Today, Wednesday, May 27, Reddit users are discussing a unique phenomenon witnessed by residents of North Texas last week during the heavy rains. Fire ants were seen in massive colonies of millions of ants floating on flood waters. One witness, Nathan Tiller, believed that he was seeing a large throw rug in the water until he saw that the surface moved.
Fire ants are a type of aggressive reddish-brown and black ant known for its defensive stinging action and toxic venom. The action and venom make people and animals feel like they have been burned.
The ants in North Texas usually do not usually have colonies near large settlements because of human intervention, but business owners said the floods have now brought them into residential areas. The floating masses are made of a latticework of ants. Each ant moves from the water to the top of the mass in a patterned way that prevents the colony from drowning until the ants can reach land.
People don’t have to worry about the ants attacking them as long as people do not directly come in contact with a floating mass or mound. Since fire ant venom can sometimes kill, experts recommend that residents watch where they walk and keep pets from roaming until the waters subside and the ants rebuild their mounds.
Some environmentalists believe that the ants’ behavior indicates that fire ants have a high level of intelligence.