While ants are not native to Hawaii, they do seem to pop up everywhere. If you don’t take the right precautions, your home runs the risk of being invaded by the worst species of all: fire ants. Yes, unfortunately, there are fire ants in Honolulu.
What are little fire ants?
While there are many kinds of ants around Honolulu, one of the most dangerous is the little fire ant.
Little fire ants are reddish-brown with a square-shaped head. While they prefer shady territory, like in soil or under a canopy of trees, they will live in drier, bright environments if they must. They’re very hearty, which is one of the reasons getting rid of them can be a challenge.
Other ants are dark brown or yellow, but you may mistake big-headed ants for little fire ants as they are similar in color. However, as you might guess from their name, the main difference is that big-headed ants have much larger heads compared to their bodies.
If these ants have invaded your home, it’s best to contact a professional for removal. They sting, can kill small animals, and may destroy any fruits or vegetables you grow. Their sting is notoriously painful and can last for extended periods of time.
How Little Fire Ants Invade Your Home
Little fire ants behave as other ants do: when they invade a home or office, they’re typically looking for food, water, and shelter.
Things that may draw fire ants into a building are:
- Spilled sugary drinks
- Water leaks from dripping pipes
- Food left out in a pet’s bowl
- Dead organic material, like other bugs
Little fire ants may not sting immediately, but if they feel they are being attacked, they will. This can make them dangerous to try to clean up on your own. They may infest your clothes, pantry, bed, or other furniture.
They enter a building through even the tiniest cracks, ones so small that you may not see them easily. They’ll get in through open windows, doors, or pipes. Even if you only see a few in your kitchen, you may have a much larger problem just beneath the surface.
The two rooms that ants are most commonly found are the kitchen and the bathroom. Little fire ants in Hawaii aren’t just looking for food when they invade a building. Often they’re seeking a water source for their colony.
How to Prevent a Little Fire Ant Infestation
Because little fire ants can slip in through even the tiniest cracks of a building, preventing an infestation will never be 100% successful.
However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of your home or office being invaded:
- Clean up any food crumbs immediately
- Do not leave pet food out
- Take care of any leaks ASAP
- Store food that’s easily accessible, like overly ripe fruit, sugar, cereal, and oats in containers with airtight lids
- Regularly clean trash receptacles (yes, even inside)
- Keep your house clean overall
While doing the above can drastically reduce your chance of getting little fire ants inside your home, nothing can eliminate the possibility entirely.
With that in mind, do regular inspections around and inside your property for little fire ants. At the very first sign, it’s best to call in a professional to take care of the situation before it develops further.
Here at Sandwich Isle Pest Control, we have the experience necessary to remove little fire ants quickly and painlessly. Call us now or use the contact form on this page to get an ant inspection at your home or business before you have a full infestation!