Red fire ants are on the rise – they arrived in the United States from South America in the early 1930s and have now been spotted in Europe.
They are among the most invasive species in the world – and Britain could be next on the invasion list.
It is unlikely that the welcome mat will be used because, as one very brave animal expert reveals, they attack aggressively in flocks and do not hesitate to sting multiple times.
The fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is tiny, but packs a punch, biting into skin with its mandibles and then stabbing once it’s attached.
Coyote Peterson filmed himself running barefoot through a nest of fire ants for the YouTube channel Brave Wilderness to demonstrate what they are capable of. His feet were stabbed around 500 times during the attack.
Red fire ants are on the rise – they arrived in the United States from South America in the early 1930s and have now been spotted in Europe
Coyote Peterson filmed himself running barefoot through a nest full of fire ants for the YouTube channel Brave Wilderness to demonstrate what they are capable of
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Coyote, who is from Ohio, explains that fire ants inject a neurotoxic venom that “immediately leaves its victim feeling as if they had stepped into a pool of lava.”
The fire ant is “one of the most dangerous small biological landmines that exist on the entire planet,” he says, before putting his foot in the line of fire.
The video is not easy to watch as Coyote screams and grunts in pain as the fire ants race around his ankles and toes. And there’s a tender area between the toes that he says is “the worst” for pain.
He describes the pain as “so intense,” adding, “Fire ants are incredibly powerful. They’re destroying my feet.”
Within a few minutes the stitches begin to “swell”.
It doesn’t take long before Coyote reaches the limit of his endurance and brushes off the ants with a feather duster.
Things are getting hot: Coyote invades the fire ant’s “stinging zone”.
Fire ants attack aggressively in swarms and do not hesitate to sting multiple times. Above: Coyote feet during fire ant attack
Fourteen hours after the fire ant attack, “pustules appeared in full force” over Coyote’s feet
Afterward, Coyote sits in a chair and reveals that he received about 450 to 500 stitches and that both of his feet are in “absolute pain.”
Fourteen hours later, “full-strength pustules” appeared on his feet.
What should you do if you get stung by fire ants?
Start by pouring cold water over the bite site, says Coyote, washing away any dirt, dust, and debris. Then apply first aid measures like “Sting Kill” which provides quick relief.
Coyote adds that very few people are allergic to fire ant stings, but warns to “stay tuned to how your body reacts to the poison.”
He adds: “If your throat starts to tighten or you really lose control of the situation, seek medical help.”
For more from Brave Wilderness click here Here.