Most people don’t realize that ants come in multiple colors and when they see red ants they easily confuse them with fire ants, or red imported fire ants (RIFA). These RIFA, are dreaded wherever they spread. There are actually multiple species of fire ants, but the RIFA is dreaded the most.
How Do I Know If I’m Seeing a Red Imported Fire Ant?
RIFA are reddish-brown and approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. However, in areas where RIFA are found, the easiest way to identify this pest is by the appearance of a mound. RIFA build their mounds in almost any type of soil, but they do show a preference for open sunny areas. Their mounds can attain 18 to 24 inches in height under ideal soil conditions. Some mounds are located in rotting logs, tree stumps, and trees themselves. Occasionally a colony can be found in or under buildings.
The very painful sting of the RIFA’s bite is another common indicator, but it is obviously not the preferred method of identification!
How Do You Kill Red Ants?
Fortunately red ants that are fire ants live outdoors and aren’t a threat to your home, but if you want to have them removed then you should contact a professional as their sting is very painful. The good news? Here in the Greater St. Louis area, we do not have RIFA, or any other species of fire ants.
But we do have ants that do a fine job of being a nuisance, as well as some that create damage to our homes. For more on eradicating ants in St. Louis, read our recent blog, Ants, Ants, Everywhere!