Teamwork helps fire ants - National Geographic video

Since South American fire ants arrived in Mobile, Alabama, in the 1940s, they have spread to become one of the most reviled pests in the Sunbelt. There have been several failed, and heavily politically influenced, eradication campaigns. The fire ants (red or black) are very aggressive and build nests in mounds of fresh soil.


Video: Teamwork helps fire ants reproduce, take down prey, and strip bones clean.

There is no venom extract for fire ant hypersensitivity but a whole-body extract is available.

Skin testing with fire ant whole-body extract is indicative of specific IgE antibodies if a positive response occurs at a concentration of 1:100 wt/vol or less by prick method, or 1:1000 wt/vol or less by intradermal method.

The dosage schedule for fire ant immunotherapy is less well defined. A maintenance dose is 0.5 mL of a 1:100 wt/vol concentration.

References:
Insect Venom Allergy: A Short Review

Related:
Fire Ant Bites. eMedicine Specialties > Emergency Medicine > Environmental, 2009.

Updated: 05/02/2010

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