Fire Ants

Understanding Fire Ants in the Coachella Valley

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Not only can a red imported fire ant (RIFA) infestation cause damage to your property, but they have a dangerous and aggressive sting. If you or a member of your family is allergic to the venom of a fire ant, it can be fatal.

Fire ant infestations can spread quickly, but our Coachella Valley ant control experts can help. Contact us today and let us treat ant infestations for good.

Physical description

Red imported fire ants range from 1/8th – 3/8 of an inch and are very reddish in color. They have bent 10-segmented antennae and six legs. They have an aggressive and dangerous sting and often sting multiple times.


Red imported fire ants make their nests in large mounds of earth near the foundations of a building or landscaped areas. These mounds are typically 18 inches tall and 2 feet in diameter. RIFAs are attracted to well-watered areas and will enter houses in search of food. They can get into your home through HVAC systems, air conditioning units, and cracks in exterior surfaces. Disturbing a fire ant’s nest can result in painful and possibly lethal stinging.

Life cycle

phase which lasts 12-14 days. In this phase, the ant larvae are wormlike, lacking eyes and legs. They rely on other ants to feed them. After several molting stages, the larvae turn into pupae. Pupae develop into adult fire ants in about 16 days.

Fertilized fire ant eggs become female workers that go out in search of food, feed other ants, and sometimes become queens themselves. Unfertilized fire ant eggs become male drones and mates for the queen. The life of an individual ant depends on its role in the colony. Male drones live for a few weeks, but a queen can live for up to 30 years. For this reason, fire ant colonies can persist and grow for many years if left untreated – and can contain thousands to millions of ants. Fire ant colonies can have multiple queens.

Fire ant mounds grow as the colony does, and a queen can bring some of her workers to establish new colonies near the initial mound.

Rudy’s Termite & Pest Control is your Coachella Valley expert in identifying and treating fire ant infestations. Let us help you today!

Interaction with humans

Red imported fire ants pose a potentially severe health risk to you and your family. They bite with strong jaws, and then sting. The venom in this sting may cause an allergic reaction in some people involving pain, irritation, and pustules that pose an infection risk. In some cases, a strong allergic reaction can happen. This takes the form of severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling, and slurred speech. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Fire ants can be very aggressive if threatened and will sting humans and animals.

Potential dangers or risks

Calling professionals to deal with a red imported fire ant infestation as soon as possible is important. Ant colonies can be very large. Through pheromones, ants leave signals to other members of their colony that act as a roadmap through your home to food and water sources.

Fire ants can aggressively sting people or animals that disturb their mounds. Trying to deal with an infestation yourself can be dangerous.

Rudy’s Termite & Pest Control is your Coachella Valley expert in effectively and safely dealing with fire ant infestations in your home or business. Let us help you today!