Fire Ants in Florida: A Quick Guide

by | May 20, 2024 | Pests, Ants, Blog, Pest Control

Fire Ants in Florida

Florida’s warm, humid climate makes it an ideal home for fire ants, specifically the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta). These invasive insects, introduced from South America in the 1930s, are notorious for their aggressive behavior and painful stings.

Fire Ants in Florida - Hannan Environmental Services

Fire ants are not native to the United States. They were accidentally introduced from South America to the southern states in the 1930s, most likely through ships docking in Mobile, Alabama. From there, they spread rapidly across the southeastern United States, thriving in the region’s warm and humid conditions. Today, Florida is one of the states most heavily infested with these invasive insects.

Identifying Fire Ants

  • Size: 1/8 to 1/4 inch long
  • Color: Reddish-brown
  • Nests: Mounds up to 18 inches high, often in sunny, open areas

The Sting

One of the most notorious aspects of fire ants is their sting. When disturbed, fire ants swarm out of their mounds and sting, injecting a venom that causes a burning sensation and raised, pus-filled blisters. For some individuals, particularly those allergic to the venom, stings can lead to severe allergic reactions requiring medical attention.


  • Ecological: Disrupt local wildlife and ecosystems
  • Economic: Damages crops, electrical equipment, and cost millions in control and medical expenses

Control Methods

  • Baiting: Targets entire colonies
  • Mound Treatments: Immediate but localized effects
  • Biological Controls: Natural predators and diseases

Living with fire ants in Florida requires regular property inspections and appropriate treatments to manage their presence. Complete eradication is unlikely, staying proactive can minimize their impact.

Fire ants in Florida are a persistent and challenging problem. Their aggressive behavior, painful stings, and significant environmental and economic impacts make them a nasty pest. With proper management and ongoing research, it is possible to reduce their numbers and minimize their effects on everyday life.

If you have a fire ant problem, don’t hesitate to contact Hannan Environmental Services or click here for a FREE no-obligation quote today! You can also learn more about Hannan on Facebook.