Fire ants are dangerous and devious attackers, are very easily provoked and can leave you crying for your mother. Watch them swarm with the slightest touch.
The thing that amazes me most about fire ants is the speed with which they respond and swarm to the most minimal contact with their nests.
The slightest touch leads to hundreds, if not thousands of ants swarming in a chaotic mass in search of the intruder.
If you are unfortunate enough to step on a nest it won’t take but a few short seconds before the ants are climbing up your leg. As the narrator indicates, they are devious attackers. They will not bite you immediately, but instead will wait a few seconds until their number is substantial before they all begin biting together and repeatedly.
He also reports that nests often contain two queens and, like honeybees, will split, with part of the colony moving off to start a new colony. These relocating ants are especially defensive and quick to bite. Below is a second video of a fire ant colony on the move.
The column of ants shown in the video was over 60 feet long and took an hour to move through the yard it was filmed in.
Fortunately, invasive fire ants are not found throughout the country. They are presently limited primarily to the southern states and the far West Coast.
If you are attacked by fire ants, basic treatment includes elevating the area you’ve been bitten to reduce swelling, washing thoroughly and gently with soap and water, and applying a cold compress.
Don’t scratch the bitten area or pop the small blisters that form. Be conscious of any possible allergic reactions you may have and seek medical treatment if necessary. There are also topical treatments you can apply to help reduce swelling and itching. Click here for a brief overview of basic treatment for fire ant bites.