How to Tell if You Have Fire Ants


Fire Ants
Not all reddish ants are “red ants”

Not all reddish ants are “red ants”

As a child, you’re told to look out for red ants. It’s believed that red ants are the ones that bite, and the ones that can cause the most damage. In some ways this is true. The only problem is that:

  • Other ants bite, and these bites can cause reactions.
  • Not all reddish ants are “red ants.”

You do want to watch out for red ants, but you specifically want to watch out for “red imported fire ants” – a type of “fire ant” that bites with a severe sting and tends to be more aggressive than other types of ants.

Warning Signs of Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA)

To the untrained eye, RIFA do not look that different from other types of ants. While they’re red in color, the red is not a “deep red.” It is a reddish brown, not unlike other types of ants.

The easiest way to tell if you have RIFA is by their nest. Unlike other ant nests, RIFA nests rarely have a hole in the center of a dirt mound that looks a little like a gopher hole. It is mostly just a lump of dirt. If you bother the nest, you’ll find that dozens of these ants move quickly up the surrounding grass. This is them preparing to attack.

Other signs include extreme variation in ant size. Most ants are uniform in size, but RIFA tend to have a lot of variation in size between them with ants between 1 and 4mm. Their midsection (abdomen) also tends to be darker than the rest of their bodies.

Call a Red Ant Exterminator

The best way to figure out if you have a red ant colony problem – besides getting bitten – is to contact a red ant pest control company. While all of these ants are small in size, there are some key, minuscule differences between red ant types that can help you discover when you have a RIFA problem, and when you simply have an ant problem.

But as we all know, all ants can quickly become invasive pests when left untreated. For those that have any type of ant problem, contact Green Pest – a skilled ant control company in the Pennsylvania Tri-State area that provides free ant inspections and discounts of ant exterminating services. Contact us now to find out more.

Ant Identification Guide

Ant Identification Guide

ID some of the most prevalent ant species in the region with this full-color guide.