|The red imported fire ant or RIFA: Solenopsis invicta|
|Welts caused by fire ant "bites"|
The sting is one of the things that allows them to be such an aggressive invasive. With it, they can bring down much larger prey than other ant species, and also ward off predators. Most horrifyingly of all, if an area floods most ants will have little chance, but the fire ants will build their own raft. Yes, the video is of a raft made out of nothing but ants. Imagine if your home is devastated by a flood and you're wading through the water to safety and come across that.
The red imported fire ant is one of the 100 World's Worst Invasives, listed currently at number 86. This is mainly due to their estimated 500 million to several billion dollar impact on agriculture annually. They damage crops, mess with equipment, and sting workers. They also can infest common equipment, like swimming pool pumps, cars, computers, and washing machines. They are also a major nuisance, as nearly everyone in their non-native range has been stung at least once, and they are dangerous to those allergic to them.
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