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Fort Smith Exterminator Discusses Intriguing Facts about Fire Ants

Posted on Aug 26, 2013

Imported fire ants are just one of the many critters that we here at Extermco Termite & Pest Control encounter in our travels. The aggressive, South American natives first surfaced in our state during the late 1950s. The initial outbreak took place in El Dorado, which is now considered to be a fire ant quarantined county. Afterward, the creatures continued to spread, eventually becoming problematic for much of Arkansas’ human and animal populations alike. With that said, here’s a look at a few imported fire ant facts that you may just find intriguing:

Engineering Feats

Despite their 1/8 to ¼-inch size, imported fire ants are prolific engineers. In some areas, their homes can reach depths of 10-feet and often touch the water table. That’s how they are able to access water in drought prone areas. In addition, it is not uncommon for the exposed areas to reach heights and widths of 15-inches. Given that each mound may be home to more than 5,000 ants at a time, it’s no wonder that they reach that size.

Curiously enough, when you look at their homes, it appears that there is no entrance or exit. However, don’t let that fool you. The small openings are actually located at the end of very long, underground tunnels that radiate out from the mound’s center. Over the years, some of those entrance/exit tunnels have been known to exceed 200 feet in length.  


Travel Expertise

In addition to being prolific engineers, imported fire ants are also quite adept at traveling. In order to get from one place to another, they have been known to hitch rides on various items, including the wind and living rafts. Take the winged queens for example. They are capable of flying distances in excess of 10 miles. Those that manage to form their own living rafts can feasibly reach distances much farther than that.


To learn more about Arkansas’ imported fire ant population and how to control them,contact us at (479) 783-1822. Our experienced Fort Smith pest control pros are well versed in fire ant control. We can also help eliminate other insects from your property, including carpenter ants, scorpions, spiders and roaches.

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