The floating nests of fire ants have been seen for ages but no one took them seriously. But after the flood in Houston in 2017 people are really scared of them.
Fire ants can adjust to situations and can quickly bounce back from tough environments. They can also float on water when needed. Once they feel their colony is unsafe, particularly their queen when there is a waterlog or flood nearby, they make a raft (the workers and the soldiers) by creating a mesh with their legs, making a safe platform for the queen and the larvae above them.
They make sure so that the water does not reach to the queen or the larvae and start navigating through the water surface. The strong knit weave of ants floating below the raft does not allow water to reach the surface. But fishes and other aquatic animals tend to eat the ants as soon as they find them floating underneath the water surface. If fire ants can’t find a sustainable land soon, the colony dies rapidly.
Yes, they can. Consider the fact that these fire ants that are floating are desperate to relocate their Queen and larvae to a safer place and if you come in between, they will be ready to sting you. If you are on their way of navigation, while they are floating (which is not a natural phenomenon for them), they will try to grab you as a support.
Movements from your part may disintegrate them from each other and hence the sting. It is advisable that whenever you see a floating fire ant nest, stay away from it and let it pass with no hindrances. Without any interference, if the colony lands near your home, check out our fire ant guides or call a fire ant exterminator for professional consultation.
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