Posts Tagged ‘Ant Control’

Flesh-eating ants bit elderly heart patient hundreds of times on legs and genitals as he lay in intensive care

An elderly man was bitten hundreds of times on his legs and genitals by a swarm of flesh-eating ants as he lay in his hospital bed.

Cornelius Lewis, 76, was in the intensive care unit at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Florida, recovering from an operation to fit a pacemaker the day before the ant attack.

Remarkably, because he was attacked beneath the bed sheets, medical staff didn’t even notice the ants were literally feasting on him until they pulled back the covers hours later.

Ant attack: A swarm of ants bit a heart patient hundreds of times (file picture)
Ant attack: A swarm of ants bit a heart patient hundreds of times (photograph © Alex Wild 2005)

Lewis remains at Gulf Coast Medical Center and is said to be in a serious condition, although that is related to his previous heart surgery, rather than the ant attack.

According to his son, Mr Lewis was bitten ‘a couple hundred’ times on his legs and genitals by Pavement Ants.

‘He was supposed to be monitored every 10 minutes,’ Neil Lewis told Florida website Newspress.com.

‘My mom was there, and they didn’t give her any information.

‘They said, “Let’s just get him out of the room.” And my father was so exhausted he didn’t have the ability to complain.’

After the attack, Mr Lewis said his father was moved to another room but that it, too, was infested with ants.

Lee Memorial Health System, which runs the hospital, says it is taking preventive steps at their hospitals to stop any repeat of the incident.

‘We have confirmed there were ants,’ said Karen Krieger, director of public relations at Lee Memorial Health System.

She added: ‘There were no reports of other patients being bitten by ants and Gulf Coast is the only hospital with an ant problem.’

The company’s other premises at Lee Memorial Hospital, Cape Coral Hospital and Health Park are now being treated by pest control experts.

The intensive care unit at Gulf Coast Medical Center has been evacuated, sprayed and treated and exterminators will check for the insects every three days.

Rooftops and exteriors are being sprayed weekly. This will continue until there is no ant sightings for 30 days.

It is understood the checks for ants previously took place on a monthly basis, which indicates the hospital knew it had a problem with the ants.

A pest control expert in Florida, a hot and sticky climate that is a perfect breeding ground for insects, told WINK News that Pavement Ants, which are the type believed to have bitten Lewis, don’t usually attack because they generally live outside.

‘Pavement ants are omnivores,’ said Allen Fugler Jr.

‘Every pest needs food, water and harborage. If lacking in one of those three, they will aggressively seek out a food source, water or a place to live.’

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The Florida Carpenter Ant

This information comes from the University of Florida website, Pest Ant Species.  For more information on Florida ants, this is a great place to start.

I remember, years back, the only way to eliminate a carpenter Ant colony was to follow the ants to where they nested. This took incredible time and patience. Now adays with modern pest products that are designed for this kind of creature, its not so bad. I believe that I have been bite or stung by just about everything out there and the Carpenter Ant is one nasty little “fella” that I really hated to get attacked by. ~ Jim Beucher

Foraging Characteristics: Florida carpenter ant is a large to very large, orange and black ant.  C. tortuganus is similar but paler with less color contrast. Gaster of latter often with light spots, background color variable, and head looks narrower.  Both species have many sized workers that follow loose foraging trails (individuals following each other are widely dispersed or solitary).  Workers can emit formic acid.  Mainly nocturnal.  Female reproductives similar in appearance to large workers but with wings folded over back. Male reproductives with small heads and large wings. Males darker than workers but similar in size to smallest workers.

Nest Sites & Characteristics: Single queen per nest. Nest in dead tree branches, rotting logs, tree stumps, piles of lumber, or under yard objects (potted plants, trash cans etc.) in voids such as curtain rods, hollow porch columns, wall and attic insulation, timer boxes, and pump housing. Do little excavation and will nest in existing voids and in attics. This species does not do structural damage, but may be a sign of preexisting damage. Satellite colonies common.

Diet:  Hunt live insects and scavenge for dead insects. Tend sap-sucking insects, collecting honeydew.  Forage for sweets and protein in homes.  

 Detailed Description: 5.5-11 mm (1/5–4/9 in) long. No sting. Twelve-segmented antenna without club.  End of abdomen with circular ring of hair. One petiolar segment.  Thorax evenly convex. C. floridanus: Antennal scape flattened at base and broad throughout. Legs and antennal scapes with numerous long, coarse brown to golden erect hairs, shorter than those on body. C. tortuganus: Major worker head longer than broad.  Tibia of all legs and antennal scapes without erect hairs.  Body hairs abundant, long, and golden. About 15 Camponotus species occur in Florida.  A small dark species, C. planatus is becoming more widespread.  Subfamily Formicinae

Most Common Complaint: Foragers in yards, porches, patios, and occasionally inside homes.  Swarming reproductives may be seen inside homes when nearby. Alates often mistaken for termites by homeowners. Ants may bite if handled.  Baits have effect if placed near trail at night.  Restrict access to structures. If colonies are located they can be controlled with insecticidal applications.

Flight Season: Spring to fall.
Distribution: Widespread.

Origin: Native

We are GREAT at getting rid of your Carpenter Ant  problems!

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