Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta
Fire Ant Characteristics:
The pedicel, or “waist” in the Red Imported Fire Ant consists of two segments
Workers consist of many sizes (polymorphic) between 1/8 in to 1/4 in
Have 10-segmented antennae and a 2-segmented club
Coloration varies from red to brown with a black gaster
The mandible has four distinct teeth

Red Imported Fire Ants are more aggressive than most native ant species, and have a painful sting. An animal, including humans, typically encounters them by inadvertently stepping into one of their mounds, which causes the ants to swarm up the legs, attacking en masse. The ants respond to pheromonesreleased by the first ant to attack and sting in concert, often killing smaller animals by overloading their immune systems.


In the United States, Red Imported Fire Ants have gradually spread north and west despite intense efforts to stop or eliminate them.


Fire ants frequently invade home lawns, school yards, athletic fields, golf courses, parks and other recreational areas. Additionally, electrical equipment and utility housing, home gardens, compost piles, mulched flowerbeds, pavement cracks, and the perimeter of bodies of water must all be considered when choosing a method of control.

Two approaches can be taken to effectively manage imported fire ants. Single mound treatments or area-wide broadcast applications usually manage red imported fire ant populations.