Type: Description
Pages: 9 | Words: 2540
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Red imported fire ants have a waist that is divided into two segments. The worker ants are in variety of sizes ranging between 2.4 to 6 mm. The mandibles of the ants have teeth of four distinctions. A 10 segment make up the antennae which at the end forms a club of two segments. Gaster of the ants has a sting at its end tip. The body color usually ranges from brown to red with black gaster. A unique feature of the red imported fire arms is that the worker ants has a head which is square shaped and is larger than the rest of the body (Tschinkel, 2006).

The gaster is the body part which holds the ant sting. These ants are found in colonies which are basically from the life of individual ants through the process of life cycle until death. Colony activities are carried out by the larvae, worker and sexual individual ants. There is a competition between different colonies. Each colony has the duty to produce sexual individuals who mate forming a new colony. Each colony has the duty of sustenance, scattered and to be paid among function and members of colony.

The fire ants that are found in Florida are the fire imported fire arms and the tropical ants which are less common. The rest of the ants species are distributed in the other sides of the states. A common unique feature is the scientific naming where by the red imported fire ants have in common is they have a different species name of invicta. RIFA has a worker ants of which the head is square shaped and is larger than other parts of the body. The work of the worker ant in the colony is to gather and mill seed. While native ant workers have a head and body parts of equal dimensions. The fire ants suppressed the population of the native ants during competition and being privileged by ecological commotion (Buhs, 2004).

The red imported fire arms are native species from Brazil in a state called Mato Grosso. Through mobile they were able to be introduced in the United State in 1940 in Alabama. Not yet clear the method and date of which they were introduced in the United States. In the 1940s and the 1950s there was the extensive multiply of the ants in the southeast states. Currently these ants are found in 13 south states from the west of Florida to North Carolina and parts of California. In July, 1985 the first invasion was in Jefferson County in Oklahoma. A survey carried out in 1985 found the ants colonies in counties of McCurtain, Marshall, and Bryan (Tschinkel, 2006).

Other colonies were seen in the edge of the southeastern states where the colonies were found. The red imported fire ants have, however, continued to spread to the west and north states. 40 counties in the north including the Tulsa, Payne and Blaine counties in 2007 showed the ant colony. Also colonies of the ants were seen in 2007 in the Jackson County which is in the west. Movement of the turf ant nursery stock results in the ants infestations. North states the ants are in small and isolated colonies in areas like the cities (Taber, 2000).

This red fire imported fire ants are insects. Insects are usually made up of three body parts head, thorax and abdomen. The head forms the body region in the anterior end. Head plays the role of holding the mouthparts, eyes and the antennae. Mouthparts are used in the feeding of the ants. Eyes play the role visualization enabling the ant to see. The antennae are the flexible parts in the head region. Antennae are used to detect stimulus factors coming from the environment. The thoracic region is used to hold the locomotive parts the wings and legs of the ant. Abdomen region is the hindmost region of the body which supports the other parts of the body. The ant has the pedicel which holds the gaster and the thoracic. The gaster is the belly which the abdomen round part. Another part is the mandibles which are the jaws used to form the mouthpart when working with other parts. RIFA have a club which is in two segments and is the point which the insect uses to sting human beings. The clubs are usually filled with venom. The ants have spiracles hole which used in the respiratory function.

Ants have the four stage life cycle which resembles other ant species. This life cycle involves the egg, larva, pupa and eventually adult. The fire ants life cycle is in two stages, namely, the individual lives and the colony life. The individual life involves the reproduction life cycle which the queen participates. Doze of eggs hatch after fertilization which is in period of 7 to 10 days. Immature hatched ants are under the care of the queen until they mature fully into adults. This period between hatching of the ants and adult is 20 to 25 days. The worker ants are obligated to take care of the queen by supplying food and care. In the red ant colonies, there is a number of the queen ants. 1500 eggs can be laid in a day by a well fed queen. Between the pupa and larvae stage, the larvae is involved in a four instars development. Adult ants remain in the colony until the conditions become undesirable. Queen ant has a life span of seven years while the worker ant can live up to five weeks (Buhs, 2004).

