Fire Ant

Hymenoptera: Solenopsis sp.


Fire ants have medium red to black body coloration. Worker fire ants are 2-6 mm and queens can be up to 25 mm long. They are a nuisance pest in vegetable gardens and make structural damage to buildings.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of the fire ant resembles that of most ant species having four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The young fire ant queen lays 20 eggs per day. Egg-laying rates increase with the age and body weight of the queen to 500 eggs per day. The eggs hatch within a week and larvae emerge. In a couple of weeks, the larvae become pupae, and adults emerge in one to two weeks. Unfertilized eggs develop into winged males, and fertilized eggs develop into either sterile adult workers or winged reproductive alates.


Fire ants can damage various vegetables such as okra. They feed on the reproductive part of flowers leading the plant to stop reproducing. In dry conditions, fire ants feed on the stems of tender plants and damage them. Moreover, they are nuisance pests in the buildings. They build tunnels by transferring the particles of soil to the surface. It can lead to structural damage once it happens near walls, driveways, or pathways. Also, they are stinging pests and cause painful burns.