These ants get their common name from their ability to inflict especially painful bites and stings. The two most important species are the southern fire ant (solenopsis xyloni McCook) and the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren). The southern fire ant is a native species and ranges from California to southern South Carolina to northern Florida. The red imported fire ant is from central Brazil and is found in the southeastern United States from Virginia through Texas.
Habits. Fire ants are typically grouond-nesting ants. However the southern fire ant will sometimes nest in the wood or masonry of buildings especially in areas near the sil or warmth such as fireplace hearths. When the southern fire ant nest outside near a house it is usually in the vicinity of the kitchen. Outside nests are usually situated under stones or other covering objects or in the soil at the base of a tree or shrub or in clumps of grass.