As I was writing these posts about the Red Imported Fire Ant, I got to thinking that while I know where they came from, not everyone else would. And as I relish sharing little known facts about all sorts of insects, I thought I should share with you where these Red Imported Fire Ants came from and how they got here.
“History of the Red Imported Fire Ant
The black imported fire ant, accidentally imported from South America into Mobile, Alabama, was first reported in 1918. Its distribution is still restricted to parts of Mississippi and Alabama. The red imported fire ant was imported around the 1930’s and has spread to infest more than 260 million acres of land in nine southeastern states, including all or portions of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma (Lofgren 1986, Sparks 1995). This species has become very abundant, displacing many native ant species when abundant. It has the potential of spreading west and surviving in southern Arizona and along the Pacific coast north to Washington (Vinson & Sorenson 1986).”
Red Fire Ants don’t simply bite you, they latch on to your and then inject a venom into the area. If you can, the minute you feel one on your skin, brush it off quickly. Once you have been stung, it could be a good idea to take an antihistamine, providing you are not allergic to them. Some sites say to mix up some water with baking soda, making a thick paste to put on the bit area, and apply ice.
The best prevention is to have Sandpiper Pest Control come out the moment you see their mounds forming anywhere around your yard or place of business!
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