Each year around this time, people and places around the desert switch seasonal grasses. Bermuda grass is allowed to go dormant and replaced with a more temperate variety that will thrive in the winter.
Reseeding takes place after the summertime grasses are prepared for dormancy in a process known as “scalping”, where machines cut grass down to the earth. Scalping creates a lot of dust and causes allergies for a lot of people this time of year, but there’s another annoying factor many don’t know about – fire ants.
During this time, fire ant become a special problem for residential properties bordering golf courses. The problem occurs due to a number of factors:
- Before scalping, turf is deprived of watering and fire ants migrate to available water sources – often moving to nearby yards and residences.
- During scalping, debris is pushed to the edges of golf courses, often close to nearby residences. With their previous homes destroyed, fire ants move to greener pastures nearby – namely your yard and household!
- After seeding is complete, extra water is then applied daily to promote the germination and health of the new grasses. Remaining fire ants love this, and the added water leads to a new population explosion.
This is all a problem because fire ants are dangerous, and the last thing you want is for them to be living on your property, and foraging for food inside your home.
Fire ants are so dangerous compared to other species of ants because they use their very strong mandibles to bite and hold onto their victims, then use a stinger on the end of their abdomen to sting and inject their venom. You will know immediately that you’ve been stung due to an instant, extremely painful burning sensation. Fire ants are aggressive and tend to swarm in large numbers. Several stings can kill a small animal and their venom is strong enough to cause an allergic response in humans, potentially causing anaphylactic shock or sepsis in humans and curious pets.
Severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening, with symptoms such as hives, gut cramping, nausea or diarrhea, trouble breathing, dizziness, and swelling of the throat and tongue. If you’re attacked, apply ice to the stung area, raise the part of your body that was stung to control swelling, and take an antihistamine to relieve itching. Contact your doctor if needed.
Besides health risks, fire ants can cause damage to household plants, and are attracted (and can cause damage) to electrical equipment such as air conditioners and circuit breakers. They can also contaminate food in your house.
Luckily, your family can be protected from fire ants! The trained technicians at Rudy’s Termite & Pest Control can treat your property with wet/dry granule products and bait solution that will take care of these dangerous invaders. Call Rudy’s at (760)775-7216 to keep your family safe and enjoy peace of mind on your property.