Houston has plenty of stinging and biting ants. Fire ants have been a pest in the city for nearly a century now, but recently new species like red harvester ants and Asian needle ants have started making their presence known in the city. These ants are unpleasant to deal with and it can be very painful if you're bitten.
All of these ants are dangerous, and they're also very hard to get rid of. The species of fire ants and stinging ants in Houston all build large underground colonies, and eliminating the colony means reaching deep underground to kill the ant queen. The queen can be buried as much eight feet underground, and some species will even have multiple queens. Professional pest control is almost always the only way to effectively treat for these ants.
If you have fire ants, stinging ants, or biting ants in your yard, give Bulls Eye Pest and Termite Control a call at 713-222-PEST.
Fire ants are a particularly unpleasant species of ants that were accidentally introduced to the United States from South America in the 1930s. Fire ants are thought to have first come in through Mobile, Alabama and since their introduction have spread across the southern United States, from Maryland all the way to Texas. In Houston, we unfortunately have plenty of them. As nice as it would be to eliminate these ants from all of Texas, fire ants look like they're a permanent part of the Houston landscape.
Fire ants are dangerous. Fire ants have a vicious bite. Fire ants will inject their venom into their victims, creating a highly painful sensation like being on fire, which is how they got their name. When fire ants feel they are under threat, they will swarm, at times completely covering their attacker. The toxins from these swarms can easily kill small animals, and can cause toxic shock and even death in humans.
The best thing to do when dealing with fire ants is to call a professional exterminator. To get rid of fire ants, you have to kill the queen. The queen is the only member of the colony that lays eggs, and if she is left alive even after the rest of the colony is destroyed she can quickly repopulate the colony. But killing the queen is no easy task. Fire ants build distinctive mounds out of loosely piled earth. But the real fire ant colony is beneath the mound, in an extensive network of tunnels, where the queen can be buried six to eight feet underground. To make matters worse, Fire ants have also been found in “supercolonies”, where multiple colonies with multiple queens are connected underground. It really does take expert pest control to make sure the queen is gone.
Asian needle ants are a newcomer to the Houston pest scene. They were first introduced to Houston only a few years ago, but they are spreading rapidly. These large, black, shiny ants build large, loose mounds above ground. While Asian needle ants are not as aggressive as fire ants, their sting is incredibly painful and can cause swelling and blistering that can persist for weeks after the sting. The venom of Asian needle ants is powerful enough to produce anaphylactic shock in susceptible people, and so anyone allergic to bee or wasp stings should consider these ants to be highly dangerous. In Houston, Asian needle ants will often be found in The Heights and The Woodlands.
Treat Asian needle ants with extreme caution. Avoid any contact with their mounds and never wear sandals or other open-toed shoes in areas where you suspect infestation. These ants are dangerous, so if you see them in your yard give Bulls Eye Pest and Termite Control a call.
Red harvester ants are usually light red in color and can be extremely damaging to lawns. They have a powerful sting, and will swarm when they feel their nest is threatened. They nest underground, but they'll strip the ground above their nests of any vegetation to capture more of the sun's warmth. Because their nests can be up to 40 feet in diameter, a single colony can essentially destroy an entire lawn.
Red harvester ants also have a nasty sting. When they feel their nest is under attack, they will swarm and attack the invader. Like fire ants, the queen will often be buried deep underground, so professional pest control is usually required to get rid of them.
It's really a bad idea to try to eliminate any of these ants yourself. Treating for any of these species of stinging and biting ants requires protective clothing, specialized equipment, and the experience and knowledge of how to effectively eliminate the colony. Don't risk getting covered with a swarm of stinging ants. If you have these pests in your yard, give Bulls Eye Pest and Termite Control a call at 713-222-PEST.