You Are At: AllSands Home > Science > Animals > Fire ant information
Fire ants of the solenopsis species are notorious for their large mounds and often very painful stings which result in a pustule that develops within 24 hours but may take several weeks to heal.

Fire ants are small, up to 1/4 inch in size, and tend to be reddish brown to black. They can be found crawling on their mounds which are large nests often found in gardens and on lawns. The large mounds of soil are what people often step into without noticing the ants and receive a series of painful bites for their troubles. Typically, the ants only attack humans and animals who disturb their mounds and rarely bite otherwise.

Fire ants usually create large mounds of soil as their nests and can be seen crawling to and from the mound daily. Occasionally, rather than the lawn and garden, fire ants will move their nests underneath the home during periods of rain and drought to protect the nest. The mainly feed on other small insects, but also feed on young plants, seeds and fruit as well as household foods. Occasionally they can be seen to feed on small weak animals and newly hatched birds. They offer some benefit to the yard and garden because they do feed on other insects, but the threat of their painful bites may outweigh their benefit to these areas.

Insecticides are effective if the mounds are drenched with diazinon or if the lawn is sprinkled with an acephate containing powder. You should ideally treat the are of the mound as well as four feet around the mound in a circular area to make sure you kill the ants and they don’t set up another mound. If ants get indoors, spray with a chlorypyrifos containing insecticide. A pustule is a normal reaction to a fire ant bite, however if you have a sever reaction or any other symptoms it is best to consult your physician for treatment.