How Stinging Fire Ants Survive Floods After Hurricanes in Ocklawaha FL; Floating Ant Rafts

For billions of years ants have proven the test of time and their survival instincts and capabilities are actually remarkable. Where many of the members of the colony can be lost to natural disasters, the remaining members still carry on. Despite their obnoxious habits and their potential stings, ants can be rather impressive. More often than not ants infiltrate homes and businesses in search for food. Fire ants, being omnivorous, have a variety of options; they will eat proteins, insects, sugary substances, grains, and produce. Being that fire ants are one of the most common ants found across the United States, they are no stranger to Florida. With the recent hurricanes causing flooding and other travesties, some first responders, evacuees, and volunteers have witnessed just how these little critters are able survive the horrendous flooding. At this time, we at Pest911 would like to take the opportunity to share just how these clever fire ants survive floods.

Fire Ant Bites & Stings

Inflicting perceived threats with multiple stings that have venom delivered to their victims, fire ants are known for their aggression. Fire ants bite to get a good grip and then sting to inject a toxic venom. These ants create a distinctive mound of dirt with a tiny entrance, as these mounds are found scattered across the yard, making it a sure indicator they are around. Generally, fire ants prefer to remain outdoors and will only venture into buildings if the food is scarce or during severe climate changes.

How Do Fire Ants Survive Floods? By Forming Floating Rafts

Having as many as 250,000 worker ants alone, fire ants have an extensive colony as they live as social insects. They bond together quickly and efficiently when disaster strikes and with their vast numbers and swift action, they are able to accomplish their goals. For example, during a flood fire ants will band together to construct living rafts with the ability to float for days until they come across a tree or dry land. The moment water fills their nests the fire ant’s massive colonies spring into action. By latching on with their jaws or by the sticky pads under their legs, in less than two minutes the fire ants have banded together. The top center of the cluster that is the most protected is where the queen and youngest babies are. To prevent the ants sustaining the weight of colony at the bottom from drowning, the fire ants will continuously rotate from the bottom to the top until the colony makes it to safety.

Avoid Fire Ants Floating on Water

Ants will grab onto the first solid thing they can grasp, much like all animals, people, and pests treading water in dangerous circumstances. As a result, they will easily grab onto the people wading through the flooded waters and potentially sting repeatedly. If you are ever is in such a predicament it best to avoid the cluster. With Florida being subject to hurricanes, flooding is something that often soon follows. Being aware of some of the obstacles can help make a huge difference. It is important to prepare your family for such natural disasters for escaping the dangers and ensuring you stay together.

Fire Ant Control

If your home or business is experiencing an ant or other pest infestation, call in the professionals of Pest911 and let our experts get started on removing them.



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