Fire ants aren't the only invasive ants in American homes and backyards anymore; you may also encounter electric ants. Here are five things you need to know about these invaders.
How can you identify them?
Electric ants are very small. The workers are usually between 1 and 2 mm (0.4 and 0.8 in) long. They are either light or golden brown on the majority of their bodies, but the hind segment of their bodies may be a darker color.
Where can you find them?
Electric ants are originally from South America, but they are an incredibly successful invasive species, and can now be found in many parts of the world. They've invaded everywhere from Australia to Africa to the United States, and when they invade, they displace about 95% of the ants native to the area. These ants can also displace spiders and other predators from the area, which helps them to spread.
Do they only live outdoors?
Sadly, electric ants aren't content to infest your backyard; they will also come inside your house. Indoors, electric ants like to live in sheltered places like wall voids and even bedding. They don't make their own shelters, so any hollow or sheltered area is fair game for these ants.
Do they bite?
As their name suggests, electric ants can give you a very painful bite. Their bite has been compared to the bite of the fire ant, and leads to pain, rashes, and itching for three or four days after the bite. Some people are also allergic to the ant's venom and will suffer severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, which can be fatal.
The scary part about these ants is that they tend to attack the eyes of creatures they consider a threat. This is a problem for pets like cats and dogs that are lower to the ground, as well as for small children that may play on the ground. These attacks may lead to blindness.
How can you kill them?
Electric ants can be killed with ant baits. You need to place these baits in areas where you have seen ant activity. The worker ants will bring the poisoned bait back to their queen to feed her, and when she dies, the colony will fail.
Electric ants have a painful bite, so you don't want them living in your home or garden. If you need help getting rid of them, contact a pest control company such as Desert Pest Control.