Get rid of a fire ant
of fire ants,
European red ants
There are several species of red ants:
- red light ant or Solenopsis invicta,
- harvester or Pogonomyrmex barbatus,
- Amazon ant or Polyergus rufescens,
- European red ant or Myrmica Rubra.
Although it is less present than other species (such as carpenter ant or Pharaoh ant), the red ant has been increasingly invading different parts of Canada since 2000. For example, by the end of June 2010, it was already haunting western Quebec.
She’s a venomous insect. It attacks with swarms. Its bites and bites cause pain and allergic reactions in humans, but kill small animals.
She enters our homes in search of moisture and food. How do I get rid of her for good? Through a specialist exterminator of course! But how does he do it? And first of all, what does the insect itself look like? How does it reproduce? What can be done to prevent it from invading us?
Here are some professional answers to these different questions.
|Nom français||Fourmi de feu|
|Nom anglais||Red Imported Fire Ant|
|Nom latin||Solenopsis invicta|
Infestation of European red ants, what do they look like?
The European red ant is an insect of the order of hymenoptera and the family of formicids. It is brown to reddish. His head is voluminous. His body is covered in fine hair. Its antennae are composed of 12 articles and end with a club consisting of 4 articles.
Its abdominal petiole consists of 2 knot-shaped segments. The abdomen itself is shiny.
This insect has a stinger that resembles a hypodermic needle as well as a venom gland located at the end of its abdomen.
Queens are between 5 and 8 mm in length. Males are 5 mm tall. As for the workers, they measure between 3 and 5 mm.
Reproduction of European red ants
After mating, the young queen lays her first eggs. Once the larvae are removed from the eggs, they will turn into nymphs and then workers. Or they will overwinter in the larval stage and turn into future queens.
The queen or gyne will try to limit the number of future queens by emitting inhibitory hormones that will lead to the undernutrition of the larvae. If some continue to become future queens, they will be bitten by the workers. This will stop their royal development; and they will turn into workers.
As the colony grows, the inhibitory power of queens and workers will not affect all larvae; this will promote the appearance of males and females, with some of the males being laid by the workers by arrheninocetic parthenogenesis.
Each colony of European red ants may have several queens. An adult colony can hold up to 10,000 workers.
In this species of ants, as the colony grows, workers larger than those of the first generation appear.
The European red ant, its manners and nuisances
European red ant colonies live in:
- The woods,
- under stones.
It is at these locations that they erect their nests, forming small mounds visible in the form of bumps on the surface of the ground. European red ants are also found in the roots and under the barks of trees.
They feed on:
- animal prey,
- sweet juices like honeydew from aphids.
European red ant colonies are very aggressive. When a man or animal (including pets) inadvertently walks on their mound or crosses their path, European ants do not flee. On the contrary, they attack in swarms, sting and bite.
First, the European red ant bites and pinches the skin of its victim. Then, with her mouthpieces, she stings and lifts the victim’s skin, violently inserts her stinger into it, and then pours her venom into it; a secretion composed of formic acid.
In the majority of humans, the sting/bite causes:
These symptoms disappear 7 to 14 days later.
Some people develop allergic reactions:
- difficulty breathing,
- swelling of the throat,
- acceleration of heart rate,
- shock, etc.
In this case, you should see a doctor quickly.
While their bites and bites cause only pain in the majority of human beings, they are fatal for many small animals.
Tips for preventing this type of infestation
To prevent European red ants from infesting your home, you need to:
- Clean your home thoroughly. Keep it clean all the time.
- Take care of your garden.
- Don’t let food waste drag on the floor.
- Get your food supplies out of your pantry. Clean it and now store your food in tightly sealed containers.
- Before discarding food wrappers in the trash, rinse them thoroughly.
- Keep ants from climbing by putting sticky barriers around the table legs.
- Clean the crevices, openings and cracks in the structure of your buildings.
- Repair all your water leaks. Because ants like moisture.
If you are already invaded by colonies of European red ants, contact a professional exterminator. Do not forget that they attack during swarming, sting and bite. They are dangerous for allergy sufferers as well as small animals.
The means used by the professional exterminator
The exterminator will proceed in stages to get rid of European red ants:
The location of the nests of European red ants
Before definitively eliminating European red ants, the professional exterminator will first have to identify all their nests.
To find these nests, the exterminator will examine your home:
- The woods,
- The dining room,
- The kitchen,
- under the stones,
The exterminator can trap European red ants by offering them sweet foods, honey diluted with a little water for example, which will allow him to follow them to their nests.
The destruction of European red ants
As soon as the exterminator has located the nests, he will destroy them and exterminate all the ants. To do so, it can:
- Sprinkle all the nests of European red ants outside the house with boiling water,
- Use a powerful vacuum cleaner to suck in the European red ants inside the house before getting rid of the vacuum bag,
- Use borax-based insecticides or boric acid,
- Prepare lethal baits made from icing sugars and borax powder that it introduces into the cracks through which ants come and go.
In this case, the workers will consume this bait and then regurgitate it to the queen, the larvae and the other workers who will die in turn.
Here, the exterminator will pay attention to the dosage of his poisons. If it is too strong, the workers will die along the way and will not have time to involuntarily poison their colonies.
- Use a cleaning product to make their scented trails disappear.
Be careful, know how to choose a real professional exterminator. The latter:
- A license from the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development marked C5: Extermination.
- Has certified professional technicians in extermination.
- Works methodically: first, he quickly arrives at the scene of the massive attack. Then, it identifies the nests of European red ants, measures the importance of the epidemic, and offers you the appropriate treatment.
After the treatment, it informs you about the precautions to be taken to avoid the infestation of European red ant coloniesin the future.
- It uses unidentified vehicles and remains discreet in all interventions.
- Offers you a written guarantee on the effectiveness of its treatment against theinvasion of European red ant colonies.
- Knows how to select the right insecticides for your infestation, and makes it a safe use. Rest assured: if he has a permit from the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, he pays attention to this point.
And have you, colonies of European red ants ever besieged your home? How did you react? Share your experience with us in the comments below.