Burning question: Should I add Fire Ant control?

Updated Aug 2, 2023
fire ant
One Fire Ant might not be a big deal but their mounds can contain thousands.

Are any of your clients struggling with Fire Ants? If you’re located in the South or the West, then these tiny pests might be a major problem.

Fire Ants are primarily found in the southeastern part of the country but have also been known to pop up in states like Texas, New Mexico, and California. These pests prefer warm climates and no matter where they are located will gravitate to sunny spots. They tend to prefer dry fields and will avoid shady or wet zones.

Unfortunately, Fire Ants can be a major nuisance pest in that they are quite aggressive and can produce a painful sting. One Fire Ant sting might not be a big deal—but Fire Ants tend to attack in droves. Fire Ants have a sting that contains alkaloid venom and can produce red bumps and white pustules on humans. But they can bite pets, too.

If your client has Fire Ant mounds in their backyard, this can be an effective add-on service.

What to know about Fire Ants

Fire Ants build mounds for their colonies—oftentimes in open fields but they’ll gladly use a backyard, too. These mounds have been known to grow as tall as 18 inches and can contain several hundred thousand ants. Colonies can actually grow large enough to encompass more than one property as these pests certainly aren’t paying attention to property borders.

The stressful thing about Fire Ants is that stepping on a mound can happen accidentally. If your client has children or pets playing in the yard, they might not even realize what they’re doing. And sometimes mounds aren’t large or noticeable—so even adults can inadvertently step on one.

This can lead to multiple stings—and if your client ends up being allergic, that could be a big deal. Oftentimes, people don’t realize they’re allergic to Fire Ants until they experience that first sting. The venom in a Fire Ant sting can cause breathing difficulty or throat swelling in those that are allergic.

Adding Fire Ant control

For those already in the lawn care or pest control business, adding Fire Ant control is an easy leap. You’ll already have the equipment needed to disperse the product and this service can easily be added on to a client visit while you’re there treating the lawn.

Of course, it’s important to train technicians how to apply these products safely and correctly. The last thing that you want is for them to be subject to stings during an application. This is the very reason why this service is desirable for a professional to perform. Although there are store-sold products on the market, a lot of your clients simply won’t want to mess around with Fire Ant mounds.

Fire Ants are also notoriously difficult to control, and it might be hard for a client to handle on their own. Because the colonies often extend far underground (and for great distances), it can be hard to kill them all off. Colonies frequently have multiple queens so that they can recover if one is killed.

That’s also why this can’t be a “once and done” type of service. You can continue to offer Fire Ant control each season as this is the type of pest that does keep coming back. Most lawn and landscaping companies offer two or three visits throughout the prime Fire Ant season (Spring through Fall) to ensure these pests are kept at bay. Pricing should be based upon lawn size.

Keeping your clients safe

Those who offer Fire Ant control say that it’s a relatively easy upsell—particularly for parents and pet owners who are looking to make their property safer. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you can’t use your backyard because of pests.

It boils down to the fact that a service like this can instill peace of mind, which is what most clients are seeking. For just a little bit more money, they can feel like their property is being protected from this annoying threat.

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