More dangerous than any other type of ant, if you’ve ever been attacked by fire ants, then you know that this is true. Their painful stings are something to avoid, especially since they also have the ability to attack and kill small animals like cats and dogs, especially if they’re young or very old.
And if you’re allergic (as I am), they can be deadly.
They are even able to damage structures like your home if you have a colony nearby. They are found across much of the world, including cold places like Massachusetts.
What about southern states? Are there fire ants in North Carolina? Yes, there are certainly fire ants in North Carolina. We’ll explain it all below.
Are There Fire Ants In North Carolina?
Followed closely behind the most hated insect in America (the bed bug), fire ants are infamous pests that cause problems not only for living things like people and other mammals, but also for buildings, electrical outlets, and appliances like AC units.
There are two different kinds of fire ants — known as red-imported and black-imported. They exist in huge colonies that have more than one queen, which makes it hard to control an infestation when you find one since they can also move their colonies underground.
Fire ants cause lots of problems to the environment as well. They have become notorious, because of their voracious destruction of gardens and farmland. In fact, just one colony can cover more than an acre of land.
Although they’re called imported, fire ants didn’t arrive in America intentionally. The black fire ant was brought in by traveling trade ships sailing to Alabama from South America in around the end of World War 1. The red fire ant followed in 1930 and spread quickly around other parts of the country.
So, do fire ants exist in North Carolina?
The simple answer to this is, yes. In fact, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), which regulates the transportation of items, fire ants are found in 74 of the state’s 100 counties, including Madison and Jackson Counties, and also include the tropical fire ant and southern fire ant.
According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), which regulates the transportation of items, fire ants are found in 74 of the state’s 100 counties, including Madison and Jackson Counties, and also include the tropical fire ant and southern fire ant.
The imported red fire ant, also known as Solenopsis invicta, is causing the most destruction across the state, probably due to the favorable climate, as well as the increase in population, and industrial development in recent years.
What Do Fire Ants Look Like?
Imported red fire ants range in color from a browny red to dark brown, and a colony will consist of varying sizes from 1-3/16th of an inch. During the spring and summer months, some of the colony will consist of winged males and females, which are black and a bit smaller in size.
An imported red fire ant mound will also vary in size, but will generally correlate to the actual size of the colony. So, the bigger the colony, the bigger the mound will be. A mound that is around 2-feet in diameter and between 1-2 feet high could be home to a colony of around 100,000 ants.
As mentioned above, just one colony of imported red fire ants can cover an entire acre, and they are able to move underground. This means they can create multiple mounds in that same space, which allows them to reproduce even more if there are multiple queens in the colony, which does happen occasionally.
These destructive pests are a problem for most states in America, so yes, there are fire ants in North Carolina, even though they’re not a native species. Unfortunately, they’re a problem for nearly everyone. This invasive species is going nowhere for now.
Therefore, it’s important that you learn to protect yourself from not only their bites but also from the destruction they can cause to your property or business, as well as the natural environment around you.
The pain and swelling that you’ll experience if you do get bitten is not a joke! So if you start seeing imported red fire ants in your home in North Carolina, then get in touch with a pest controller who has experience in dealing with these notorious little pests.