Fire Ant Identification & Control Guide For Hampton Roads (2024)

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What do fire ants look like?

Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are small ants that range in size from 1/16 to ¼ of an inch long. They are dark reddish-brown to reddish black in color and have powerful jaws and stingers.

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When are Fire Ants most active?

























Are red imported fire ants dangerous?

Red imported fire ants (RIFA) do not bite, they sting. A RIFA sting can be quite painful and leave behind raised welts and white pustules. In some cases, red imported fire ants can cause more severe reactions and trigger an allergic reaction. It’s important to note that these ants are very aggressive and are capable of stinging multiple times. What’s more, if you’re stung near a mound, there’s a good chance you’ll be attacked by several ants all at once.

In addition to red ant “bites”, these invasive ants can also cause agricultural problems as well as damage structures, electrical equipment, and machinery.

Is there a red imported fire ant quarantine in Virginia?

To learn more about the current red imported fire ant distribution in Virginia and for up-to-date quarantine information, please visit:

How can I tell if I have a red imported fire ant problem?

You can usually tell you have a RIFA problem on your property by the fire ant mounds. They are often found in warm, sunny locations such as landscape beds, lawns, along sidewalks and walkways, around trees and shrubs, and against buildings.

What do red imported fire ant mounds look like?

Fire ant mounds look like loose piles of dirt that stand out from what’s around them. Mounds can be either domed or flat on top. They do not have an obvious entry point either.

What attracts red imported fire ants?

Red imported fire ants prefer warm humid air, moist soil, and open, sunny yards or lawns that are mowed and watered regularly. They are also attracted to pet bowls and utility boxes. Though not very frequently, they may invade homes in search of food, water, and shelter.

How do I get rid of red imported fire ants?

For fire ant control services that stop these stinging pests from taking over, contact a licensed pest control company. At Getem Services, we specialize in exterminating fire ants and have the tools, knowledge, and experience to help you knock out pest problems for your home or business!

How can I prevent a red imported fire ant infestation?

To prevent red imported fire ants from infesting your property and home, we recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Seal all holes, cracks, gaps, and openings that the small ants could fit through
  • Maintain a clean kitchen & keep food properly stored in containers with lids
  • Do not leave pet bowls outside
  • Use caution when bringing plants and outdoor items indoors
  • Clean up your yard to remove food sources
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Contact Getem Services at the first sign of a fire ant problem

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Fire Ant Identification & Control Guide For Hampton Roads (2024)


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