Last week at Rialto High School (about 50 miles east of Los Angeles), the school’s groundskeeper found some unwelcome guests: several fire ant colonies had moved in throughout the football and baseball fields.
The swarming insects with a venomous bite have already canceled and football game and temporarily moved practices. A school district spokesman said the ants came from South America, and it is unclear how they got to Southern California.
A prank from a rival school perhaps?
The school has had to call the Department of Agriculture and, of course, the exterminators. But while it seems like a fun story, officials are taking it quite seriously.
The infestation is not to be taken lightly, said Les Greenberg, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside.
“A small percentage of the population is allergic to the venom, just as with bees or wasps,” Greenberg said. “This could range anywhere from a nuisance to a health threat.”
Have you ever experienced something like this, where a completely unforeseeable disturbance canceled some games or practices?
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