Fire Ant


Actual Size: ⅛” to ⅜”

Characteristics: Blackish to red in color. Fire ants have a stinger in their abdomen.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Fire ants build mounds in almost any soil, favoring structural foundations and landscaping in open sunny areas.

Fire Ant Habits:

  • Will bite and then use their stinger, located on their abdomen.
  • Disturbing a fire ant nest can result in an attack of hundreds of worker fire ants.
  • Colonies build above-ground mounds that provide excellent conditions to raise their young.

Fire Ants in El Paso TX

The sting from a fire ant produces a burning sensation, hence the name “fire ant.” Not only are their stings painful, but a single fire ant can also sting and bite its victim multiple times. When a fire ant mound is disturbed, workers immediately make their way to the surface. Attacks by fire ants are organized as hundreds of workers sting at the same time. Feeding on any plant or animal material, fire ants also eat insects. Additionally, fire ants are attracted to the electricity and have been known to destroy anything from AC units and water well equipment to outdoor lighting, creating a fire hazard.

Fire Ant Habitat

Attracted to moist damp environments, fire ants construct nests near rivers, well-watered lawns and landscapes, and potted plants. Fire ants build mounds that allow them to regulate temperature and moisture conditions in the colony. Mounds work as an above-ground nursery and help to provide excellent temperature and moisture conditions. Fire ant mounds are frequently located in open sunny areas, such as lawns, pastures, parks, and fields. Omnivores, fire ants feed on both plant and animal resources. When searching for food, aggressive fire ants access homes gaps and cracks in foundations, gaps under doors, windows, or walls.

Fire Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The painful sting fire ants deliver can be a serious threat to humans and animals. For many people, the burning sensation disappears in a few minutes. However, hive-like bumps occur at the sting site within 30 minutes and pimples with yellow fluid occur within 24 hours after being stung. Colony-building can damage plants, lawns, and outdoor electrical fixtures. Due to the serious threat posed to people and their pets, if a mound is spotted, it is best to leave it alone. If you suspect a fire ant mound on your property, contact a professional ant exterminator.