Purdue Extension officials want Hoosiers to be on the lookout for invasive ant

Insect was confirmed to be in Indiana earlier this year
Asian Needle Ant.
Asian Needle Ant.(Austin Heckelsberg.)
Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - The Purdue Extension Office is asking Hoosiers to be on the lookout for an invasive insect that packs a painful sting.

The Asian Needle Ant was confirmed in Indiana recently -- with two specimens recovered in the southern part of the state. The species, originally from Eastern Asia, made its way to the United States in the 1930s but has not previously been identified in Indiana.

The Purdue Extension Office offers the following description of what residents might endure if they meet up with the ant:

(S)tings to humans will be moderately painful (potentially causing severe allergic reactions to susceptible individuals) much like fire ant or bee stings, but fortunately because these ants are much less aggressive in protecting their nests, the number of stings per encounter will be less.

If you want to report a sighting of the Asian Needle Ant, you can contact the Purdue University Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory. Officials say there will be additional information as experts monitor the spread of the insect.

Asian Needle Ant.
Asian Needle Ant.(Austin Heckelsberg.)

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