Are There Flesh-Eating Ants in Michigan?
Michigan has several types of ants.
According to the Checklist of the Ants in Michigan, there are 113 different ant species in our state. The most common are acrobatic ants, carpenter ants, odorous ants, pharaoh ants, slab ants, and thief ants. None of these ants will attack and eat you while you sleep.
Now, as for fire ants, they're found in the SE and SC United States, usually along the Gulf Coast. However, there have been reports of fire ants in Isabella County.
Is this BS or fact?
Fire ants belong to the same order of bugs as bees and wasps, so their bite is definitely painful. A fire ant attaches itself with its jaws. Then it stings you over & over from its belly in several sites.
If you ever get bitten by fire ants - as they usually attack in groups - you may get:
DEAD SKIN AROUND THE BITE
DEADLY ALLERGIC REACTION
EXTREME REDNESS & SWELLING
PAINFUL, 10-DAY LONG BLISTERS
TOXIC REACTION WITH OVER 20 BITES
Seek medical attention if you experience multiple stings.
But again, the question:
ARE THERE FIRE ANTS IN MICHIGAN?
A woman who lives in Isabella County says a colony of them were found living in an oak tree on her property. This is somewhat unusual, as fire ants prefer to live in or near sandy areas.
This video shows a swarm of red ants in a Michigan yard:
But they're not necessarily fire ants. I've heard a few rumors and statements, but very little else...so the question remains.
As for the other common Michigan ants:
These acrobatic ants somewhat resemble carpenter ants. They are called ‘acrobatic’ due to their ability to walk while holding their abdomens in the air, like a handstand. These little buggers WILL bite you if you irritate ‘em.
Carpenter ants are black and large, up to ½ inch. They live in your house, especially if you have wood that is moist. Michigan carpenter ants usually live outdoors but they will invade your home if the tree they’ve been living in gets torn down.
The odorous ant is small, reddish-brown,and 1/10 of an inch long. They live under your floor or in your walls. Why called ‘odorous’? If you squish one you’ll smell a bitter odor, like that of an orange or lemon peel. They don’t bite, but a colony could get over 10,000 ants, so get an exterminator as soon as you see one.
Pharaoh ants are more indoors than outdoors, and depend on indoor heating to survive. They are 1/16 of an inch long, light yellow/red, black marks on its abdomen, with the thorax the darkest part. These colonies can get into the millions of ants.
Slab ants (or pavement ants) are the ones whose little homes are piles of dirt that you find in the cracks of sidewalks. They’re small, mostly brown, and a pain in the butt. Their home-building can actually ruin the concrete in a cellar or garage
The thief ant is one of the smallest of all; up to 1/32 of an inch small. Their antennae has ten segments, which you can easily identify if you look at one under a magnifying glass. They are yellow/brown and are commonly found under rocks outside, in cupboards inside. They got their name ‘thief’ as they will build homes near other colonies and wind up stealing their food.