The Red Imported Fire Ant vs. The Domestic Fire Ant

There’s a pretty big difference between the imported red fire ant and the domestic fire ant. in fact, you make look at them and not give a second thought on whether or not these two ants are cousins.

Southern Fire ant (domestic fire ant) mound.

top ten ants of Florida

We’ve talked about the red imported fire ant many times here. I already sustained three bites this year. They do leave a mark and they take many weeks to heal completely. On the other hand, the domestic southern fire ant is far less aggressive. The biggest inconvenience with these guys are their unsightly but small pyramid shaped mounds which tend to pop up throughout the lawn.  Not so much the case with the red imported fire ants whose mounds tend to be rather large. This pugnacious pest leaves more than just unsightly mounds as anyone who ever sustained a bite will tell you. In fact, these guys hit you with a two part combination punch, biting and stinging simultaneously. They really can pack a wallop.

I’ve yet to see a domestic fire ant infestation on the inside of a home. Again, not the case with the imported ones. They tend to trail from their mounds right into the surrounding structure. It’s also common for them to bring dirt or sand on the inside of a house during the winter months in order to get away from the cooler temperatures. The red imported fire ant tends to be most aggressive when protecting their nests and slightly less aggressive when they forage for food or water.

The red imported fire ant.

Red imported fire ant bites.

Fire ants
Fire ant bites

So there you have it; both are considered pests but the red imported fire ant is far worse than the domestic fire ant. That’s usually the way it goes with invasive species. The latest invader to add to the list is the Nile crocodile down in the everglades, but that’s another story for another time.

Fire Ant Mound

Fire ant mound found nesting alongside a joint in a slab of the driveway.

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