The Southern Fire ant workers vary from 1/8” to 1/4” long. They have an amber colored head and thorax with a mostly black abdomen.
Southern fire ants are native to the United States, but not to the Bay Area. They feed upon other insects, sweet foods, grease, protein, seeds and honeydew. They do not travel in trails.
These fire ants’ nests are flattened, irregular craters with one to many openings that are usually found in warm, sunny areas. Their colonies can have up to 10,000 individuals and multiple queens. Should the nest be disturbed, they may swarm out and inflict painful stings. Inside homes they can nest in wall voids, crawl spaces and under carpets.
Even though they are not common to this area, these pictures were taken at a San Lorenzo Little League field. They have also been found in Danville.The ants most likely arrived with a shipment of dirt from another part of the country. Fire ants are not a problem to the Bay Area mainly due to the aggressive Argentine ant and the fact that fire ants prefer warmer weather.
An exterior treatment with TERMIDOR of your home will quickly control this ant. Should they become a problem in the home, an inside treatment may be necessary.
For long term control every other month or quarterly service is needed.