Ants !!!!

Originally Posted By: wcampbell
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Ok, ya’ll I have fire ants in my bedroom light switch. Why do they go into electrical switches? nachi_nachi.gif

This Ole House-Home Inspections

William A. Campbell TREC # 6372

Serving the Texas Coastal Bend

(361) 727-0602 (home)

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Originally Posted By: rstephens
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Hi William I did some research on your problem I don’t have to deal with fire ant’s in WV. Here is what I found and species identification is very important as to the control methods.

There are 3 general subspecies of fire ants that would live in your area.

1. The Southern fire ant- The abdomen (butt end) is brown to black and usually the head and part of the thorax(center section) are yellow or reddish in color. They usually occur in loose soil, although they may also nest in woodwork or masonry of houses they like most types of fire ants feed on protein based foods meats fats etc..

2 The fire ant- They are highly variable in color and according to what I read they are hard to distinguish from the above ant.

3 Red imported fire ant- This is the real aggressive ant that you hear about on the news all the time. They typically nest in the soil. Workers are a dark reddish brown in color and may be found in tow basic sizes, called major and minor workers, which are 1/15 to 1/4 inch long. They may have one queen or many queens and their colonies can have up to 500,000 workers. This species will nest inside homes especially in the winter under bathtubs that have access to the soil via bath trap if it is a slab home, next to hot water heaters or near other sources of warmth.

All that said how big are the ants? It is not real common for fire ants to nest inside a home unless the conditions are right (like most ant species)
You need to find out if there is a source of moisture and also that it indeed is fire ants there are a lot of ant species that look like fire ants.

DO NOT----spray them with a liquid chemical one you can get shocked and two you may even spread the colony making control harder. There are many over the counter baits you can buy and use for fire ants. I recommend using two types of baits 1 for sweet loving ants(most baits say what ants they control) and 1 for protein loving ants.

If it is the red imported fire ant I recommend calling a professional pest control operator as you can have a serious health risk to you and your family. I have seen the ants when I vacation in the south and well you know how easily agitated they are, and very aggressive

If you can get a bit of pesticide dust such as SEVEN around where they forage that may help they will track it inside the nest and help to kill them

Originally Posted By: jonofrey
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Russell, Will doesn’t want to kill the poor things. He just wants to know why they are there. nachi_sarcasm.gif

Inspection Nirvana!

We're NACHI. Get over it.

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Well, I have been bitten by fire ants in attics, and many other places in a house, since they are the #1 pest here in Fl. I have even seen them in the main service panel, so I’m not surprised they are in your wall switch. They seem to go about anywhere they want. Just find a bottle of fire ant killer, like Spectracide fire ant killer or Amdro. They will carry it back to their nest and hopefully all croak. Maybe they hang out at the electric switch cause they like to catch a buzz… icon_biggrin.gif


Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
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Are those ants grounded or not? If they are getting into your BX some might say they are grounded ants. icon_lol.gif

This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: rstephens
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If it is indeed fire ants which you probably know more than me as far as fire ants goes listen to blaine the bait will end your problem but dont stop using it just because you dont see them any more. Once you kill the colony back you have to make sure all are dead and they are completely gone . I feel sure William wants to kill them, atleast I would. icon_lol.gif

Originally Posted By: psabados
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Hi William

Dimmer switch? Multi-gang switches? Probably a lot of warmth and easy access to the exterior along the floor.

Just my guess


Originally Posted By: bfralin
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While I couldn't give a rational explaination on the fire ants I can say those texas fire ants are a different breed. I found out on more than one occassion in texas. I was stationed at Ft. Hood in the Army and got nailed more than once by those critters while on manuevers. Things are bigger in texas even the darn ants.


Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
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Fire Ants, Educationally known as “RIFA - Red Imported Fire Ants” commonly forage inside structures for food and moisture, particularly during hot dry spells like you frequently experience in South Texas.

If you're living there, you know fire ants when you see them.

RIFA are are attracted to electrical current and electrical impulses, but I'm not sure if anybody really knows why. I couldn't find anything that explained the phenomenon, just that it exists.

Ya gotta get them out of the electrical stuff and keep them out. Given enough time, moisture, and source material they'll fill your electric connection box and cause short circuits. People have suffered tens of thousands of dollars of damage due to the short circuits in AC's, and switching equipment.

Good luck. About all you can hope for is to keep them at bay and out of the house. I had some in Austin that climbed up to the second floor to get food (crumbs) that my daughters had left in their room.

Erby Crofutt
B4U Close Home Inspections
Georgetown, Kentucky

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Red Imported Fire Ants are small (workers are mostly 3-6 mm long), but highly aggressive and, unlike Australia?s many native stinging ants, inject a necrotising alkaloid venom when they sting. The stings result in painful, itchy and persistent pustules, and sometimes in severe allergic reactions. In the southeastern United States, where Imported Fire Ant was introduced about 70 years ago, about 5 million people are stung each year, 25,000 of them severely enough to consult a doctor.

When a fire ant mound is disturbed, workers boil to the surface, run up any legs in the vicinity, grab the victim?s skin in their mandibles and sting synchronously in response to the slightest movement. Although many native ants, like the green-headed or black ants or bull ants can deliver a painful sting, they are relatively large ants and lack the coordinated attacks of fire ants where dozens or even hundreds of workers sting in unison.

Hope this info helps. Here is a pic of this pain in the as*...

David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: rstephens
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We went to Florida about 2 years ago and I saw my first fire ant mound and well as curious as I am I decided to kick the top of the mound off and run wow I was amazed at the sheer number of ants it was like a small volcano. just had to ad that and no I did not get stung. Boy I am glad we don’t have those little buggers here in WV.