PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (WRIC) — Invasive Red Fire Ants have been identified in Prince George, and residents are warned to be on the lookout for signs of their colonies.

The ants can be identified, of course, by their red color, but they differ from other species of native ants in that they vary wildly in size from ant to ant. If you suspect you have an invasive fire ant colony on your property, you’re urged to call the Virginia Department of Agriculture at (804) 786-3515.

This invasive fire ant species is under federal quarantine — meaning there’s assistance available for people who find the pests on their land.

The ants can also be dangerous, so if you do believe you have invasive fire ants on your property, you’re warned not to disturb the mound or attempt a home remedy of the infestation. That’s because the ants will swarm if their mound is disturbed.

A person with a number of invasive fire ant stings on their arm. (Courtesy of Virginia State University)

The sting of the ant gives a “brief, intense burning sensation and may form pustules,” but is not deadly. However, anyone with an allergy to bee stings or other insect bites should be careful, as the ants’ sting could cause a similar reaction.