I got an email from Bill, a ferret owner, alerting me to the problem of fire ants and ferrets in Texas.
He said he knew of 3 healthy ferrets which had been bitten by those ants and developed the following symptoms:
- Licking their lips
- Rapid and/or heavy breathing
- Stiffness in legs/feet
- Unable to stand or crawl
and the final result was death!
Not a good thing, as he said some times it wasn’t even obvious that a ferret had been bitten.
Apparently the ants have a venomous bite that can cause severe allergic reactions in humans, so you can imagine what a bite would do to a ferret.
I recalled seeing something about fire ants being discovered here in Australia a while ago so checked on the Internet.
They found fire ants in two areas in Brisbane and also in Melbourne. Apparently the ants had got to Australia by stowing away in containers and are now a threat here.
So people, please be aware of this danger if you let your ferrets either play or stay outside and do your best to keep the area ant free.
Read more about fire ants in Australia on Queensland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s site
For those of you who live in Texas, there’s a lot of information about fire ants on Texas A&M University’s Dept of Entomology’s site.
Thanks very much for the heads up, Bill! I really appreciate you letting us know about this problem!