Kw-logo-smaller

Wild Things: Beware of Fire Ants

Fire ants, named for their fiery, burning sting, will attack anything from pets to humans, if disturbed. Now a growing concern in some states in America these ants are on the move!

Where to Find Them

Originally from South America these feisty pests are currently running rampant throughout American states in the south and southeast because they have no natural enemies. Fire ant mounds have been found everywhere from open pastures to vegetable gardens. They have also been known to invade air conditioners and traffic lights because of their attraction to electrical current.

The Attack

Fire ants feed on branches, tree sap, ripe fruit and pests including cutworms and maggots. But if you get in their way - like crop pickers and agricultural workers sometimes do - then you're considered a meal too.
When a fire ant mound is disturbed the result is a mass swarming. The fire ants will defend their home by repeatedly stinging the intruder and latching on with their barbed jaws. The hot sting that follows is caused by the venom that burns the skin and leaves tiny blisters as battle scars. Swarms of fire ants have attacked small mammals, livestock, ground-dwelling birds, house pets and humans.

Freaky Facts
Did you know fire ants hate water? That's why after a heavy rain, mounds seem to appear overnight. The mounds are raised to keep the eggs and larvae out of the water zone.

In 1997 a contest was held to find the two largest active fire ant mounds in Texas, one in the city and one in the country. The winners were both given $1000. Not bad cash just for finding a bunch of ants!

Related Stories:

  • Bite of the Black Widow
  • Sting of the Hornet
  • Invasion of the Bot Fly
  • Get More Fun Facts from The Lab
  • 5 Comments

    latest videos

    F981765525015

    Worse Than Being Attacked by Fire Ants? Vote!

    • Swallowing a fly.
    • Being trapped in quicksand.
    • Being chased by a swarm of bees.
    • Missing the next episode of Survivor.

    related stories

    Micro_bug-bites-micro
    While most bug bites and stings are just a tiny bit painful, itchy or annoying, there are some in...
    With the flick Ant Bully, out, we thought we'd take a closer look at this industrious insect.
    Does the thought of biting into a crunchy grasshopper make your mouth water? Maybe a roasted beet...

    Random in the forums

    strawberry155
    strawberry155 posted in Food:
    Wyd
    reply less than a minute
    strawberry155
    strawberry155 posted in Food:
    Hey
    reply 1 minute
    strawberry155
    strawberry155 posted in Food:
    Me to
    reply 2 minutes
    xordinaryangelx
    Amsterdam
    reply 43 minutes
    astucieuse331
    astucieuse331 posted in General:
    Oh, no, it's not really my favorite. I'd say like my 5th favorite song on the list.. if that even makes sense. My two favorite ones are Acute and React, and for one that deserves to be nominated the catchiest I'm definitely voting on Negative Positive by Hatsune Miku. Yeah, Vocaloid is awesome and I find it great that you're listening to it! :-D
    reply about 1 hour

    play online games