Where Are Red Ants From?

During the 1940s, the Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) began to spread rapidly throughout the Southeast. It has become an important economic and agricultural pest in southeastern states.

Typically, the ant colony will consist of thousands of workers, each 2.4 to 6 mm in length. They will live in nests under objects such as wood, sidewalks, and concrete driveways. The nest may also contain several queens and pupae.

They feed on seeds, young plants, and small insects. They also sting several times. They can be quite painful and cause a burning sensation when they sting. They will feed on the honeydew produced by aphids.

They will swarm during the summer. They will move up in galleries and lay eggs. The queen can produce up to 1,500 eggs a day.

They can be extremely destructive. They can cause serious structural damage to buildings, electrical equipment, and electrical lines. They can also clog irrigation lines and interfere with native wildlife. They are also known to bite.

Their numbers will vary depending on the temperature and moisture conditions in the area. During hot, dry summers, their survival will be reduced.

Red Imported Fire Ants are believed to have come into the United States via the port of Mobile, Alabama, in the 1930s. They may have travelled in ballast tanks.

Currently, red ants are found in 13 states. They can travel over long distances on newly mated queens.

They are known to cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in the U.S. Every year. Their sting can cause scarring.