Did you know that fire ants regularly kill small animals and eat them? Now before you get too worried, they cannot kill your outdoor pets, unless they are newborn horses, newborn calves, chicken, ducks, or geese. If you do have a horse or cow that is pregnant, make sure they are in a fire ant-free area when giving birth. For today, we are going to assume you do not have any of the above animals and are just trying to keep fire ants out of your yard. Here are some things you should know about fire ants and some practical ways to keep them away.
Fire Ants Are Rarely Indoor PestsAnts are often known for the way they invade homes and scavenge for food. Fire ants are one of the exceptions in that they prefer the outdoors. This doesn’t mean they never invade homes, just that it is rare for them to do so. One reason for this is that fire ants love the heat that just can't be found in a temperature-controlled house. The hotter outside it is, the better.
Fire Ants Bite & StingOne thing that sets fire ants apart from other ant species is that they both bite and sting. Biting at first to grip onto the skin and then stinging with a potent venom designed to kill smaller prey. Enough of these bites and it will feel like your skin is burning, hence their name, fire ants.
Prevention Steps For Fire AntsAre you looking for a way to keep fire ants off your property? Here is a list of prevention steps you can take to minimize your risk of them settling down in your yard or invading your home:
- Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from the exterior walls of your home.
- Make sure no mulch or bedding material is directly touching your home’s foundation.
- Mow your lawn regularly so that your grass stays at a reasonable length.
- Pick up over-ripened fruit as it falls from trees.
- Make sure all of your trashcans have tight-fitting lids.
- Keep piles of leaves, grass clippings, and stacked wood a reasonable distance away from the walls of your house.