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What Do Fire Ants Look Like?

By December 14, 2023Pest control
Fire ants have reddish-brown bodies.

If there’s anything that can dampen the joys of homeownership, it’s an uninvited guest, especially one as troublesome as a fire ant. These feisty critters have garnered quite a bad reputation for their disruptive presence and painful stings. What do fire ants look like? They have a reddish-brown body color and are 1.6mm to 5 mm long and have a stinger.

A bunch of fire ants gather on  the leaf.

What is a Fire Ant?

Fire ants aren’t your average ants. They belong to the Solenopsis genus and have a notorious reputation around the globe. Native to South America, these invasive species have managed to establish colonies in several other parts of the world.

What Do Fire Ants Look Like?

Observing physical characteristics can help identify fire ants. They typically flaunt a reddish-brown color and measure anywhere from 1.6 mm to 5 mm in length. Fire ants possess two nodes between the thorax and abdomen, along with a stinger at the tip of their bodies – a rather sinister toolkit that they are not afraid to use!

What Do Fire Ants Do?

Fire ants lead a structured life. A typical colony consists of a queen, worker ants, and male drones. The queen lays eggs, while the workers perform duties like food foraging and mound building. The drones function solely for mating purposes. Fire ants are aggressive pests known for their painful stings when disturbed.

Why Are Fire Ants Bad?

One might wonder, “Why are fire ants considered harmful?” Well, their aggressive behavior, coupled with a rapid reproduction rate, make them threatening to both ecosystems and humans. Their painful, venomous stings can cause severe allergic reactions in some people and disrupt outdoor activities.

How to Get Rid of Fire Ants?

To get rid of these menacing pests, one must first identify their mounds. Fire ant mounds don’t have a central opening; instead, ants enter and exit through underground tunnels. Following identification, various methods like pesticide application, boiling water drenching, or bait traps could be employed.

Fire ant mound on top of grass.

How to Recognize Fire Ant Mounds?

Fire ant mounds manifest as loose soil piles with no visible entrance. They can pop up almost anywhere – the middle of your lawn, beneath items lying on the ground, or even along pavement cracks.

How Do I Know If I Have a Fire Ant Sting?

A fire ant sting is another unpleasant, signature characteristic. Their stings result in a burning sensation followed by the formation of pus-filled blisters surrounded by a red halo.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know what fire ants look like, let’s take a look at some other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is about sugar ants. Sugar ants do bite, but unlike fire ants, their bite does not hurt. It is only an issue if you are allergic to them.

Another is ants in the bathroom. It is important to figure out where they are coming in and make sure to seal off the entry points. You also want to know why they keep coming into the bathroom.

Lastly, you might want to know what attracts ants in the first place. Well, they like food and water. A combination of carbs, protein, and fats makes them the happiest and brings them out.

When to Call a Professional?

If multiple fire ant mounds appear around your property, it might be time to call in pest control professionals. Additionally, large infestations often require specialized expertise and treatment methods for effective eradication. Also, calling on professionals to take care of the problem is important.


In the war against fire ants, knowledge is power. By understanding what they look like, their behaviors, and how to identify their mounds and stings, homeowners can reclaim their properties from these unwelcome invaders.  Call Honor Services and we will gladly assist you with some pest control recommendations while conducting a thorough home inspection in Melbourne, FL, and surrounding areas.

Michelle Shishilla

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