copper brown colored head and body, and slightly darker abdomens. The worker ants vary in size from 2 to 6 mm (0.12 in to 0.24 in). Colony locations can be identified by the fire ant's trademark dirt mounds, which are often found in open, sunny areas. Unfortunately, these mounds often go unnoticed until after they've been stepped on - generally resulting in a swarm of painful stings.