When threatened, fire ants rank among the most aggressive insects in the area. You definitely don’t want to get stung. The burning sensation from a fire ant attack can last for several minutes. Even worse, some people are allergic to the venom. Let’s take a look at six of the most interesting facts about fire ants.
1. Not Native to America
Unlike some other species, fire ants aren’t native to North America. According to researchers, these fiery ants were unintentionally brought into the country by an Argentinian cargo boat. Since that time, they have continued to expand their territory.
2. Can Help Eliminate Other Pests
Although you shouldn’t alloy fire ants to take refuge on your property, they do have some benefits. Fire ants can help control other pests. Some of their favorite foods include mites, cockroach eggs, and fleas.
3. Extremely Tough
In terms of being able to withstand harsh conditions, fire ants are almost as tough as cockroaches. This is one of the reasons why these insects are quite difficult to control. Because fire ants can cling together to form a natural raft, they have no trouble surviving floods. It’s not uncommon for fire ants to float on water for days at a time.
4. Phorid Flies Decapitate Fire Ants
While fire ants don’t have many enemies, they must beware of phorid flies. These humpback flies will decapitate fire ants. When a fire ant’s head pops off, its body will be used to store the fly’s eggs.
5. Can Multiply In Number Quickly
If you happen to find any fire ant mounds in your yard, don’t wait to call an exterminator. A queen fire ant has an ability to lay more than 1500 eggs in a single day. Keep in mind that the queen can also live for up to six years.
6. They Are Omnivores
Fire ants are omnivores, which means they consume both plants and animals to satisfy their nutritional needs. Don’t be surprised to spot a colony of fire ants feeding on the corpses of scorpions and mice.