These tiny reddish-brown or black ants, 1/16 to 1/4 inch long, will attack anything that disturbs their nest-a mound of debris that can be as large as 2 feet in diameter and 21/2 feet high, usually in a sunny spot. They occur in the South and Southwest.
Each ant can sting several times. The sting is fiery and the welt it causes may last a couple of days. Don’t scratch an itching welt; it may become infected. A few people may have an acute allergic reaction.
You can destroy much of a fire ant colony by drenching the mound with a solution of carbaryl, diazinon, or chlorpyrifos . Often, however, the queen escapes. When ants that were foraging return, they build a new nest, usually nearby.
Caution: Keep pets and children away from a drenched nest for several days.