Texas is infamous for its fire ant population, but did you know that many are not native to the state?

News/Talk 95.1 & 790 KFYO logo
Get our free mobile app

According to the Texas Invasive Species Institute, the Red imported Fire Ants hitched a ride to America from Brazil around the 1930's, and have grown to inhabit over 260 million acres of land in southeastern U.S.

Common characteristics

These little fellas are organized into one of several types: workers, winged males, and queens.

Photo by Peter F. Wolf on Unsplash
Photo by Peter F. Wolf on Unsplash

It can be difficult to properly identify the imported fire ants due to the fact that the workers can grow as big as two or three times the size of the smaller ones.

Ecological threats

It's also these guys that you are probably seeing popping up all over your yard and ruining your lawn in the summer time. This is another reason why they pose an ecological threat and displace native fire ants in many cases.

Red Imported Fire Ants also are known to eat newly-hatched eggs from ground-nesting birds like the Bobwhite Quail, while swarming wandering lizards or other animals who wander too close to their nests.

Another fun little quirk? These mounds that we've all seen don't actually have an opening like other fire ants. Their colonies are made up of a network of tunnels that lay underneath these often two-and-a-half foot wide mounds.

Queen behavior

Red Imported Fire Ants are not locked into just one queen, they actually can have hundreds of queens per colony. Single queen colonies, monogyny, are more territorial than their polygynal counterparts and tend to be less sociable as well.

Also, it only takes one queen and 6 workers to begin a new colony, with each colony eventually reaching up to 40 million ants per acre...

U.S. Cities With the Most Bugs, Texas Has 3 of the Top 5

There is so much to love about the great state of Texas but one thing that can be annoying is all the bugs we deal with especially in the summer months.

Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

Texas is Crawling with Bed Bugs, One City Among The Most Infected in the U.S. in '23

Each year Orkin puts together their list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Destinations in the United States. Let's take a look and see which cities top the list.

More From News/Talk 95.1 & 790 KFYO