Being a resident of Texas means that you encounter red ants and fire ants perhaps on a daily basis. Many times infestations are too often ignored, especially because it takes skill to see the difference between the two types of ant species. Being able to identify fire ants from red ants is important to spot differences between the two species and prevent them from taking over.
Red Ants vs. Fire Ants
Right from the beginning, fire ants are puzzling because they can be red ants. At the same time, red ants can be fire ants, and yet still other red ant species are categorically not fire ants. You should keep this in mind as we explore some of the differences and similarities between the species.
Fire ants come in a variety of colors, but they are typically red or reddish-brown. These ants belong to the Solenopsis Invicta family. They typically don’t leave openings in their mounds since they use underground tunnels. In size, they range from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch, and there is massive variation in size within the colony. An important tip to recognize is ant families all share the same size within the colony.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Even more so, Texas homeowners should recognize the “red imported fire ant”. This ant is medium-sized, red and black in color, and builds mounds of soft soil around 18 inches in diameter. This is an aggressive and dangerous species to look out for. When provoked, they will climb vertical surfaces like your leg, biting, and stinging all at once. In fact, they leave white pustules on the skin and can be especially dangerous if their bites and stings cause an allergic reaction.
Carpenter and Crazy Ants
Carpenter ants build nests in trees and wooden structures. Along with their appearance, many people mistake them for termites. In comparison, tawny crazy ants are another red-colored species of ants that are newly wiping out the imported fire ants by taking over colonies and territories.
Acrobat and Velvet Ants
The most common species mistaken for fire ants remains “acrobat ants” because they have similar red and black bodies. Similar to fire ants, they will nest in leaves and mulch, but the biggest difference is that acrobat ants have a heart-shaped abdomen compared to the oval of the fire ant. Lastly, velvet ants, another red ant, are mistaken as fire ants while they are actually part of the wasp family even though female velvet ants lack wings.
How Chorbie Can Help
Once you’ve identified your ants, ant control can be a pesky business since ants are naturally an invasive species. Chorbie, however, has experts in specialized pest control that handles infestations and issues like this every day. Contact Chorbie today to get started taking back your yard from red ants and fire ants while staying ahead of the curve for prevention next year.