Several areas around Matara and Weligama in the Southern Province have been affected by giant poisonous ants.
These ants normally live on trees but occasionally invade houses and make dark corners their habitat. Some people are seriously allergic to their bites. They have complained of paralysis in parts of the body and red patches in the bitten places. Prof. Sriyani Dias of Kelaniya University’s Zoological Department says a study will be conducted on these ants.
Medical officers prescribe pain killers and tetanus vaccine to patients with ant bites, said the Medical Director of Matara General Hospital, Samindi Samarakoon.
Agricultural officers are also studying the ants. Local residents note that ant bites of this nature were reported only after the recent floods.