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SOUTHERN FIRE ANT

Southern fire ants are native to the United States, but not to the Bay Area. Workers vary from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch long. They have an amber colored head and thorax with a mostly black abdomen.

Fire ants feed upon other insects, sweet foods, grease, protein, seeds and honeydew. They do not travel in trails.

Nests are flattened, irregular craters with one to many openings. Usually found in warm, sunny areas. Fire ant 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 probably came in with a shipment of dirt. Fire ants are not a problem to the Bay Area because of the aggressive argentine ant and fire ants prefer warmer weather. They have also been found in Danville.

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Photo Gallery


Worker

Worker Carrying Food

Nest

 

 
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