Deadly Masses Of Fire Ants Are Floating In Alabama’s Floodwaters And It’s Terrifying

We’ve been covering the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Cindy in Alabama since the storm began, but an entirely new threat has now emerged due to the rising water levels. Huge masses of dangerous fire ants have reportedly been floating along the surface of the floodwaters and they look something like out of a horror film.

If one of these rafts or balls comes in contact with a person, it will almost instantly dissolve into a moving mass of biting ants that will crawl up the body.

Fire ant stings are incredibly painful, and enduring more than one bite is reported to be mind-meltingly excruciating. With huge rafts of these ants floating through backyards and streets, the danger is great. These ants can stay in their raft formation for up to 12 days and may look like floating dirt or debris to the unobservant resident.

Officials are warning residents not to approach the balls under any circumstances. Do not touch them with oars, sticks or anything else, as the ants can quickly attach to the object and make their way up to your hand.

Boaters should be especially cautious, as the ants can climb up the sides of small crafts. Water will not dislodge these ants once they have begun to invade a boat or body. However, a mix of dishwashing soap and water may help remove them.

So why are the fire ants forming these terrifying rafts? It’s actually an instinctual response to rising waters. As the flood consumes their territory, the ants clump together into a floating mass in order to keep above the water and avoid drowning. The technique helps transport the colony escape flooding and migrate to dry land via floating.

As long as the flooding continues, Alabama residents should be on the lookout for these dangerous balls of stinging ants. Take a look at the video below, courtesy of USA Today, for a glimpse of one of these floating rafts.