Dreaded 'little fireplace ant' detected in France for the primary time – The Telegraph


They’re only one.5mm lengthy however pose a serious risk to people and the atmosphere.

“Little fireplace ants”, thought to be one of many world’s worst invasive species and that may inflict highly effective stings, have been detected for the primary time in France because the nation frets over the rise of tropical pests on account of local weather change.

The primary-ever invasive colony of the tiny bugs, which originate from South America, was detected final month in a residence in Toulon on the French Riviera. The one different place in Europe they’ve been detected is in Malaga, Spain.

Also called electrical ants on account of their painful sting, which is stronger than that of a nettle and lasts as much as three hours, they’ll trigger blindness in pets similar to cats and canine stung across the eyes.

Olivier Blight, a researcher on the Mediterranean institute for biodiversity and ecology on the College of Avignon and the primary to formally establish the pest, mentioned it was seemingly launched in a consignment of “crops”.

“We had been already coping with an excellent colony,” he mentioned, including that it had unfold to the encompassing space.

“It is simply been recognized however has been right here round 4 or 5 years as a result of there are already a number of hundred thousand, and even hundreds of thousands, of people over a hectare (2.5 acres),” he informed Le Figaro.

Though it strikes slowly, Wasmannia auropunctata – the insect’s scientific title – is extremely invasive and its inhabitants can attain 90 million people per acre.

“Its energy is its quantity,” mentioned Mr Blight, including that fireplace ants can multiply quicker than different species as a result of they combine sexual and asexual replica as queens produce clones with out the necessity for fertilisation. Additionally they can reside in timber or on the bottom.


Comments are closed.