Ants on a hand

The Danger with Fire Ants

Keeping pests under control is an everyday task. In addition to termites, one of the most annoying pests would have to be the ant – in particular, the Fire Ant. The presence of the red fire ant was first discovered in 2001, which caused a lot of uneasiness within the communities. Fire ants are not just dangerous to fauna and flora, but could potentially damage the cattle and crops industries. Originating in South America, it was later introduced to North America by mistake. In addition to being harmful to animals and plants, the fire ant also has the ability to damage electrical equipment.

Commonly, these ants are found around agricultural areas and electrical equipment. Their nests have no visible entry or exit points and are often domed in shape. Fire ants are described as being brown with a black/dark brown abdomen. Fire ants also tend to swarm and they are aggressive in their stinging. If you come across fire ants then don’t disturb them, go and call Bio Security (a government department specialising in protecting our economy, environment and people’s health against pests and disease) straight away so they can then initialize the eradication methods, alternatively contact your local pest control company in Brisbane for further advice.

Stings are painful and can last hours with burning and itching sensations. If you are bitten by the fire ants the symptoms can be as follows:

  • Swelling of the face, eyes and throat
  • Severe sweating or flushes
  • A blistered rash in the area that you were bitten
  • Chest pains and nausea
  • Breathing difficulties and faintness

It can also, in severe cases lead to unconsciousness and death. The first aid for treating fire ant stings:

  • For the relief of the bite, apply a cold compress
  • Wash the area gently with soap and water, but leave the blister intact
  • If you have an allergic reaction to insect bites then you will need to seek medical attention immediately.

A huge effort and progress has been made in the eradication of these pests. Australians are urged to be vigilant and report and suspected cases of fire ants. It is an everyday fight in the eradication of these pests throughout South East Queensland. If you are unsure whether or not they are fire ants then contact a pest inspection specialist in Brisbane to be sure. At least if it turns out not to be fire ants, you can set your mind at ease that you have done your part to keep our native flora and fauna safe from harm. It is important for all Australians to stay vigilant and report any sightings.