Fire ants invade North Texas with heavy rains

Heavy rains have brought millions of fire ants to North Texas. Philip Townsend has the story.

FORT WORTH — Park rangers say consistent flooding has displaced millions of fire ants in North Texas.

High water levels are moving the ants from their old homes and washing them away from seclusion. The red variety of ants do bite and sting, but park rangers say they can be easily avoided by checking the ground before you recreate.

Fort Worth resident Nathan Tiller captured a massive swarm of fire ants at the shoreline of Eagle Mountain Lake.

"I thought it was a rug at first," Tiller said. "Then I noticed it was moving. The surface of it had movement."

The ants take turns walking on one another to stay out of the water and survive. They eventually build dense circles like the one Nathan captured on his phone.

"I was floored when I saw them," said Nathan's dad, Dwayne. "I had never seen anything like that."

James Murphy, a Park Ranger and recreation business line manager with the Army Corps of Engineers, says it's the most fire ants we've seen in a very long time.

"We should still be vigilant and aware," said Murphy.

The key, he says, is to not only check the ground, but also watch out for colonies that form in mounds nearby.


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