argentine ant

Imported Fire Ant

Imported Fire Ant

One of the several hundreds of species of ants that are known is the red imported fire ant or sometimes called RIFA. Initially this insect was native to only South America, it has become one of the hardest hitting pests in a variety of countries. Unlike other types, this ant is very aggressive, bites and can cause serious damage to human skin leaving postule on the skin.

In Brief

As stated above this ant is quite aggressive and is more powerful than the average pest that you’ll find in your backyard. Their sting will undoubtedly hurt. Most common, you will find their mounds to be hard to see, making it easy to step on their home and causing them to go into a major frenzy. They will swarm up legs, arms, and sting uncontrollably, and when smaller animals are in the vicinity, could kill. While it is not deadly to get bit, it is excruciatingly painful to get stung, as they continue to sting with great fury. While death is possible, less than 100 deaths have been reported annually due to this ant.

The red imported fire ant is a predator, and are compatriots to various bugs including boll weevils, soybean looper, hornfly, and many others. They prey on vegetation as well as pollinators. Unlike other genus, they are known to be resilient and can deal with floods, and even droughts. An interesting note to consider is that they can come together and form a solid entity like a small boat and float through flooding with the queen protected safely. If the temperature heats up and water is scarce, they will forage to the center of the earth until they hit the water table.

Pest Control

There are a variety of ways that you can attack these insects, however, do not go at it alone. If you see nests, don’t step on them, don’t flood them, call a professional immediately. Do not go to the hardware store, instead call in a pro, lest you get bitten and have to go to the hospital.

The easiest way to get rid of them (through a professional) is to utilize a very specific kind of pesticide. Mirex seemed to work best, but has since been out of favor due to environmental harm that it can cause. While there is a lot of research being done to figure out how to kill off these ants in an easier manner, pesticide is still common. In the U.S. alone upwards of $750 million in damages have been reported annually, and similar figures are seen across the world.

Physical Control

As stated above, scientists are working on a harder way to control these insects. Infestation can cause a great deal of problems for homeowners, and local ecosystems. Pesticide will be harsh, and can work great. The red imported fire ant is definitely one of the harder insects to kill, but with a professional grade exterminator, getting rid of them can work.

Until research is conclusive in regards to fix physical control, pest control is going to be biological in nature.

If you’re dealing with a pest problem and your looking for the best course of action, please contact us today, and we’ll be happy to send one of our experts to inspect your home and provide you with a personalized solution.

Image courtesy of

Scroll to Top