As Hurricane Florence released massive rain, floods, water damage, a lack of electricity, fires, and even looting, fire ants are not usually very high on the list of things feared in such a storm, but as the U.S.A. Today reported, it may be.
Gadi Schwartz from NBC News posted a video on Twitter showing “a group of fire ants forming together to navigate flood waters in North Carolina.” They have formed an island of ants that is both impressive and disturbing to watch. However, people should steer very clear of the islands… if the ant come into contact with someone or something large enough, they will swarm it.
Of course, to experts, this isn’t unusual at all. Tim Davis, an entomologist and senior extension agent with Clemson University, said in 2015, that fire ants have done this “for ages.” As a matter of fact, Davis said that they can do this in less than two minutes when the circumstances call for it.
“If the water rises, they kind of all grab a hold of each other, and they can do this for several days, until they reach higher ground,” the ant expert added.
“If one of those rafts comes in contact with you, or you try to break it apart, it will likely disperse and crawl up you,” Davis warned.
The thought of thousands of hungry ants crawling in a panic all over someone is quite unsettling to many people.
Nature has a way of surviving, something that everyone from religious scholars to animal historians can attest to. Many of the creatures of the Earth have been here much longer than humans have, and their skillset (even during hurricanes) seems to show this.
In fact, the famous wild horses on North Carolina’s Outer Banks survived the onslaught as well.
No, ants are not the worst that anyone suffering the hurricane will have to endure or be careful of, but it is just one more thing on what must seem like to an ever-growing list of problems for those stranded in the storm’s path.
Sometimes, that can be one more thing too many.
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) September 17, 2018