We’ve been e-mailing each other to keep in touch, and during his last message, he told me about these crazy bugs, really ridiculous little things, called Bulldog Ants, that he found in his backyard.
Their scientific name is Myrmecia, a broad term describing many different types of ants similar to the ones my friend found near his house. There are close to 90 families of these Myrmecia, and almost every single one lives in Australia. They are one of the most poisonous species of ants in the world, a single bite enough to send a sensitive person into anaphylactic shock. These nasty little guys are known for their aggressive behavior and large, vice grip jaws, which my friend is well aware of.
He decided to set up his BBQ pit in the backyard, and went out to lug a few bricks around to make a base. His mistake was he wore flip-flops. He lifted a pile of bricks and hefted it over to the corner of the yard where he wanted his pit, the armful of bricks blocking his view of where he was walking. He stepped forward boldly, not expecting anything dangerous to be right below his feet. Almost to the corner, his foot sunk into the ground a bit and soon his foot was engulfed in flaming pain, and began to swell almost immediately. Dropping the load of bricks he was carrying on his foot didn’t the situation either.
My buddy shook the ants from his foot and hobbled as quickly as he could to safety, but they kept following him! These ants can track prey from over three feet away, and, in his disabled state, he was unable to get enough distance between himself and the ants for them to lose track of him.
Eventually he got to his house and shut the door, squashing the few that made it in with him. The swelling had started to spread. He quickly enlisted his neighbor to drive him to the hospital and thus was able to receive treatment, reducing the swelling and stopping the oncoming anaphylactic shock.
Fortunately my friend survived his ordeal, but many people have died from encounters with Bulldog Ants. By keeping an eye on the area around your house or apartment, you can avoid stumbling across and aggravating these little terrors.
It this family of ant or another has overrun your house or property a pest control expert can be called to eradicate them from the premises, keeping you and your family safe and comfortable.