Physical Characteristics

California fire ant range from 1/8 to 1/4 inches long, with queens slightly larger than 1/4 inches. The head and thorax are yellowish-red to brown and the abdomen, or gaster, is black.

California Fire Ant

California Fire Ant, aka Southern Fire Ant


California fire ants will nest in the ground, but also outdoors in close proximity to a kitchen, in wood, soil, masonry, at the base of trees or shrubs, and in clumps of grass. They can gain access to indoor areas through HVAC systems, power inputs, and outlets and pipes. These ants may also nest in breaker panels, electrical junctions, and water boxes, as they seem attracted to electricity. Fire ants typically prefer a high-protein diet, but will feed on almost everything – dead animals, insects, plant material, honeydew. They have been known to eat electrical and phone lines after seeking out the wire insulation, they also are known to dine on soiled clothing. The California fire ant is highly aggressive, and will make unprovoked attacks on docile human targets – the elderly, infants – and pets, inflicting injury.


Southern fire ants should be handled by a trained, licensed pest management professional,  because of the aggressive and dangerous nature of these ants. Your Clark technician will know the best course of action. In this case, it’s advisable to call in a professional rather than try to handle the problem yourself. Schedule your fire ant inspection today.

Latin Name: Solenopsis xyloni