Red Imported Fire Ants have arrived

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Red Imported Fire Ants have arrived and are moving into more populated areas.

“In North Carolina there is literally hundreds of different species of ants,” says entomologist Scott McNeely with McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem. McNeely says for several years now fire ants have been prevalent in the southern Triad like Davidson County and High Point but now are moving north. “When we get into Greensboro or the edge of Winston-Salem we don’t see the high numbers but we are seeing more of the fire ants.”

The biggest concern with the small pest is their bite, especially if you are allergic, young or elderly. The venom could potentially cause anaphylactic shock or even death if untreated.

Fire ants are red, reddish-brown or black in color and their mounds go deep in the ground.  The best way to identify fire ants is by what they eat. Unlike native ants they like fatty foods and can carry off items like a potato chip.