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10 Fascinating Facts About Red Ants

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Red ants, despite their name, are not red at all. They are light orange to brown and can grow to over one inch long. They are typically found living in large colonies with hundreds or even thousands of members, and they prefer to nest underground, often under logs or stones. Even though they may not seem like the most interesting creatures on the planet, there are some fascinating facts about tiny red ants in house that you probably never knew before reading this article.

While most ants are black or brown, red ants are a striking crimson color which can range from reddish-brown to black. These insects get their red hue from a pigment called hemocyanin, which is also found in blue crabs and some mollusks.

Some important information about red ants is given below-

 

Biological Name Solenopsis Invicta
Family Formicidae
Predators Dead Birds, Insects, Seeds, honeydew
Habitat Native to tropical areas of Central and South America
Size Polymorphic in nature, size varies from small or medium
Brood Tiny and Oval shaped eggs
Category Pests

 

Interesting Facts about Red Ants

Here are 10 interesting facts about these small red ants that will change your mind about them!

1) Red Ants and Black Ants

Red ants are constitutionally different from Black ants and their reasons to enter your house are entirely different.

  • Red ants are a variety of Fire ants but Black ants have 24 different varieties. Some of the prominent varieties of Black ants are- Carpenter Ants, Sugar Ants, and Odorous house ants.
  • Red Ants are generally measured even less than half an inch whereas Black ants measure between 1.5 mm to 2 inches.
  • Red ants prefer to inhabit sunny areas like open playgrounds, grassy lands, etc. whereas Black ants prefer building their homes under the rocks, cement cracks within the walls, and other places of shelter.

2) Fire Ants vs Red ants

Both these aggressive varieties of ants are stinging ants and inject dangerous venom; there are some differences too-

  1. Fire ants and red ants are two different species. Fire ants are Solenopsis Invicta, while red ants are Myrmica Rubra.
  2. Both fire ants and red ants are native to South America.
  3. Fire ants were introduced to the United States in the 1930s, while red ants have been in the country since the 1800s.
  4. Fire ants are more aggressive than red ants and attack other insects, animals, and humans if they feel threatened.

3) Types of Red Ants That Look Like Fire Ants

Did you know that red ants are a species of tropical fire ant? These tiny creatures are native to South America, but they’ve been introduced to other parts of the world, including the southern United States. They’re not called red ants because their bodies are red; instead, it’s their hair and even wings that give them this name. They also have stingers on their abdomens, just like honeybees!

Read in detail about Types of Ants

4) 4 Types of Red ants Look Similar to The Fire ants-

  • Black and Red carpenter ants- These reddish-brown ants after often misunderstood as Fire ants.
  • Tawny Crazy ants- Differ from fire ants in their size, color, movement patterns, and habitat.
  • Acrobat Ants-These ants are commonly found in your lawns and backyard and closely resemble Fire ants. They too have striking differences with Fire ants in Size, sting, and habitat choice.

5) What Are Red Ants With Wings?

Reproductive male and female red ants are one of the common species that develop wings and swarm when it is their mating time. Those female ant larvae that get better care become sexually mature and turn out to be the queen and the sexually mature male ants become the drones.

Both the queens and the drones develop wings to participate in a nuptial flight. Flying ants are generally referred to as Alates. It takes red ants several weeks to grow wings that last for only a few weeks. Drones shed their wings once the process ting is completed. Red ants with wings are mostly visible on sunny days from June to September.

6) Types of Red Ants Florida?

Fire ants are also fond of the weather in Florida as it receives sunshine for most of the year with slight humidity at times. These conditions are ideal for tiny red ants. 

Three types of ants are common in Florida-

  • Fire Ants
  • Pharaoh Ants
  • Crazy ants

Among these three varieties of tiny ants, only crazy ants do not bite humans or pets.

7) Do Red Ants Bite? 

These ants can bite and sting because of their mandibles and stingers. Their mandibles can pinch and their stingers are hollow and connected to a venom sac. These tiny creatures inject their poison into the prey through the stinger and are fatal to kill the prey.

Some ants can even sting twice! If they need to use their mandibles they do so by pinching their forelegs. Red ants tend to be aggressive, but most bites result in only a small red spot that goes away quickly. However, some people have an allergic reaction and must seek medical attention as soon as possible if this happens.

8) How Do Red Ants Bite Look Like?

Ant bikes are different from normal insect bites. The mark of a red ant bite looks red to purple. It is slightly elevated and resembles an agitated pimple. When red fire ants bite, the mark is similar to a bullseye, which slowly develops into an elevated puss-filled blister (light pink to white) with a dark red mark encircling the site of the bite. Red ants bite are dangerous as they can simultaneously bite and sting and their venom can cause serious reactions in some people.

9) How To Get Rid Of Red Ants?

You can apply any of these three homemade DIY solutions to get these nuisance pests-

  • Mix one part of dish soap and two parts of water in a spray bottle. Sprinkle over the mounds, common passages used by the ants, and moist spaces of your house. This is an effective method to kill these tiny ants.
  • These ants are fond of Cornmeal but die after eating them as they cannot digest it. So sprinkle cornmeal powder on their infestation sites.
  • Mix 1 spoonful of peanut butter, and 2 spoons of Borax with 1 spoonful of water. Spread this mixture on a piece of cardboard and keep it near the infestation sites. Red Ants die after eating Borax.
  • Pour boiling water down the hole that ants use to reach their homes. It can kill the colonies of ants.

10) What Are Big Red Ants?

Big Red ants are a species of Fire ants and can be prominently seen in your backyard. Also popularly called “Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA)”, this invasive species is endemic to South America.

Mostly found in warm and tropical climates but need water for their survival. They are commonly found in ponds, leaky pipes, and other moisture-rich places.

They are omnivorous and are fond of eating oily foods, other insects, and pet food. They migrate to your homes in search of food sources, and water through cracks in walls, and seek shelter in your home.

Key Takeaways

Red ants are amazing creatures that many people know very little about. These little creatures are found all over the world and play an important role in the ecosystem. They help in the decomposition and dispersing of the plant seeds.

Don’t be even too friendly with these tiny creatures, they can give you painful bites too. Use the above remedies to throw them out of your house to prevent damage. If these mild measures do not work, call your nearest pest control.

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