View Full Version : Fire ants?
Has anyone seen red imported fire ants on the AT? From the USDA migration map they're all over north Georgia and as far north as GSMNP, and in fact were seen at a ranger station there last year. But the AT may be too high and cool for them.
I'm only talking about the imported fire ants that have blanketed the Deep South, not the northern or native varieties. So yankees don't reply unless you know what ant I'm talking about. These suckers are BAAAAD.
I had several fire ant mounds in my yard when I lived in Texas. As Steve suggests....avoid them. I hit a mound with my lawnmower and unknowingly managed to suck them up into my grass catcher. When I tried to empty the bag, the critters let me know just how happy they were! I had several dozen good bites on my arms. A neighbor put his dog's food bowl in the yard and fire ants invaded it. The dog -- a young doberman -- tried to eat anyway. That was truly one unhappy dog! It doesn't take many of the ants to pose a real threat to people who are sensitive to insect bites..... Hope they're not to far North!
Dances with Mice
I haven't seen any fire ants on the Georgia portion of the AT.
I'm a Texas native living near Atlanta. Another familiar Texas critter, Armadillos, are in Georgia now and headed north towards Atlanta. My unscientific wildlife polling method (driving on highways) indicates that they're closing in on Atlanta - they're between Atlanta and Macon to the south and about 70 miles to the east towards Augusta. So they're closing in on North Georgia and you may be able to see them on the AT in a few more years.
I've been waiting for the first report of armadillos digging up the Augusta National golf course. If that happens it will somehow be blamed on feminists.
I've heard coyotes near Blood Mountain.
There were tons of them on top of Springer Mt. back in 1978, back behind overlook, was very surpised to see them, most other ants seen lately are some rather BIG black ants.
The red fire ants have invaded quite a bit of the southeast US, including GA,NC,TN etc. Also, armadillos have made significant gains in expanding their North bound acquisitions. Wedu(Educational Tv Channel) just had a special on these 2 items int he last year.
FYI: Was setting up camp near Niagra Falls when I opened a tarp up I brought from Tampa. This sucker was a huge mass of red ants!!!!! I found the managers and explained that they should nuke the crap out of em. They just shrugged and said they can't take the cold up there. I don't think they realized the potential involved. They never did spray :confused: Would really like to know if they are still alive and setting up a stronhold in a new state.
I don't think they will survive in New York, they're tropical bastards. Their projected northward limit is somewhere in Tennessee or as far as D.C, though I wonder about this sometime the way they've been advancing so fast in East Tennessee. Some speculate they've been having sex with native ants and getting more cold tolerant. They were spotted at a ranger station in the Smokies last year, which surprised me.
Where they're really spreading fast is California. They were accidentally released in Orange County in a lawn grass shipment from Texas a few years ago, and have been spreading like wildfire. Scaring the ***** out of people there and biting the hell out of them, too. I heard they were way up in the Central Valley now, and all over Southern California. These suckers are maniacs.
fire ants? they sound like harmless little things. back home down south we have bullants (bulldog ants), they grow to 1 + 1/2 inches long. you can run em over with a car and they just walk away!! big nasty mandables and nasty stinging bites... very very agressive...
it takes a LOT to kill one of these buggers. woe if you find a nest in your yard... :(
on the other hand, up in queensland we used to get sugar ants / green ants (they had bright green abdomen), you can eat them and it was raw sugar, since thats all they ate... mmmmmm nice! :)
so will i have a good change of running into fire ants on the AT next year??