Invasive Ant With Very Painful Sting Recently Discovered In Evansville, Indiana
Evansville has a new invasive species to be on the lookout for now.
Indiana has several invasive species that we have covered in the past. Some of these include the dreaded stink bug, the spotted lanternfly, spider crickets, wheel bugs, and even invasive weeds like poison hemlock. Now, we can add one more invasive species to the list here in Indiana, and more specifically, the Evansville area.
Asian Needle Ant Found In Evansville
The Asian Needle Ant is an invasive insect that is typically found in southern states. However last week, it was discovered the furthest north the Asian needle ant has ventured...in Evansville, Indiana.
In an article from Indy Star, Timothy Gibb, an entomologist at Purdue University, says:
It's the first ant in Indiana that has a stinger and venom sac. For many years, experts have assured Hoosiers there aren't any ants with stingers in the area, but that's not the case anymore.
Of all places for this ant to pop up in Indiana, it decides to visit Evansville?! That's comforting.
How Harmful Are Asian Needle Ants To Humans?
As previously mentioned, these ants have a stinger and a venom sac. That means there's a good chance that you could get stung by one if in very close proximity. According to NC State Entomology:
The Asian needle ant poses a triple threat to humans. First, its venomous sting is painful, and on average, somewhat more likely to cause an allergic reaction than the venom in a honey bee’s sting. As a result, people allergic to insect stings should take special care to avoid stings when in an Asian needle ant-infested area.
The second threat that the Asian Needle Ant poses to humans is its ability to infest homes. It is typically spotted in kitchens near food. This leads to the possibility of one stinging you. Finally, the third threat "is its potential to devastate a natural environment by excluding native ant species and termites, " according to NC State Entomology. These invasive insects have the ability to eliminate other native species that play essential roles in maintaining the status quo of the forest ecosystem.
How To Remove Asian Needle Ants From Your Property
If you spot an Asian Needle Ant in your home, you can simply remove them by sucking them up with a vacuum cleaner. This will help prevent getting stung. Also, make sure that you close up any food containers, as they have been known to be found in kitchens near food. You can also make your home less appealing to these ants by sealing up cracks and crevices, keeping your grass mowed, eliminating standing water areas, and removing dead trees from your property. According to The University of Kentucky, you can also use granular baits and target their nesting sites and other areas with high ant activity.
Asian Needle Ant photo by April Nobile / © AntWeb.org / CC-BY-SA-3.0 [No Changes Made]
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