In 1954, movies about “attacking ants” in such thrillers as Them! And The Naked Jungle were all the rage. Today in 2020, a real live version involving threatening ants is beginning to cause mayhem in Kentucky.
Known as the Asian needle ant, this species is thought to have invaded Kentucky in 2013. It is about twice as large as a typical odorous house ant and carries a stinger that packs a powerful punch.
Entomologists from the University of Kentucky had this to say regarding the ant’s stinging prowess:
“Their sting is painful, and people report that they have a burning sensation paired with a pins-and-needles feeling for a couple of weeks after being stung,” said Jonathan Larson, extension entomologist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Most people do not need to seek medical treatment if they are stung by an Asian needle ant, unless they have a known allergy to other insect stings, such as from a bee or a wasp. The literature suggests that the venom from this ant may be more hazardous than bee and wasp stings.”
Fortunately, Asian needle ants, unlike their sci-fi counterparts in Hollywood classics, are a bit docile in temperament. They do not tend to be aggressive and only sting when they feel threatened.
However, the chances of a person getting stung greatly increase when the Asian needle ant moves indoors. Therefore conservationists are saying it’s wise for homeowners to take extra precautions to make sure their homes are made less inviting to the marauding ants, which they can do “by sealing up cracks and crevices, keeping their grass mowed, eliminating standing water areas and removing dead trees from their property.”
To read the entire article on the University of Kentucky website, click here.