Worker ants in colony are involved in providing care and food to the queen. The queen ant has the duty of caring of the maturing ants until adulthood. Since the queen hatches more than 200 eggs in a day the population in the colony grows rapidly. Worker ants have the duty to build the chambers and galleries which are used as nurseries and existing area for matured ants. When population pressure is felt in a mound a few of the queens usually move out with group of workers to set up a new colony. The average diameter of the mound is two feet and 18 inches high. Underground temperatures are regulated by the mould. Ants rotate in the gallery with temperatures changes (Taber, 2000).

Queen ant plays the role of hatching eggs which are fertilized. The queen also has the role of taking care of the fertilized ants which have not yet reached the adult stage. When a mound experiences population pressure the queen ant moves to another place to form a colony. The worker ant provides care and food supply to the queen ant. Worker ants are the ones who build the colony nurseries to the developing ants and chambers for fully matured ants (Taber, 2000).

The last larval stage is where the ant can feed on solid particles. The fire ants are basically omnivorous which feed on other invertebrates and insect. Omnivorous feeding of the ants involves flesh and plants feed (Clifford, Lofgren, & Robert, 1986).

Red imported fire ants are omnivorous. These include feeding on other invertebrates. These are the caterpillars, ticks and chiggers insects which populations are under suppression by the fire ants (Clifford, Lofgren, & Robert, 1986).

The fire ants become dangerous when the mound is disturbed. They always attack by choosing the area of attack and are in a swarm number. They bend there abdomen to acquire a stinging position. Barbed mandibles are used to clamp onto the human skin then stinger stings the skin again and again. The venom sting usually has the feeling of a scorching spark. The amount of stings and the allergy degree usually determine the symptoms of the sting. After the stinging the skin swells, becomes red and itching (Koltz, 2008).

Due to the rapid growth of the fire ants population calls for awareness of control measures applied in controlling them. They adapt in a steady and natural manner in new habitants. Ant pressure group is accelerated during the winter season. Even with the new and modern technology no inhibiting measures have been established to control this growth. The ant infestation has also been supported by human activities. These activities involve the movement of the ant nursery into new habitants. Nursery movement results in set up of new ant colony in the new area (Miller, 2010).

Major threat of the red fire ants is the poisonous stings they usually have. This sting becomes harmful to the human beings health. Each sting consists of poisonous venom which is usually injected into the human system. The sting usually results in bluster made up of a white pustule. Venom consists of high concentrations of toxins which results to the itching and burning feeling. Permanent scars and even bacterial infections usually result from the broken pustules. Individual with towering allergic reaction the sting may result in passing away caused by the anaphylactic shock (Taber, 2000).

Control measures of this ant are extremely costly. In the US damaged caused by the red fire ants usually result in billions of dollars losses. Fire ants can invade in the agriculture fields, livestock and electrical equipments, public health and even the wildlife. Damage can be caused in the car electrical systems, water wells and computers. These effects become costly to control since a lot of money need to be spent in order to control the ants. Due to the rapid growth of the ant colonies the colony services as a threat. The ant large number makes the colony dominate a specific habitant. The fire ants have no enemies this makes the population grow without any negative threats.

Red fire ants become a threat to any ecological they occupy. Being omnivorous involves feeding on other insects and plants. These ants make the competition of both the flesh and plants to be high to other occupants of the ecology. Feeding on insects like ticks and caterpillars makes them a threat to the fed insect population. This ant becomes a threat to the population of many reptiles and birds since they attack the eggs and young ones of these species. As much as the red fire ants are pollinators they tend to feed on large number of plant seeds they are to pollinate.

