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Are Fire Ants In Los Angeles Something To Worry About?

April 07, 2022

Fire ants in Los Angeles County are not only a nuisance, but they can cause injury to you and your family. This aggressive species of ant is extremely defensive of its habitat. Fire ants will attack anything that they believe is a threat to the colony or disturbs their mound. Their bites inject toxic venom that can be dangerous to humans.

To eliminate the risk of getting bitten or having a serious allergic reaction, contacting a trusted Los Angeles County pest control company is the solution. Trying to handle the infestation yourself may result in injury. This informative guide explains fire ants, their bites, and how HomeShield Pest Control can keep your Los Angeles County home pest-free.

close up of fire ants

What Do Fire Ants Look Like?

If you suspect you have a fire ant hill in your yard, you should know what fire ants look like so you can confirm. Like all other ants, fire ants have a body that's divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Fire ants have six legs and two antennae. They have an average length of about one-quarter of an inch.

Their red color and noticeable bumps between their thorax and abdomen make them different from other ant species. Once you are certain you have properly identified these pests, you should work with an exterminator like HomeShield Pest Control that is an expert in fire ant treatment in Los Angeles County.

How Dangerous Are Fire Ant Bites?

While fire ant bites are painful, for most people, they are relatively harmless. You are most likely to experience these bites on your feet and legs after stepping on a fire ant hill in your yard. Fire ant venom also tends to be the most potent in their active months during the summer season.

Most fire ant bites result in an immediate burning sensation followed by the formation of an itchy, red welt on the skin. After about four to six hours, the itching generally subsides, and a small white blister usually forms. Depending on individual reactions, the local area on the affected skin will either be large or small. In either case, symptoms should subside within 12 hours. To relieve itching, consider taking an over-the-counter antihistamine or apply a topical steroid like hydrocortisone. 

Is It Possible To Have An Allergic Reaction To Fire Ants?

Even though most people aren't severely impacted by fire ant bites, a very small percentage of the population may experience a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Elderly people, the very young, and those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk. Here are the most common warning signs of anaphylaxis:

  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • swelling of the throat and/or tongue
  • stomach cramps
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms after being exposed to fire ants, seek emergency medical attention immediately. The best and safest way to avoid fire ant bites is to have an exterminator completely eradicate all fire ants from your property.

Fire Ant Prevention Tips

Fire ants in Los Angeles County are a common problem for homeowners, and proper extermination is best left up to the experts. If you've identified fire ants on your property, until help arrives, avoid going barefoot outside and wear closed-toe shoes. Wear gloves whenever you are working on your lawn and garden. Shoes and gloves serve as barriers between you and the ants, preventing them from reaching your skin.

For the highest-quality fire ant treatment in Los Angeles County, trust the professionals at HomeShield Pest Control. Our courteous, experienced technicians have served happy customers for over ten years. We use eco-friendly products to help keep your family and the environment safe and healthy. To learn more about how we can rid your home of fire ants for good, give us a call today.

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