WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A growing species of ant is invading the Carolinas and could have a more dangerous sting than the fire ant or honeybee.
Pest experts say the reason Asian Needle Ants are becoming more and more prevalent in North Carolina the past couple of years is because they can nest just about anywhere. Unlike other ants the Asian Needle Ant affects other native ants in the region as well.
Pest experts say although it is not yet in the top three in terms of ants by population in our state, it very well could be in the near future.
One of the biggest concerns with the Asian Needle Ant in particular is its sting.
"It does have a very painful sting, and a lot of people do have allergic reactions to those, but most people that are noticing them are coming across them working in their yards, in mulch areas, turning of railroad ties or logs or something like that," NC Pest Management Association Board member Kristin Dodd said. "They will inadvertently come in contact with this ant, and before you know it they will have them on their arms or ankles."
One good thing is that the Asian Needle Ant is not as aggressive as fire ants.
Experts say the majority of stings happen when people try and wipe the insect off them. One tip is to not use your hands when trying to get them off of you. Use a leaf of cloth instead.
Experts also say that this ant has the ability to spread so quickly because it live in various locations, including the forest or even under sidewalks.