Are you seeing mounds of soil across your lawn? If so, you might be looking at fire ant mounds! If the ant mounds have no center holes, show up after it rains, and reveal aggressive ants when disturbed, then you can conclude that they belong to fire ants. These ants are common in Tennessee, and identifying them correctly is crucial because they can be harmful. There are no center holes because they enter and leave their nest through underground tunnels. You'll also notice that fire ant mounds suddenly appear after it rains because they are making their way to the surface to rebuild it. When the mounds are disturbed, fire ants become aggressive and attack whatever they deem a threat!
1. The ant mounds have no center hole.
One of the most distinct features of a fire ant mound is the absence of a center hole. Fire ants create mounds to serve as the nest for their colony, building it by pushing up the soil as they go deeper into the ground. Regular ants create mounds with an entry hole in the middle where they can go in and out of their colony. With fire ants, there are no center holes because they enter and leave their nest through an entire network of underground tunnels. Fire ant mounds are also usually smaller than regular ant mounds, reaching just a few inches tall, though they can get as high as 18 inches or more in unmaintained areas.
The mounds help protect fire ants from predators like snakes, lizards, and birds.
2. The ant mounds pop up after it rains.
When the weather is too dry and warm, fire ants tend to stay and burrow deeper underground. They do this to look for water and food and nestle in an area with cooler temperatures. After it rains, you'll notice that ant mounds suddenly pop up on your lawn. This is not necessarily a sign of a worsening infestation. The mounds show up after rain because fire ants are making their way to the soil surface to avoid drowning in their tunnels that are now filling with water.
Heavy rainfall can also cause their mounds to collapse. After it rains, fire ants move quickly to rebuild their mounds to ensure they have consistent protection from predators. Many animals that attack fire ants are coming out after the rain searching for food, and fire ants need to be safe in their nest when they do.
3. The ants are aggressive after the mounds are disturbed.
If you accidentally disturb an ant mound on your lawn and the ants are aggressive, it's safe to say that it's a fire ant mound. Fire ants are aggressive when their mound is disturbed, quickly swarming the source they deem a threat and stinging repeatedly. Fire ant bites can be extremely painful and feel like your skin is being burned, hence their name. Then, they'll become inflamed and develop into blisters filled with fluid after a day. Some people are even allergic to the venom that fire ants inject and can suffer from more severe symptoms.
Call us today to sign up for our fire ant control service!
Dealing with fire ants yourself can be dangerous and is best left to the expertise of our experienced professionals at Picture Perfect Landscapes. We offer a fire ant control service that involves curative treatments to eliminate these pesky insects on your lawn. Once we have treated your lawn, our lawn care experts will create a plan to help improve it again. We do this because fire ant mounds can smother your grass and inhibit it from getting access to resources vital to its health. We offer this service to commercial and residential properties, as well as HOAs, in Memphis, Midtown Memphis, East Memphis, TN, and surrounding areas. Call us today at (901) 246-7656 to sign up for this service and enjoy a fire ant-free lawn!