Great Balls of Fire Ants

If you live in the muggy buggy South, you soon learn that insect repellant is as vital to survival as holy water is to Catholics. But, I have yet to find anything that repels wasps, hornets, bumblebees, and Satan’s Spawn…the mighty fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni).fireants These demons are native to South America, and they can have them back. This is another reason we need immigration laws, but that is a topic for those who like to write political rants.

For the uneducated, mainly those lucky enough to live in Northern stars, fire ants build huge dinner plate sized, 10-inch high mounds over night. These mounds house at a minimum, 8 zillion biting, stinging demons who hate everybody and everything. If it moves, they sting it.

Having co-existed with these demons for 17 years, I know that  woringk in my yard in anything less than a suit of armor is asking for trouble, but, but this week I ventured  into the broiling 90 plus degree heat to pull weeds and trim back dying plants in my swimsuit and sandals.  My reasoning was: This skimpy garb will allow me to take frequent dips in our pool which might spare me heat exhaustion, which by the way I have had twice this summer.

I was focused on cutting back dead plants, not where I was walking and my nearly bare foot stomped on a fire ant hill.  In a flash hundreds of ants were on my feet and legs. These ants can’t be brushed off your body because they have pinchers in the front that hold on to your skin while their business end, the back end, injects a powerful venom into your body.ant bites They also can’t be drowned.  When they attack, your skin feels as if it has been burned. Within seconds your skin is  red, inflamed and covered with pus filled pockets of venom. Yes, I know this is too much information, but I want you to feel my pain.

For minutes I was a screaming whirling dervish, swatting my legs, diving into the pool, and cursing all insects.

Solutions for the pain: benedryl, vinegar, and strong adult beverages. None work for very long.

Solutions for the ants: Flame throwers, napalm, agent Orange, DDT, and better insect immigration laws.


If you have had an encounter with Fire ants, post your experience. Share the pain.


7 thoughts on “Great Balls of Fire Ants

  1. Jeff King

    Loved your description of the attack. I have two suggestions: 1. Possibly your fire Ant Dance could be on a future SPECIAL episode of Dancing with the Stars, 2: As a last resort, consider evacuating the ‘hood and calling in a B-52 airstrike!!!


  2. Jacqueline Desjardins

    Oh yes, I had my fire ants experience when I moved to Baton Rouge at LSD campus. On summer day, I decided to walk on the grassland without any shoes. Suddenly I felt a high fever looking down my feet…what the heck of fire ants running over my feet. A friend of mine saw me struggling to get away. I was send to the infirmary because my fever went up. The nurse took care of them and warned me “never walking on the grasslands “ without shoes. Ever since, never walking on the grassy again.


  3. Nancy Kneipple

    Yikes! Sounds like a very unpleasant experience. I have no suggestions for avoiding the nasty fire ants and other biting, stinging, pesky insects except to relocate, relocate, relocate north of the Mason Dixon Line.

    Nancy K


  4. Sharon

    Living in Missouri, we don’t have fire ants. However, one winter we spent in Florida we went to
    a slough and were looking down to see the distance to lake okeechobee. I stood on a mound to
    see further, and something started to crawl on my ankles. Guess what, fire ant mound. We don’t
    have them, so didn’t know what they were until started biting. I moved off the mound and started
    brushing and dancing. Didn’t have bites as bad as you. Learned about fire ants though.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s