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Lakhs of red ants invade Odisha village making residents flee

Red ants in lakhs have made the life residents of Brahmansahi village in Odisha miserable as their bite is causing irritation and swelling

The plot seems to be straight out of a Hollywood sci-fi thriller involving animals as ants numbering in lakhs have arrived at Brahmansahi village, located in Odisha’s Puri district. These poisonous ants appeared in the village after the flood water receded recently.

They have invaded every corner of the village, and seem to have taken over the roads, houses, trees, and roads, making daily life of the people go haywire.

Several people have been bitten by these ants leading to swelling and skin irritation but no one has been hospitalised so far. They don’t spare domestic animals and pets. People have been forced to sit, stand and sleep in circles drawn with pesticide powder.

Unable to bear the pain, families have left the village moving elsewhere.

Talking to PTI, Renubala Dash who has moved to her relative’s house in a nearby village said: “The ants have made our lives miserable. We are unable to eat, sleep or sit properly. The children are unable to study due to the fear of ants.”

Seized by the problem, scientists from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology along with the District Administration have swung into action to provide relief.

Sanjay Mohanty, Senior OUAT scientist said: “The ants which live on the river embankment and bushes moved to the village as their habitats were inundated by flood waters.” He added: “We are trying to find the place from where the ants are coming. Once the place is located, pesticide can be sprayed on a two-metre radius of it. In order to end the menace, our primary aim is to find and kill the queen ants. They are responsible for the explosion of red and fire ants in the area.”

Samples of the ants have been sent to the laboratory to find out more about them.

Local administration has ordered clearing of bushes and spraying of insecticides.