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Beware of Fire Ants During Heavy Rains and Floods

fire ants flooding

AUBURN, Ala.— Tropical storm Cindy promises to bring heavy rains to Alabama and possibly flash flooding.  When floodwaters come, humans are not the only ones looking for dry ground. In areas infested with red imported fire ants, these ants and their colonies can present a potentially serious medical threat to people and animals during and after a flood. Flood Waters ... Read More »

Fire Ant Mounds Popping Up After Recent Rains

fire ant

AUBURN, Alabama—Thanks to recent rains, fire ant mounds are popping up in lawns across the state. An Alabama Extension entomologist says what appear to be new mounds have been around for probably several months at least. “Just because you don’t see fire ants doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” said Dr. Kathy Flanders, who is also an Auburn University entomology professor. “When it is ... Read More »

Protect Your Pasture from Fire Ants

AUBURN, Ala.—From the field to the pasture, fire ants cause issues for producers on many levels. Surprisingly, losses to equipment and associated labor costs are usually greater than losses to livestock. Alabama Extension Entomologist, Dr. Kathy Flanders, said the first step to treatment is determining the level of infestation and how to treat it. “First determine if it is necessary ... Read More »

Fire Ant Stings Can Be Deadly

SELMA, Ala.—An Alabama woman recently died of anaphylactic shock after sustaining numerous fire ant stings. Allergic reactions to fire ant bites are rare, but require immediate medical attention. Fire Ant Stings May Cause Anaphylactic Shock More than one fire ant sting can result in serious medical problems, even in people with normal immune systems. While most people can tolerate stings, ... Read More »

Controlling Fire Ants in Vegetable Gardens

Homeowners breaking ground in gardens this spring may find the plot is teeming with life coming out of the winter season—a different kind of life than they would like to see. Fire ants are common in Alabama, and common in yards, flowerbeds, playgrounds and gardens. Dr. Kathy Flanders, an Alabama Cooperative Extension Entomologist, said there are several approaches to fire ant ... Read More »

Beware — It’s the Zombie Ant Apocalypse!

AUBURN, Ala. — Movie theaters aren’t the only places featuring zombies throughout the month of October. Phorid flies are scouting out fire ant mounds, seeking to form armies of zombie ants. Some species of phorid flies, native to South America, naturally target fire ants as a laying ground for their eggs. Of the more than 4,000 species of phorid flies, nearly 20 ... Read More »

Fire Ants Riding Flood Waters

AUBURN, Ala. — Following a flood, humans and insects are generally forced from their homes in search of dry ground. In many Southern areas where Imported Red Fire Ants are common, the displacement of the insects can lead to potentially serious medical issues. Why Do Fire Ants Float? Floodwaters do not kill fire ants. Instead, these insects crawl out of their ... Read More »

Beating Fire Ants This Fall

Falling into fall sounds like a great idea — unless falling includes a run in with the Imported Fire Ant. Pest-proofing your home is a multi-step process that includes treating outdoor areas as well as indoor areas. The following five tips can help you and your family avoid unwanted visitors this fall. Fall is a great time to treat fire ... Read More »

Take Control of Fire Ants

Summer is here. Children are spending  more time outdoors enjoying the sun and their break from the classroom. Many parents and homeowners are concerned about how to clear their yard of insect pests, especially fire ants. Red and black imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri) are invasive species that not only bite, but also sting and inject venom that ... Read More »