Latest Floods Could Make Louisiana Fire Ants Bigger and Meaner
As if the current climate wasn't stressful enough, the latest round of storms is causing more flooding in Louisiana. Unfortunately, that's not the caboose on this bad news train. That flooding is causing lots trouble for our ant population in Louisiana, which in turn will make it harder on us.
According to a new study from LSU, the flooding will cause fire ants to develop bigger heads, nastier bites, and more aggressive behavior. The results of a study conducted right here in the Bayou State show that because of the physiological changes that occur in ants when they "raft" (cling to each other in water to create a floating mass of ants) during rising flood waters they deliver more venom during a bite resulting in a much more painful sting.
The study revealed that during the stresses of rafting, a fire ant's venom volume rises as much as 75% and they became much more aggressive. That means the next time you encounter fire ants, you're more likely to bit more often, and it will hurt more. Yay, spring!