Louisiana Fire Ants: What to Know

Adult Fire Ants

In Louisiana, fire ants are as much a staple as the iconic bayous. These reddish pests sting painfully and build noticeable mounds in yards and along sidewalks, disrupting daily life and local ecosystems.

Living alongside these industrious invaders means staying informed on effective strategies to identify, manage, and mitigate their impact.

But what exactly makes these small insects such formidable opponents to both people and nature? Learn how to keep your space ant-free and safeguard your community.

Key Takeaways

  • Red imported fire ants are an invasive species in Louisiana, known for their aggressive behavior and significant impact on ecosystems and agriculture.
  • Signs of fire ant infestations include visible, dome-shaped mounds in open areas and noticeable damages like chewed wires and disturbed soil.
  • You can eliminate fire ants using home remedies like boiling water and dish soap or chemical treatments with insecticides like Fipronil.
  • Preventing fire ants involves maintaining dry, less hospitable landscapes and implementing regular maintenance routines to deter ant colonization.
  • Consider professional pest control services for severe fire ant infestations, especially if the problem persists in populated areas of your yard.


Red imported fire ants in Louisiana are an invasive species known scientifically as Solenopsis invicta Buren. These tiny aggressors significantly impact local ecosystems and agriculture.

Characteristics and Behavior

In entomology, red fire ants have distinctive traits that differentiate them from native ant species. Here’s how you can identify them:

Key Traits

  • Aggressive: Defend their nests by stinging readily.
  • Resilient: Adapt and rebuild nests quickly.
  • Complex Colony: Single queen with worker and male ants.

Physical Description

  • Color: Reddish-brown, with some variations in shade.
  • Size: Workers range in size from 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) to ⅛ inch (3 mm). Queens are larger, reaching up to ¼ inch (6 mm) in length.

Body Structure

  • Workers: Have a segmented body with a distinct head, thorax, and abdomen. 
  • Queens: Have a similar body structure to workers but are noticeably larger.

Other characteristics

  • Lack of wings: Worker and soldier ants are wingless. Mating flights involve winged male and female ants.
  • Stinger: Workers have a stinger at the tip of their abdomen, injecting venom during stings.


Fire ant infestations become noticeable through distinct signs in the environment. So, identifying these signs early can help manage the problem before it escalates.

Visible Mounds and Nesting Sites

Fire ant mounds often appear in open-infested areas like lawns and are usually first observed during warm and sunny conditions. 

Here’s how to help distinguish fire ant mounds from those of other species, like crazy ants:

FeaturesFire Ant MoundsOther Ant Hills
ShapeDome-shaped, with no visible entrancesIrregular shape, visible entrances
SizeCan be up to 18 inches highTypically smaller
TextureSmooth, fine soilRough, large soil particles

Observable Damages

Fire ants cause painful stings and damage electrical equipment and crops. Here are some damage types and signs to look out for:

Types of DamageSigns of Fire Ant Activity
StructuralShorted circuits, chewed wires
AgriculturalDamaged crops, disturbed soil
HealthPainful stings with red welts


In Louisiana, fire ants can be problematic for homeowners like you, especially in urban areas. You can consider these natural remedies that may aid in controlling fire ant populations:

  • Boiling Water: Pouring boiling water over the mound is a direct but sometimes less effective method of killing some ants. Repeat application may be necessary.
  • Dish Soap and Water: Mix 1 part dish soap with 2 parts water and pour over the mound to suffocate the ants.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Spread food-grade diatomaceous earth around the mound to dehydrate and kill the ants.
  • Boric Acid: Create a mixture of sugar and boric acid as bait. They will carry it back to the ant colony, potentially eliminating the queen and other ants.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments involve using pesticides and insecticides designed for fire ant control. Here are several insecticides you can use to eliminate eggs, larvae, or new colonies:

InsecticidesApplication Technique
HydramethylnonBait pellets spread around the ant mound
FipronilGranular spread over and around the mound
BifenthrinLiquid drench or granular treatment
IndoxacarbBait stations placed near ant activity


Preventing fire ants in Louisiana involves maintaining a landscape less appealing to these pests and adhering to consistent monitoring routines.

Landscaping Tips

Your landscaping choices are crucial to deter fire ants. Here’s how you can make your yard less inviting:

  1. Keep grass trimmed to reduce shelter options for worker ants.
  2. Plant dense vegetation to shade the ground, as fire ants thrive in sunny spots.
  3. Avoid overwatering your lawn, as fire ants are drawn to moist environments.
  4. Use mulch sparingly, and keep it dry since it can provide a hospitable environment for ants.

Maintenance Tips

Regular monitoring and maintenance are critical components of successful pest control, especially in areas where fire ants are common. Here’s how you can nip infestations in the bud:

Maintenance TasksDetails
Inspect for new moundsCheck for fresh mounds, especially after rainfall.
Apply ant baitsUtilize Amdro or similar American pest management products.
Re-assess treatment efficacyEnsure that the bait has remained effective against the worker ants.


When dealing with fire ant problems in Louisiana, deciding whether to tackle the problem alone or call in the experts can be challenging. If fire ant mounds populate your yard and DIY pest control fails, you should consider professional pest control services.

Whether you’re in Baton Rouge or New Orleans, seeking expert help should be easy. For immediate intervention for a severe infestation, let Lajaunie’s ant control specialists tailor a solution that’s right for your home.

For more information about the areas we service, visit our location page.