Can Fire Ants Float?

Fire ants are known to be tough and resilient, but the fact that they can float during periods of heavy rain or flooding often surprises people. Understanding this special survival instinct can help you prepare for a fire ant invasion after the next big storm!

Can Fire Ants Float?

Fire Ant Control, LLC provides the most effective and affordable fire ant solution for homes and businesses in Southwest Florida and beyond. Our services are fully licensed and insured and guaranteed to help protect your property for four months at a time or your money back.

About Red Imported Fire Ants

Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are the worst of all fire ant species because they reproduce rapidly, do extensive damage, and are more aggressive than other species. They are well-known throughout the southeastern United States and have spread westward into California and northward along the east coast.

Even floods won’t drown or deter these pests. When flooding strikes their nest, they emerge from underground, link their legs together, and form a watertight ball or “living raft” that can float on the water. Worker ants carefully protect the queen in the middle and carry any eggs along until they come across dry land where they can re-establish a colony in the soil.

Unlike other insects, fire ants can do this because their bodies are “hydrophobic,” which means they have the ability to partially repel water. Some fire ant rafts will sink within hours if they’re unable to find dry land, while others may survive afloat for up to 12 days. They may also seek temporary shelter along river banks or inside flooded homes and buildings.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in the summer of 2017, many residents and cleanup crews in the area were surprised by massive rafts of hazardous floating fire ants, as can be seen in the videos in this Washington Post article.

Research shows that spraying floating fire ants with a gallon of water mixed with two ounces of biodegradable dishwashing liquid may cause them to drown. Once they’re on dry land, however, you will need a permanent solution.

Proven Treatment by Fire Ant Control, LLC

To eliminate a fire ant colony, the queen must be killed. In multi-queen colonies, all queens must be killed. If the queens are not killed, the colony will most likely establish itself in another nearby area.

Fire Ant Control, LLC’s proven fire ant treatment focuses on sterilizing the queen. Extermination is not instantaneous but, once the worker ants have eaten the potent granular bait and carried it down into the colony, sterilizing the queen, the entire colony will disappear, and no new ants will be born.

Your property will be nearly free of fire ants within weeks; however, because fire ants fly to mate, they may return. For this reason, we recommend having your property treated three times a year to prevent them from re-colonizing your property.

We’re so confident our treatment works, we guarantee that it will rid your residential, commercial or agricultural property of 85-95% of your fire ants for four months at a time, or your money back.

Fire ants can definitely float! If they’ve found a home on your property, give Fire Ant Control, LLC a call at (239) 312-8200. We will keep them from damaging your property or harming your family, friends and pets.