What Are Those Big Red Ants In My Yard?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Ants are one of the most common insects in the world. They can be found in any environment where there is food and water. Ants come in many different shapes and sizes.

There are 1,000 species of ants in America alone! But what are those big red ants in my yard? There are many different types of ants, and their species can identify them. 

Continue reading to find out more about big red ants

What Are Those Big Red Ants in My Yard? – Types of Red Ants

Many red ants are, but the most commonly known is the fire ant. Fire ants get their name from their characteristic reddish-brown color. However, not all red ants are fire ants.

Most ants are brown and not red. The type of red ant you are seeing will depend on your location. Several different red ants can be found in North America, including the fire ant, the thief ant (Solenopsis molesta), and the crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis).

Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA)

big red ants

Red imported fire ants are the common red ants found in the United States. They are believed to have come over from South America in the 1930s, and they now infest 15 southeastern states.

These ants get their name from their ability to sting and cause a burning sensation. They can be identified by their reddish color and their large size (they can be up to 1/4 inch long).

Tropical fire ants

Group red ant on green leaf in nature at thailand.

Tropical fire ants are most commonly found in dry, coastal areas of Hawaii and the southern United States. They have a reddish-brown color, and their heads are larger and more square-shaped than other species.

They invaded new territories via shipping routes, so it’s important to be aware of them if you’re traveling or living in an area where they’ve been spotted.

Southern fire ants

west Texas fire ants

Southern fire ants are a variety of ants most commonly found in the southwestern United States. They get their name from their characteristic red color. They are also known as desert or California fire ants.

The red version of this ant prefers a desert-like climate and is smaller and looser in form than other varieties. They are most commonly encountered in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California arid regions.

Carpenter Ant Species

Carpenter Ant Species

Carpenter ants are a species of ant found in many different parts of the United States. They get their name because they often build their nests in wood, where they can cause significant damage.

Carpenter ants grow to be about five-eighths of an inch long and are easily distinguishable from other ants by their size and coloration. Most fire ants only grow as a quarter of an inch, so carpenter ants can easily be mistaken.

Another species that is often confused with carpenter ants are swarmers. Swarmers are the reproductive stage of an ant colony and look very similar to termites.

They can often be mistaken for termites because they are about the same size, and they both build their colonies in wooden structures and trees.

Tawny Crazy Ants

Tawny Crazy Ants

The tawny crazy ant is a new species of ant that has been making its way up the east coast of North America. They are called “crazy” ants because they are very active and move around quickly.

They are also known for their habit of taking over the territory of other ant colonies, including RIFA (red imported fire ants).

In recent years, tawny crazy ants have begun to outcompete RIFA colonies for resources, leading to the decline and possible extinction of RIFA in some areas.

Velvet Ants

Velvet Ants

The velvet ant is a wasp species, not a true ant. They get their common name from their body’s soft, velvety appearance. Despite their docile nature, their sting can be quite painful.

Which red ants are dangerous?

There are many types of ants, but three of the most common ones in the US are carpenter ants, tawny crazy ants, and red imported fire ants.

Carpenter ants are more interested in food than they are in a threat. They nest in wood and cause damage to homes and other structures. Tawny crazy ants can bite

Red imported fire ants are the most dangerous ant and can inflict a painful sting. Red ants are unnerving to many people because of their craziness. They are known as tawny crazy ants, and they come in to invade places you don’t expect, like pipes, car engines, and computers. 

Fire ants can be invasive species of ant notorious for their vicious behavior when threatened. If you see a lot of big red ants in your yard, there’s a good chance they’re fire ants.

These ants will often bite and sting their victims as a defense, and 1% of the population is hypersensitive to their venom.

Fire ants are dangerous because they can sting multiple times. People with not strong immune systems are most likely to experience severe reactions, including anaphylactic shock, which is a risk for healthy individuals.

Red ants can be harmful if they sting someone. If you are stung by a red ant, it is important to remove the stinger and then ice the area. If there are multiple stings, that person should seek medical help.

What is the difference between fire ants and red ants?

There are many different red ants, and the most well-known is the fire ant. Fire ants get their name from their ability to sting multiple times. The stings are painful and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Red ants vary in size, shape, and color depending on the species.

Fire ants and red ants are both types of ants, but there is a big difference between the two. For one, fire ants are known to be much more aggressive. It can cause a severe allergic reaction in 1% of people bitten.

Signs of a potentially fatal reaction include rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing. So if you see an anthill in your yard, it’s best to leave it alone!

Fire ants and red ants are both types of ants, but they have different characteristics. Fire ants are invasive and can cause allergic reactions in people. If you experience any allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

Why do I have a red fire ant problem?

You have ant problem due to the following reasons:

  • Ants are attracted to moisture and decaying wood, so that can be a major draw if you have any rotting wood near your house. 
  • Additionally, ants are very good at finding food, so if you have any spills or crumbs around your house, they will likely find it. 
  • Carpenter ants are one type of ant that can be particularly troublesome, as they damage the wood in your home as they search for food.

Where is the habitat of fire ants or carpenter ants?

There are many different types of ants, and they can be found in various places. Some species, like the carpenter ant, prefer to live indoors.

While others, like the fire ant, prefer to live outdoors. Outdoor ants typically nest in the ground underneath the soil or along fence lines and other outdoor structures.

How do you get rid of big red ants?

There are many different ways to get rid of ants, but most are ineffective or dangerous. Many people try to solve the problem by using home remedies like vinegar or diatomaceous earth. But these methods only work temporarily and can be harmful to pets and people.

The best way to get rid of ants is to call an exterminator. When ants scatter, they leave their eggs behind, and the infestation grows. An exterminator will be able to take care of the entire colony and prevent future infestations.

How do you prevent ant colony on the most home property?

You can do a few things to help prevent ants from invading your home or yard: 

  • Limit the moisture areas by fixing leaky faucets and pipes, and replace damaged wood with sound wood. 
  • Remove debris like fallen trees, downed tree limbs, and organic debris. These will provide a place for ants to nest and multiply.
  • Make sure that outside trash cans have tight-fitting lids. And are placed up off of the ground and away from the house. 
  • Inspect your walls and foundation for any cracks or crevices that could leak water into your living space. 
  • Another deterrent is to create a stone barrier between mulch and grass- this will help stop the ants from crossing over into your yard.
  • Caulk any spaces around exterior windows and doors where the ants could potentially enter.
  • Install door sweeps underneath exterior doors to stop the ants from crawling underneath.
  • Finally, make sure that all door and window screens are in good condition so that the ants cannot get inside.

What are the signs of an ant bite?

Fire ants are a type of ant known for their painful bite. The symptoms of a fire ant bite can vary depending on the person, but often include hives, itching, flushed or pale skin, low blood pressure, and constriction of the airways.

If a fire ant bites you, it is important to avoid contacting them. Seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen. 


In conclusion, if you have a mound of big red ants in your yard, be aware that they will protect their territory by attacking any intruder.

To identify these insects, look for the mound, bites, and stings that can cause pain and swelling. Please take steps to prevent them from coming back.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.