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

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

Little hearth ants, considered 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 as a result 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 as a result of their painful sting, which is stronger than that of a nettle and lasts as much as three hours, they will trigger blindness in pets comparable 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, stated it was probably launched in a consignment of “crops”.

“We have been already coping with an excellent colony,” he stated, 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 tens of millions, of people over a hectare (2.5 acres),” he informed Le Figaro.

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

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

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