Fire Ant


Actual Size: ⅛” to ⅜” 

Characteristics: Blackish to red in color. Fire ants have a stinger in their abdomen.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Fire ants build mounds in almost any soil near homes and structural foundations or in landscaping, preferring open sunny areas.

Fire Ant Habits:

  • Aggressive species, known to push out native species of ants.
  • Will bite and then use their stinger, located on their abdomen.
  • Construct mounds in open areas, feeding on plants, seeds, and small animals.

Fire Ants in Baton Rouge

Fire ants are small ants that live in colonies, containing up to 400,000 workers. Found throughout Louisiana, fire ants are named for their notorious painful sting. When a fire ant mound is disturbed, workers rush to the surface to protect the colony. Swarming all at once allows fire ants to quickly overwhelm predators. They will latch onto their victim’s skin with their mandibles and sting in unison as a response to the slightest movement. Their attacks are coordinated as dozens or hundreds of workers sting simultaneously. 

Fire Ant Habitat

Fire ants often nest near moisture-rich areas, like rivers, well-watered landscape, lawns, and streams. Constructing mounds, fire ants burrow in the soil. Some colonies have several queens, but smaller nests typically only have a single queen. As they reproduce quickly, fire ants can spread throughout a lawn or open area very quickly. Unlike most venomous ants, fire ants bite to hold their prey and then use the stinger in their abdomen to deliver venom.

Fire Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Fire ant stings can cause a painful, raised welt and is the main threat caused by this ant species. Most people describe the sensation as feeling like ‘fire’, hence their name. These ants will aggressively dominate local or native ant species in the area, disturbing ecosystems and the animals that eat native ant species. Fire ants are considered invasive, and up to $5 billion is spent in the U.S. alone on fire ant treatments. If you suspect a fire ant mound on your property, don’t take a chance of getting a painful sting, and contact a professional ant exterminator.

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact Dugas Pest Control today!