Ants are fascinating creatures, but they’re also a nuisance. Some species, like carpenter ants, can do severe damage to your home. Others can cause physical pain through bites or stings. Any ants in or around your home will have you exploring ant removal techniques. But which ants will damage your home, and which ones pose a physical threat? Read on to learn more about two types of ants with bites that can really hurt!
How To Recognize Fire Ants
European fire ants are a small but easily identifiable species. They are usually around ¼ inch in length with a telltale red colour. Some may have a spot of darker red shade on their heads. As their name suggests, European fire ants aren’t native to North America. That hasn’t stopped them from making themselves at home in Canada. This invasive species makes itself at home in cool, humid outdoor areas. You’ll find nests under rocks, trees or any other dark, moist place. However, their nests are pretty tricky to find because they don’t form mounds like some other ants. You will, however, notice them crawling in large quantities. Sitting on the ground near a fire ant nest will quickly alert you to their presence. Fire ants will swarm and attack potential threats. Call pest control services immediately if you see fire ants near your home. Truly Nolen is experienced in ant removal and year-round pest control. We’ll swiftly rid your property of these harmful creatures.
How To Identify Army Ants
Army ants are twice the size of fire ants and prefer warm, tropical climates. As such, you thankfully won’t find these terrifying insects charging through Ontario. They are dark brown or black, with large mandibles on their heads. Mandibles aren’t for chewing; army ants use these sharp pincers to shred their prey. Venom acids allow these ants to digest their victim during an attack. Their diet varies and consists of giant insects, eggs and small animals.
As if their dining habits weren’t enough nightmare fuel, their nesting patterns are equally terrifying. Army ants are nomadic, so they don’t build physical nests. Instead, they form a heap with their bodies known as a bivouac. The bivouac is constantly moving in search of food. These living nests may temporarily reside in hollow trees or underground dens.
How To Treat Ant Bites and Stings
Fire ants don’t bite; they repeatedly sting to protect their colony. Army ants use a venomous bite to defend their nest and attack prey. A strike from either of these types of ants can be pretty painful. Bites or stings will form itchy, red bumps at the site. You may experience burning or itching for hours or even days.
Though they’re uncomfortable, these injuries are rarely severe for humans. However, some may experience allergic reactions, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your body. Assess yourself for any sign of an allergy. Immediately seek medical care if you notice unusual swelling or signs of anaphylactic shock. The vast majority who do not suffer allergic reactions can treat stings conservatively. Ice the area, use anti-itch cream and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication as needed. If your pets have fallen victim to ants, get veterinary care to keep them comfortable. It’s important not to scratch the affected area. Itching can break the skin and potentially cause infection.
Fire ants and army ants are known for their painful bites and stings. Fortunately, army ants don’t like our cold Canadian climate. Fire ants, however, may be lurking nearby. If you notice ants of any kind around your home, contact us at Truly Nolen. We’ll identify and rid your home of these invasive pests.