How Many Fire Ants Live in One Colony?
If you’ve been trying to rid your property of fire ants, you may be surprised to learn how many live in one colony! And the information may help explain why they are so difficult to control.
About Fire Ants & Their Colonies
Although native to South America, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are now found in the subtropical southeastern U.S. states, from Virginia to Florida, and across the South through most of Texas. They are also seen in Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Arizona, California and Puerto Rico.
Fire ants make large mounds of dirt in the soil and live beneath them in an elaborate network of underground tunnels and chambers. The tunnels extend outward and downward from the mounds and open to the surface several inches to many feet away (sometimes 30 feet or more). Worker ants enter and exit through these interconnecting tunnels to hunt down and retrieve food, and to defend the colony from attack.
The leader of the fire ant colony is the queen. She serves as an egg-laying machine for the purpose of populating her colony and can lay 1,500 to 5,000 eggs per day for up to six or seven years. Her nest is located deep within the colony where she is fed by worker ants and protected from predators.
Vibrant, well-established single-queen fire ant colonies can have as many as 7 million ants per acre. If you are unlucky enough to be plagued by multiple-queen colonies (with up to 60 queens), there may be 40 million fire ants! Believe it or not, fire ants can also produce “super colonies,” where worker ants from different colonies support and care for more than one colony in the same area.
Rid Your Property of Fire Ants
It’s virtually impossible to eliminate fire ants from your property by spraying the nests with insecticide, but Fire Ant Control provides the most effective and affordable fire ant solution for homeowners and businesses throughout Southwest Florida and anywhere else our services are needed. From small residential lots to properties with thousands of acres, our guaranteed service is the most effective and affordable solution.
The potent, food-like granular bait we use contains an insect growth regulator that sterilizes the queen and is approved for use around people, pets and livestock. Careful application kills the ant colonies from the inside out. Worker ants ingest the bait and carry it down into the colony, causing the fire ants to die naturally. Extermination is not instantaneous but, once the queen has been sterilized, the entire colony will disappear, and no new ants will be born.
Because fire ants fly to mate, they will eventually return to your property. For this reason, we recommend treatment three times a year to prevent further fire ant colonization.
Understanding how many fire ants live in one colony can help you determine how to best exterminate them. Learn more about fire ants or get a free estimate for treatment by calling Fire Ant Control, LLC today at (239) 312-8200.