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Biting Ants in Bangor Main
Biting Red Ants - what are they?
Warding off Fire Ants
Ants smell like citronella
Fireants in Massachusetts?
Please Identify a strange biting ant.
California may spray a pesticide called fenoxycarb on the fire ants - what is it?
Okay first of all I love the site! - I am making my husband read your Fire ant page when he gets home....!! Great info and hope to try some of your products soon.....
We moved to Florida from Texas/Lousiana area.2 weeks ago ..Growing up in Texas Ive had my share of fire ant stings...But none compared to the little blackish red ants that attacked me last night!!! These stings are really painful and developed large "blister-like" bumps today...I proabaly have about 15 -20 good ones from legs to hands...We have treated the yard last week but they wont budge!! We are researching for a better treatment believe me ..We have a large yard and its quite sandy in this coastal town...Central-West Florida .The owner tells us they battled them over 5 years with little imporvement...Well we watered the yard last night and the ants did not like us at all!!!! Little Devils are quick!!! I have 2 questions: 

1) Do you know of any Home Remedies other than bleach for ant bites? Like baking soda or something household?? I read that you should not mess with the little blisters that pop up days after? They could lead to infection???

2) Why is sit that the dog doesnt seem to be bothered by them as we are?? 
She was out there with us but did not get stings or seem to be attacked??
Maybe time will change that??? Also does Mule Team Borax ward off ants???

Thanks for any help you can offer ......
Ant-attacked, Roanne H

Response:  talcum powder is the best repellant -  Kleen Kill Enzymes are the best/safest control.  The dog was lucky.  Have them read my fire ant section.  Steve.

We lived in Palm Harbor, Florida for over ten years and I am familiar with "Fire Ants".
However, we recently moved back to Illinois, Joliet to be exact, and lo and behold Red Ants.  Unlike the fire ant it does not mound.  It's colony is below ground or in dead wood [RR ties used as edging].   Also unlike the fire ant it doesn't attack and lives quite nicely next to the black ant colony.  They are all the same size as the Fire ant.  Strangely enough, while excavating I uncovered their nest and when I did I experienced a very strong smell of citronella.   At first I thought it was my imagination, but it happened more than
once and each time only with the red ants.   I doubt that they are Fire ants because of the hard freeze we experience here, but I
am curious to find out what they are and what causes the smell.  Can you help? 
I look forward to your reply.  Thanks

These are probably Large(r) Yellow (citronella) Ants.  They have been known to strip a tree of its leaves in one night.  These ants feed on honeydew from aphids and mealy bugs, which they attend.  Yellow ant workers and reroductives emit a lemon or citronella odor from the head when crushed.  If the abdomen is crushed, a strong formic acid odor is produced,  Occasionally they will invade buildings for cereal products.  Spray ants and flood nests with diluted Kleen Kill enzyme cleaners - this should quickly control them - try 4 oz. per quart of water  Steve. 

What will spraying with fenoxycarb do?

We will be improving the fire ant "chapter" next week - send them a note how to get it on your web site.  Fenoxycarb baits may well give you an epidemic of deformed frogs.  IGR's are suspected of causing the deformed frogs in the midwest.  But you may have already killed all of your frogs in California. - Steve

3/8/99 - Please identify a strange biting ant.

    I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on the kind of ants I am finding in and around my house.  I know it will be hard since I can't send you a picture but I will try to describe the critters for you.
    The ants have red heads with large pinchers (mandibles? I'm not a science person) and the rest of their bodies are black.  When irritated or biting they raise their rearends.  Most of the ones I am finding are around 3-4 cm, but from time to time I do see larger ones about 6 cm. At first I discounted them as the little "sugar ants" that I used to get at my old house until my mom was visiting, had one inside her sweatshirt and it bit/stung her leaving a welt the size of a half dollar!! For a tiny ant this is a huge welt!  I have found them outside in the dirt (no mounds) and in the house in the kitchen, bathroom, and closet. I also have noticed them congregare (10-15 or so) and just seem to sit still on a comforter that was on my bedroom floor, and in the clothes hamper.
    Since then I have also been bitten/stung on the finger and on the back of the thigh (seems they were in my bathrobe and bit me when I got up in the middle of the night to feed my baby).  The welts itch like mad!!
    We live on the central coast of California (San Luis Obispo County).  The ants don't seem to be attracted to anything in least not like the "sugar ants."  They also haven't formed trails.  Please help us identify these darned things and tell us, if you can, what they are attracted to and how to get rid of them.  I am particularily concerned because I have a newborn baby.  Thank you.


It sounds like an imported fire ant species.  Glenn Gordan has worked with them in Florida.  These are very rare and far more solitary ants then the "normal" fire ants that live in mounds.  These ants are very elongated and quick at times and hurt like crazy when they sting.  Their bite can cause severe tissue damage like a brown recluse spider bite.  Try ice packs when bit.  Occasionally they come together but usually they alone because they are very mean and aggressive.  I would suggest lightly dusting with talcum powder along the edges of the home, including the closets, bathroom and in the clothes hamper.  Also, cover the crib legs with talcum powder so they can not climb up.  Spray the tree bark outside with diluted Kleen Kill enzymes 4 ounces per quart or lightly dust the trees with talcum powder.  Steve