Red ants are very common in Indian homes. However, the red fire ants of a dangerous kind are now posing a threat to Europe! These insects are recognized as invasive species in the United States and Australia. Now they have identified in Sicily, Italy, and it’s concerning. Researchers regarding the potential for their expansion into other European regions point to substantial risks to the environment, public health, and the economy. These ants possess a potent stinging capability, damage crops, and are capable of infesting electrical equipment. Let us know more about these dangerous species. Can Red Ant Chutney Be Used in Treatment of COVID-19 Infection? CSIR, AYUSH Ministry Directed to Decide in 3 Months.

What Are Red Fire Ants? 

Solenopsis invicta, often referred to as red fire ants, are notorious invasive ants that originated in South America. They have been introduced to various parts of the world, causing ecological and economic problems wherever they establish colonies.

  • These ants are reddish-brown in colour, with a darker abdomen. They vary in size, with workers typically measuring between 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. They are known for their aggressive behaviour and sting. 
  • These ants are native to particularly Brazil and Argentina. They have spread to other parts of the world through human activities, primarily through the transportation of soil, plants, and other goods.
  • These ants form large colonies with multiple queens. These colonies can contain up to several hundred thousand individuals. The presence of multiple queens makes them resilient and difficult to control.
  • Red fire ants have very painful stings. When they perceive a threat, they will bite and then sting to inject venom. Their stings can cause intense pain, itching, and allergic reactions in some individuals. 
  • They are omnivores that feed on a wide range of insects, small vertebrates, seeds, fruits, and nectar. 
  • They are also known to scavenge on human food and are attracted to sugary substances. Demonic Insect? Horrifying Close-Up Photo of Ant's Face Captured By Wildlife Photographer is Pure Nightmare Fuel; See Viral Pic.
  • Red fire ants are considered one of the world's worst invasive species. They can outcompete native ants and disrupt local ecosystems. It can lead to a decline in native species and alter the composition of plant and animal communities.
  • By feeding on plants and attacking young seedlings, these ants can have significant economic consequences. Moreover, they also infest electrical equipment, causing short circuits and damage to machinery. The cost of controlling and mitigating their effects can be substantial.
  • Various methods are used to eradicate them including quarantine measures to prevent their spread. However, eradication efforts are often challenging due to the ants' colony structure. 

Researchers said they had identified 88 red fire ant nests spread over 5 hectares near the city of Syracuse in Sicily, Italy. The study suggested that wind could have transported flying queen ants from the northwest of Syracuse, where the commercial port is located.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 26, 2023 07:21 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website