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Fire ants found at Osaka port; queen ant confirmed for 1st time

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They have since been found at Kobe port and Nagoya port in Yatomi, Aichi Prefecture, in containers that had come from Guangzhou, China.

Not surprising at all!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I'm surprised this is the first time it happens.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The reddish brown ants with a blackish-red belly, ranging from 2.5 to 6 millimeters in length, are known for a sting that can cause anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction including breathing problems.

All stinging insects can cause anaphylaxis, not just fire ants. And Japan has a great number of stinging insects already.

Fire ants cover ground quickly because the queens have wings, and can fly. Once they get a foothold, it is really not possible to get rid of them, as countries which have been invaded by them have found out. Many countries have aggressive programs to eliminated the ants, but the ants are always a step ahead.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It is strange, the article says that the ants are native to South America, but they are blaming China for the ants coming to Japan.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

i will never use "its like looking for a needles in haystack" again. i will say "its like looking for a fire ant in a container port".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

but they are blaming China for the ants coming to Japan.

I was curious about that too.

"We don't know how they got to Hong Kong," says Guénard, "but we think they arrived at least 10 years ago, possibly hidden in a potted plant. Many ants move around the world that way."

http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1935914/plague-fire-ants-latest-hong-kong-alien-invasion-and-boy-do

1 ( +3 / -2 )

MarkX, while fire ants are originally from South America, they have since spread to many countries and it is likely thought that the particular ants that have been found in Japan were transported by ship from China. I'm not sure if anyone is to blame or not as they are hard to find and move around well. For example, after WWII the United States wanted some way of making use of all the leftover chemical production capacity from the war (used for fire bombs etc) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture thought it would be a good idea to use pesticides to declare war on the fire ants which had showed up in Alabama. Unfortunately, they only succeeded it spreading out the fire ants across many states, making the problem much, much worse. Interestingly, the strategy and marketing campaign for the war on fire ants was adopted for the war in Vietnam with, some might say, much the same results. Let's hope Japan proves more clever.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

MarkXToday 09:09 am JSTIt is strange, the article says that the ants are native to South America, but they are blaming China for the ants coming to Japan.

Blame? It only says where the container in question came from.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Man, these ants are about to take over Kansai. Who is with me out here and let's get on our best stomping shoes and take these suckers out!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@dadude. they are also around nagoya port too. we need to cancel the Tokyo olympics or at least close all the ports in Tokyo and Yokohama. it is imperative.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope that hey DON'T spread to Hokkaido. That is literally fertile ground for them, though it may be a bit cold. I hope, in fact, that fire ants don't spread anywhere else in Japan, though the presence of a queen ad a smallish nest is cause for concern. Fire ants are a menace...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It was obvious from the first report that these ants were here to stay.  the damage wont be to people but to a whole host of other little critters who will have no defence against these predators.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sounds like a good movie idea!

killer ants invade Japan!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

" ... the Port of Osaka in western Japan, with the first confirmation of a queen ant ..."

Osaka is finally number one at something!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Overreacting, IMO. By reading the article it looks like a gaijin poisonous Godzilla has arrived in Japan. While fire ants are a nuisance, here in Brazil, a fertile ground to the species, you barely see them. They are here, but they can't disturb "wa". Besides, if you are unlucky enough to have a nest in your backyard, there are N non-toxic ways of getting rid of them. However I admit they can cause troubles if they reach forests, if they survive a Japanese winter.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

In the country that an invasive animal (insect) originates in, there is usually a predictor or system that keeps them in check (from becoming an overwhelming problem). So they might not be a problem in the country of origination, in a new environment, they may not last, may become a minor problem, or become a major problem. "Overreacting" to an indication of an alien invader is not bad. That overreaction may be what saves a county from a real future significant problem. Look at Hawaii. There were Norwegian rats introduced by the Whaling ships. Then mongooses form India to kill the rats. Now there is a rat problem and the mongooses have eaten most of the native birds eggs! The list goes on and on. Don't put down a countries reaction to an alien invasion. It only shows how naive you are.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Instead of killing them on sight with pesticide they should "follow" least one of them in order to find the nest since the solenopsis invicta aka "Fire Ant" is adept to polygyny, which means they can have loads of queens in a single nest.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Over reaction

Must be a slow-news day.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The Christopher Columbus of fire ants!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

reminds me of the piranha scare a few years back in Biwako. some idiot put them in the lake from their fish tank. a couple of fisherman caught them and children were warned not swim. they all died in winter as none exist now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OssanAmerica, I only used the word blame, as it was stated twice within the same sentence that the container came from China, which to me seems to be laying the blame on this at the feet of the Chinese. Where was the container before the port in China? Was it somewhere in South America? From this article we only learned that they originate there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It sucks to stand on their hill and not know it, and they are fast. They only way to get them off is to jump in water. Hope they don't find college campus!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MarkXJuly 5 02:04 pm JSTOssanAmerica, I only used the word blame, as it was stated twice within the same sentence that the container came from China, which to me seems to be laying the blame on this at the feet of the Chinese.

Well it's not. No one else interpreted it tat way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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