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G & G Pest Control

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Wakefield, MA

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fire ant small FIRE ANT
Solenopsis spp.
(larger picture)
Description: Fire ant workers vary in size, ranging from l/16- to 1/4-inch long and are yellow to dark red-brown. The thorax lacks spines, and the petiole has two nodes. They have a stinger at the tip of the abdomen and ten. segmented antennae, which is tipped with a two-segmented club.

Habits: Several species of Solenopsis are called, fire ants, because of the fiery pain their stings inflict upon the victim. These ants usually nest in the ground but can develop colonies in structures, especially in areas near the soil. They are attracted to electrical junction boxes, such as air conditioners and traffic signals. When nesting in the soil, they build large, unsightly mounds which are a detriment to cultivation of fields. Some species of fire ants nest in typical ant habitats, such as under stones, landscape timbers, in voids and around foundations.
   These ants, and especially the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, have tremendously large colonies that can severely injure crops, lawns, young birds, and people. Fire ants prefer high protein foods but will feed on practically everything, including other insects, honeydew, seeds, fruit juices, nectar, plants, nuts, cereals, butter, grease, and meats. They also gnaw on electrical wiring and clothing, especially if it is soiled.