Fire Ants

Fire ant is the common name for several species of stinging ants. A typical fire ant colony produces large mounds in open areas and feeds mostly on young plants, seeds, and sometimes crickets, though fire ants can often attack small animals and kill them. Fire ants nest in the soil, often near moist areas, such as river banks, pond shores, watered lawns and highway shoulder. Usually, the nest will not be visible, as it will be built under objects such as timber, logs, rocks, or bricks. If there is no cover for nesting, dome-shaped mounds will be constructed, but these are usually only found in open spaces, such as fields, parks and lawns.

• The body of the fire ant resembles that of most other ants and is distinguished primarily by its reddish color.
• Fire ants have a dedicated venom-injecting sting as well as jaws for biting.
• Unlike many other ants, fire ants bite only to get a grip, then sting and inject a toxic alkaloid venom, which causes a painful stinging sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire—hence the name—and can be deadly to sensitive people.