Hot and dry season makes the red fire ant become a major threat to the agriculture. During this season ants usually feed on the vegetables. Also when the typical weather becomes cool they tend to seek humidity and warmth in the mulched flowers and the manure piles. This weather changes and the control measures the ants take result in agriculture damage. Red fire ants are pollinators in nature. However, they usually feed in large number of the seeds which they are supposed to disperse. This becomes an agricultural damage since they reduce the number of crops since they feed on the crop seeds (Miller, 2010).

Damage can be caused by the ants feeding on the agricultural insulation machinery. This usually results in short circuit and even fire in the agriculture fields. Ant feed on the switching mechanism of the equipments which are used to carry out agricultural activities. The mounds of the ants can be located near the utility and electrical units. Mounds are basically made up of soil which results in shorting problems to the utility and electrical units (Koltz, 2008).

When the red ants sting human beings the poisonous venom need to be treated. Money has to be spent in the looking for treatment. This becomes an economical damage to the person subjected to the ant sting. Agriculture sector has to incur a lot of financial expenses in the control of the ants. These measures help to reduce agricultural damages the ants cause. Also measures in controlling the ants in the household are quite expensive. This because during the rainy season red fire ants usually move near household for food supply and housing. Repairs in the damaged equipments which are usually damaged by the ants are expensive. These ants usually feed on utility and electrical units. It usually results in short circuit and power problems which require repairs to be able to function effectively (Koltz, 2008).

Red fire arms are usually resistant to nonchemical control measures. Digging up of the mound usually results in the ants moving to a new nest. This makes the control measure not effective since the ants will simply shift their location. Nonchemical which controls the ants to a certain extend is the use of hot water. When 3 gallons of hot water are poured in the ant mounds will be able to control 60% of the nest. Hot water usually makes the nest need retreatment measures which will control the ants. However, the hot water should be handled with a lot of care to avoid damage to the crops and burns to the user. Chemical measures applied to control ants need to be done few hours before sunrise or sunset (Eisner, Eisner, & Siegler, 2005).

These chemicals are also applied to the neighboring areas of the nests. Baits, granules, drenches and surface sprays are used to apply these chemicals to the mounds. Ants usually penetrate deep into the mounds, therefore, drenching becomes the most effective measure. Insecticide is diluted with water then applied using sprinkling can to the mounds by the drench method. The center of the mound is wetted with drench 2-3 quarts. After the soil has been soaked 1-2 gallons are drenched over the whole mounds. The remainder gallons are poured again to the center of the mounds. Using the product label directions the granules containing the insecticides are poured around the mounds. Then the mounds are watered after the chemical treatment (Eisner, Eisner, & Siegler, 2005).

Broadcast application serves as the major fire ants control measures. Large area that has been infested by the fire ants is treated using the insecticides baits. This the most effective control measures in areas having large number of the mould since it’s a quick treatment measure. Bait can be applied using the fall and spring broadcast in areas having public population. During summer the control movement applied is usually the drench or bait insecticide. Although control movement applied during hot climate are difficult (Eisner, Eisner, & Siegler, 2005).

Indoors movement is used to reduce the red fire ant found in the household. These measures involve removing cut food sources to the ants. Also use insecticides containing pyrethroids which have household labels. Use of bait movement in controlling fire ants indoors can be applied. It, however, usually serves as a threat since can cause increase addition of the ants in the house. Drench insecticides can be used to control long-term control measures of the fire ants in households (Eisner, Eisner, & Siegler, 2005).


The red imported fire ants are having fully dominated the native ants make them dominant the ecosystem. Fire ants are not harmful not unless the mounds are disturbed. The ant sting contains very dangerous venom which is harmful to human beings. Symptoms associated with the sting include itching, redness and pustules. Secondary bacterial infection and eventual death can result from the pustules caused by the ant’s sting. Red fire ants have both agricultural and economical damages. Red fire ants can have a lot of destruction in circuit and electrical units. A lot of money is spent in controlling ants (Eisner, Eisner, & Siegler, 2005).

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