Q:

What are tiny red ants?

A:

Quick Answer

Visible tiny red ants are most likely one of the roughly 200 species of fire ants belonging to the genus 'Solenopsis.' The small nuisance ants typically range from 1.6 to 5.0 millimeters in length.

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Fire ants native to North America are most prevalent in the southern United States, from Florida to California and as far north as Oklahoma and Virginia. Preferring warm, sunny conditions, the ants are most common in and around dry fields, while avoiding woods and other shady areas.

Fire ants are very active and aggressive, and sting intruding animals and humans repeatedly. These ant stings contain alkaloid venom and are highly irritating to human skin, causing red bumps and an intense burning sensation.

Often visible after rainfall, nests appear in the ground as mounds roughly 18 centimeters high and 61 centimeters in diameter. Colonies may have up to 250,000 workers. Worker ants typically live up to 180 days, while queens may live two to six years.

The insects are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of plant and animal food sources. The fire ant's diet includes earthworms, insects, ticks, spiders, eggs, honeydew and other greasy foods, sweets and seeds. The ants also feast on carrion including dead birds, rodents and calves.

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Related Questions

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    What are big red ants called?

    A:

    Big red ants, especially endemic in Texas, are known as red harvester ants. The ants are closer to red or brown in color than are black ants. They measure about 1/2 to 1/4 inch long. Twenty-two species of red harvester ants exist.

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    How strong are ants?

    A:

    Pound for pound one of the strongest members of the animal kingdom, ants are able to carry anywhere from 10 to 50 times their body weight. While strength varies among each of the 12,000 species, at the maximum, the feat is comparable to a human hauling a truck.

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    What attracts ants?

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    Food and water attract ants. Different ant species prefer different types of food, but most of them eat organic matter or nectar. This means that anything from household and garden waste to spilled soda can attract ants.

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    Do ants have noses?

    A:

    Ants do not have noses, but they do have two long protrusions known as antennae on their heads that function in a similar way. Antennae allow ants to sense their local environment and to communicate with other members of the colony, and these instruments are always moving.

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