Why do Fire Ants Rush to the Surface when Their Nest is Disturbed?

Fire ants are an aggressive subset of ant species characterized by strong mandibles and extremely poisonous stings. Fire ants rush to the surface to protect their nests whenever they sense a disturbance due to their aggressive nature. There are ways of dealing with fire ant mounds, but use caution, because the ants won’t stop attacking until the threat is removed.

Why do fire ants protect their nest so aggressively?

Fire ants are ruthless by nature, and individual ants will stop at nothing to protect the nest, which is located under the mound. The nest is essential to protect because it contains the queen, eggs, and stored food. Nest placement also contributes to fire ants’ proactive nature. If a nest mound is in a visible location like an open field, there’s more of a chance of predators discovering the nest, so fire ants must always be on guard. Swarming all at once allows the ants to quickly overwhelm predators.

Fire ants rush to the surface even when small animals that pose no threat disturb their nest. While fire ants typically scavenge plant material, animals like squirrels and mice are a great concentrated source of nutrients for the ant colony.

Are fire ants native to the US?

Some species of fire ant are native to the US, but the most aggressive species, the red imported fire ant, originated from South America. The species was accidentally introduced to the US in the 1930s and continues to spread across the country to this day. This species has a ruthless survival instinct that aids them in competing against other ants for territory.

Is it dangerous to provoke a fire ant nest?

Fire ants stings are extremely powerful, and although only 1% of the population is hypersensitive to fire ant venom, you should avoid the ants because skin pustules caused by the stings are easily infected. The ants lock their jaws into skin, stinging around the bite by rotating in place.

Remember that fire ants rush out of their mounds primarily to quickly eliminate threats. Some people deal with the fire ants by fencing off nest mounds, while others rake the mounds to cause the ants to relocate their nest. For a more permanent solution, it’s best to call an experienced exterminator like those at Strategic Industries. Above all, use caution and stay safe!