Odisha villagers battle fireplace ant invasion – Huge Wire, information that issues


Snehlata Dash has always loved the serene and peaceful surroundings of her village, Brahmansahi. The 75-year-old widow had hardly stepped outside her village since she got married over four decades ago.

But in the middle of August she had to flee her Brahmansahi and rush to her married daughter’s house. All because of some tiny red ants.

It might sound like a scene from a movie, but 70 people from 18 households living in the remote Odisha village are having a tough time because of millions of red ants that have invaded their space.

An army of red ants invade the village


The fast-moving ants seem to have made Brahmansahi in Pipili block of the Puri district their home, invading every nook and corner of the villagers’ houses.

The attack began in the middle of August after heavy showers.

“We’ve been living in this village for several years and have never faced this problem before,” said Snehlata Dash. “I live alone after the death of my husband and in this village we stay like a family. But the invasion of red ants has made our life miserable,” she said, showing the black bruises in her legs where the ants had stung her.

The entire village – interestingly all of them belong to a single community and have the same surname – was caught off guard by the attack of the ant army.


They were on the beds, on the floor, inside vegetables and water pots. We couldn’t even cook food or drink water.

“They marched like a big army ready to destroy whatever came in their way,” Snehlata Dash, who had just returned from her daughter’s house, told Village Square.

Unmanageable purple ant infestation

The ants simply took over the village. “They have been on the beds, on the ground, inside greens and water pots. We couldn’t even prepare dinner meals or drink water. Possibly the ants have been indignant with us as a result of we have been all getting bitten,” mentioned Nayana Sprint, a homemaker.

“The scenario was so unhealthy that we needed to put on polythene sheets even after we have been inside the home,” she advised Village Square.


Debendra Nath (68), who was born within the village, continues to be shocked about such an ant infestation occurring for the primary time in his life.

“We used insect repellents round our beds and utilized natural oil on our our bodies at night time. However nonetheless we couldn’t sleep,” he mentioned. “They haunted us in sleep additionally.”

A well being concern
Like Snehlata Sprint, a couple of households fled the village to keep away from the ant bites and the ensuing rashes.

Native well being officers mentioned that they have been additionally shocked by individuals coming in massive numbers with ant stings.

“We hardly get such circumstances right here as many of the circumstances are associated to snake bites. The swelling within the pores and skin and rashes have been triggered as a result of the ants secrete formic acid. We gave the villagers medicines,” mentioned Binay Kumar Panda, a neighborhood public well being officer.

“I’ve hardly come throughout such circumstances throughout my medical tenure,” Panda advised Village Square.

The executive officers conceded that they have been additionally caught off guard by the presence of a lot of ants.


“We usually spray chemical compounds for vector-borne illnesses however we’ve by no means seen such an assault of ants,” mentioned Rashmita Nath, block improvement officer (BDO) of the Pipili block.

Eliminating the purple fireplace ants
For the reason that villagers knew they may not management the purple ant infestation, they knowledgeable the native administration who rushed to their rescue.

Admitting they have been greatly surprised by the enormity of the issue, Nath mentioned they needed to rent a personal company for spraying the chemical compounds, although it was pricey.

Although the issue has diminished after the authorities sprayed chemical compounds, the purple fireplace ants haven’t been fully eradicated.

“They sprayed chemical compounds, however not behind the homes. Ants are nonetheless seen in massive numbers in tree barks and bushes,” mentioned Sabita Sprint, a neighborhood ASHA employee, exhibiting the stays of chemical compounds in some locations and the purple fireplace ants underneath the barks.

What triggered Brahmansahi’s purple ant infestation?
A senior scientist who visited the village mentioned that the scenario would possibly turn out to be unhealthy once more until the queen fireplace ant was caught and killed.

“The queen can stay as much as 65 years and has the capability to put 800 eggs on daily basis. They construct their very own colonies. She must be caught and killed instantly in any other case the inhabitants of ants will hold multiplying,” mentioned Sanjay Kumar Mohanty, senior scientist at Odisha College of Agriculture and Expertise (OUAT).

He mentioned that the villagers are additionally at fault as a result of the village is surrounded by greenery and has fallen tea barks and bushes which haven’t been eliminated.

“Such cool locations are an ideal habitat for ants. Villagers ought to hold the premises clear. Some blamed the swelling of the native canal for the ant infestation nevertheless it’s not true,” Mohanty advised Village Square.

On the lookout for the queen
The households that left the village through the peak of the ant infestation have returned.

However everybody continues to be apprehensive and spending sleepless nights. Because the chemical compounds sprayed by the authorities are getting washed away within the rains, the villagers are apprehensive that the ants will return and resume their assault.

“We’re retaining an in depth watch of the scenario. We’ll spray chemical compounds if the scenario goes uncontrolled,” mentioned Nath.

She mentioned that the villagers ought to hold the place clear.

In the meantime, villagers are desperately seeking to kill the queen ant to make sure that normalcy returns they usually needn’t fear in regards to the return of the fireplace ants.

The lead picture reveals purple fireplace ants that wreaked havoc within the Brahmansahi village of Odisha, forcing some individuals to flee (Photograph courtesy Shammiknr, Pixabay)

This text was first printed in Villagesquare.in.

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