Glossary of Medical Terms

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FIRE ANTS

Originally from S. America. Among the worst insect pests ever to invade the U.S. Red or yellowish ants of small-to-medium size with a severe sting that burns like fire. They normally feed on little insects but, with denser populations, they ate seeds and seedling plants, hurt corn and vegetable crops, invade kitchens, onslaught newly hatched poultry and the young of ground-nesting wild b irds. Fire ants can kill newborn domestic and wild animals. Every colony is composed of a queen, winged males and females and 3 kinds of workers. A nest averages about 25,000 workers, but far larger populations are general. Semipermanent nests are big mounds of excavated soil with openings for ventilation. Since nests may number 50-100 (or more) in a heavily infested field, cultivating becomes difficult (or impossible). Fire ants belong to the genus Solenopsis.
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