Harvey's venomous horror: Floating nests of fire ants

What’s red, clingy (by the thousands) and constitutes the latest menace confronting survivors of Hurricane Harvey?

Fire ants.

They sting. They’re venomous. And they’re looking for any dry place — from rescue boat, to backpack, to pant leg — to set up new housekeeping.

The tiny creatures link together in colonies of as many as 100,000 to survive threats like floods. Many giant floating nests have been spotted around Houston and surrounding communities; the latest safety concern in the vast flood-zone left behind by Hurricane Harvey.

The insects effectively form life rafts, with those on the outer layers creating an almost air-tight hull, to ferry thousands of their fellow ants to safe, dry landing areas.