Fire Ant / Red Imported Fire Ant

Print page
Classification
Species category: Ant
Scientific name: Solenopsis geminata
Family: Formicidae

Description
The Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) has a copper brown head and darker, reddish-brown body. The average worker ant reaches 2-6mm in length and it has strong mandibles with 4-5 distinct teeth. It has a distinguishing 2-part pedicel and its body is covered in numerous erect hairs.

A native of South America, the RIFA is also found in India and pose a threat to the environment. 

Typically, they build their nest underground in mounds. The mounds are found in lawns or disrupting turf and have no obvious opening at the top. The RIFA is often discovered when someone inadvertently steps on a mound and they launch an attack. 

Behaviour
Often congregating in massive colonies, this pest is small but incredibly aggressive and considered one of the most hostile of all ant species. Under threat of attack, they will launch a coordinated attack on their victim.

Colonies can have single or multiple queens and they can reproduce at a very fast rate. Their diet is generally organic matter but they will also invade the home looking for sweet products or other protein-rich foods.

Risks
Most feared for the painful attack launched when threatened, the RIFA has a persistent sting that leaves a white pustule. Even though they bite, it’s the venom of the sting that causes the residual pain and pustule.

Under attack, they emit pheromones which prompt other members of the colony to launch a synchronized attack. A multiple attack is incredibly painful and some victims can suffer an allergic reaction.

The mounds can also be a nuisance, disrupting root growth and disturbing plant formation which can result in lower yield crops and patchy turf growth.

Australian Spider Beetle

Spider Beetle

Gregarious and nocturnal, Spider Beetles spend the day in...

See pest
White Footed Ant

White Footed Ant

A small, dull, and cloudy-black coloured ant which can...

See pest
Ghost Ant

Ghost Ant

Very small ants, the workers are 2mm long and have a pale,...

See pest
Black House Ant

Black House Ant

They have a preference for sugary liquids and will tend to...

See pest
Clothes Moth

Clothes Moth

They are typically 7–8 mm in length when the wings are...

See pest
Spider

Spider

Most spiders are harmless and play an important role in...

See pest

Brown-banded Cockroach

adults and nymphs have two brownish, broad bands across the...

See pest
Flea

Flea

Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm blooded...

See pest
Silverfish

Silverfish

Silverfish are nocturnal and secretive insects that are...

See pest
American Cockroach

American Cockroach

Gregarious and nocturnal, they spend the day hiding in...

See pest
Bed Bug

Bed Bugs

See pest
German Cockroach

German Cockroach

German cockroaches are faster and smaller than other...

See pest
Meat Ant

Odorous Garden Ant

Typically omnivores, they can eat proteins and will...

See pest
Pharaoh Ant

Pharaoh Ant

This small ant is yellow-brown in colour with...

See pest
Oriental Cockroach - Pest Control - Bayer

Oriental Cockroach

It is most commonly found around the ground-floor of...

See pest