Size: 1/4 inch
Where found: Open dirt, grass, bricks, rock
Potential treatment: Exterior spray
Fire ants are about a quarter of an inch long and are reddish in color. Their nests are large and active, and are found virtually anywhere, from open dirt and grass areas to bricks and rocks.
Nests are large mounds, one to two feet in diameter and a half a foot or more high. They typically contain up to 250,000 workers. Fire ants are aggressive and, when disturbed, they will sting repeatedly.
Their diet is varied, eating meats, vegetation, and both greasy and sweet substances. They forage into a wide variety of materials, including wiring and rubber insulation.
These ants grow from egg to adult in 30 days, and workers will live up to 180 days. Queens live for two to six years.
Fire ants are not commonly seen in colder climates. They get their name from the painful "on fire" sensation caused by their sting. Their sting causes burning red welts on human victims and can kill young wildlife.