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Red Imported Fire Ant

Red Imported Fire Ant Worker

Red Imported Fire Ant – Solenopsis invicta (Buren).  Workers range in sizes from one-sixteenth to one-quarter of an inch long in the same colony.  Mounds are usually built in the sunny areas of soil or lawns.  They can be anywhere from a few inches to several feet across with multiple holes across the surface of the mound.  When disturbed the ants come boiling out from across the surface of the mound.  They possess a sting which is very painful, which develops into a raised, sore area with a white pustule in the center.  The red imported fire ant is a serious medical, agriculture and property pest.  Mounds that are in areas where there is a lot of activity (high traffic areas) should be treated with products that are fast acting.  Mounds that are in low or no traffic areas should be treated with a bait designed for fire ants.  In the cooler parts of the year, mounds will appear next to items that hold some heat through the night such as curbs, sidewalks, driveways, structures, electrical poles and boxes, etc.  (Photo Credit: USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ,