Floating fire ants, like most ant species, assist in the natural decomposition process by devouring dead animals, dead insects, and other decaying organic debris. Because of how fire ants defend themselves, they’ve become food for other critters.
Want to know more about the floating fire ants? well, let us now find out!
What Are Floating Fire Ants?
All that is required to describe floating fire ants is to describe them as such. In the southern United States during hurricane season, flooding is a common occurrence, and fire ants have adapted to it.
From June through the end of November, this is a common cause for concern. Flooding is to be expected in the southern United States when hurricanes and tropical storms surge and dump a lot of rain.
Fire ants have developed a variety of adaptations to help them survive and repopulate their colonies in the event of a flood. They are protected against dehydration by a waxy covering on the surface of their exoskeleton.
A closer look reveals that this coating has a dual purpose. Besides protecting the fire ants from drying out, the waxy covering also dispels water, enhancing buoyancy. When floodwaters reach a fire ant colony, the ants connect their legs together and hold on for dear life, becoming a living floating raft.
It is imperative to avoid these floating rafts of poison at all costs. These rafts are made up of entire colonies of fire ants, and you definitely don’t want to bump into one of them.
In comparison, a fire ant colony can have up to 7 million ants in one queen. If you add in two queens, the total number of ants might reach 40 million. Getting into a fight with this many floating fire ants would be devastating and potentially death.
You may want to engage an exterminator if you’re dealing with a floating fire ant problem in your home during flood season.
Otherwise, it’s best to keep everyone in your household and your pets away from any kind of contact with any kind of floating fire ants. Research is currently underway to develop a way to eradicate these floating colonies of fire ants on a vast scale, but no breakthroughs have been made.
For those who have the means, you can use soapy water to sink the floating raft and eradicate as much as 90% of the fire ant colony by safely dispersing it.
The ants will lose their buoyancy and hold if dish soap is used. Soapy water has also been shown to impact other insects, such as water striders, so this isn’t a realistic method for getting rid of all floating fire ants.
What Are Fire Ants?
The invasive ant species known as fire ants have taken over most of the United States. Each year, they become more prevalent since they are well-adapted to live and grow wherever they go.
If you don’t get rid of fire ants as soon as you see them, they can swiftly take over your home and the surrounding region. They are ants that burrow into the ground and build elaborate nests that include tunnels and underground rooms.
When they build their nests, they collect soil from the ground and raise it to the surface, where it forms a mound up to 7-12 inches high and 2 feet in circumference. This mound is a signal that fire ants are encroaching on your property.
It’s not uncommon for fire ants to build nests in masonry or wooden outside of structures, including your home. It’s only when they’re looking for food and water that you’ll find these ants in your home.
Fire ants are feared for their ferociousness and armed prowess. Unlike other ants, fire ant venom is very poisonous and can be lethal if injected. The venom is delivered via their stingers.
A coordinated attack is used by fire ants to retaliate when their nest is disturbed, whether it is done so knowingly or unknowingly. Their jaws will grip on to the invader and sting until they are dislodged or the intruder dies.
Read also: Ant Killer That is Safe for Pets
How To Protect Against Floating Fire Ants?
It doesn’t matter what kind of land they come across—a river bank or an unsuspecting human. To ensure the safety of your entire family, including your pets, avoid these floating colonies at all costs. Fire ants will cling to the skin of a victim, whether human or animal, in order to avoid being stung by the latter’s scorching stings.
The following safety recommendations should be followed when flooding sends fire ants into the air:
- Don’t come into direct touch with floating fire ants, no matter how small the object. Once they get going, you’ll be unable to stop them.
- Rubber boats, long sleeves and pants, and cuffed gloves should be worn during water or land cleanups to protect your hands and body. Reduce the amount of skin that is vulnerable to stings.
- Cleaning up flood-ravaged areas can be dangerous. Fire ants may take refuge among flood debris until the water recedes and new colonies are established.
- To keep ants from crawling up the handles of your shovels and other tools while you’re working, use talcum powder to cover the handles.
- Always be on the lookout for fire ants when returning to a flooded building or home.
Read also: How to Get Rid of Ants in Car
A floating fire ant infestation is a horrible thing in any situation, but it’s extremely bad when the ants are submerged in water and in full survivor mode. Fire ant rafts represent a serious threat to your family’s safety and the protection of your pets.
You and your loved ones could be saved if you learn all you can about floating fire ants. What do you think of this pest? let us know in the comments section below.