Learning About Natural Pest Control

Learning About Natural Pest Control

Fire Ants & Allergies: What Every Homeowner Needs To Know

by Norah Slieker

Nobody wants pests in their homes. But sometimes, pests can pose life-threatening health risks, including fire ants. As many as 3% of adults have life-threatening allergies to insect venom from hornet bees, yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants.

While the other insects cause most of the life-threatening reactions, imported fire ants are becoming an increasingly significant health hazard in the southern states where more than 260 acres are infested by them. Imported fire ants are on the list of invasive species and are native to South America. Here's what you need to know about allergic reactions to fire ants and how to prevent them from infesting your home.

Allergy Symptoms

Stings from fire ants can be more difficult to assess than stings from other insects. The reason for this is because of the size differences between fire ants and other stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets. Therefore, it's important to know what the symptoms are of an allergic reaction to stings from fire ants and just assume that a sting from a fire ant was the possible cause of the reaction, especially if you live in an area that is infested with fire ants.

Many people will experience pain, redness, and swelling at the location of the sting. This is to be considered a mild reaction; however, it's important to keep a watchful eye in case symptoms worsen and the allergic reaction becomes life-threatening.

Here are the life-threatening allergic reaction symptoms to watch for:

  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty swallowing
  • tongue swelling
  • abdominal distress, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • immediate low blood pressure
  • dizziness
  • cardiac arrest
  • difficulty breathing
  • unconsciousness

A woman from Georgia died after having a severe allergic reaction to the sting from a teeny fire ant.

Prevent Fire Ants from Invading Your Home

Now that you have an understanding of how severe a sting from a tiny ant can be, it's important to understand that it is difficult to determine who will experience life-threatening reactions to the venom from fire ants. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent them from settling into your home. This is the type of situation that is perfectly described in the adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Here are a few tips to help you reduce the risks of fire ants moving into your home: 

  • keep home free of crumbs and spills
  • store food in tightly sealed containers
  • do not let pet food remain in dishes
  • repair leaks, because fire ants are attracted to moisture
  • do not bring outdoor plants inside
  • do not take soil inside your house
  • do not use mulch directly outside your house
  • rinse toys and other items that have been outside before taking them indoors

Eliminate Fire Ants from Your Home

If fire ants are already in your home or your attempts of prevention fail, you'll need to send them packing. This can be difficult if they've taken up residency inside your walls. It's a good idea to hire a pest control specialist to help. He or she will inject insecticides into the wall cavities of your home where fire ants like to nest.

However, the most important part of the elimination process is finding the point(s) of entry into your home. You can expect the pest control specialist to crawl around your home's perimeter looking for signs of entry points, such as cracks in the foundation and/or exterior walls.

The entry points will have to be sealed. This, of course, depends on the type of building material that is being used as an entry point. However, most pest control specialists are able to seal cracks and crevices that are used by fire ants and other pests.

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About Me

Learning About Natural Pest Control

Hey everyone, my name is Silas. With two allergy prone children, I had to find natural ways to keep bugs from infiltrating our home. In this area, bugs tend to come into the house in droves as soon as the outdoor temperatures drop. When that happens, I'm forced to treat common areas to kill the bugs and keep them from growing in number. I want to share all of the natural pest control techniques I used to keep bugs out of our house. I will also talk about gentle commercial options available for heavy infestations. I hope you will visit my site on a regular basis to learn more.