Back when my boys were little, I tried to keep them out of our Costa Mesa Westside town house communal garage by telling them giant ants lived inside. We'd be walking past to the car and, just by coincidence, something would crash to the floor behind the closed garage door and I'd say, "See, giant ants." But one day the scared looks on their faces disappeared and they demanded, "We want to see the giant ants."
Too bad we weren't living in Mesa Verde and this didn't happen now, because apparently there is an invasion of "bigheaded ants" in that part of Costa Mesa.
"A colony of invasive bigheaded ants has been found at a Costa Mesa property near the intersection of Europa and Kornat drives in Mesa Verde, and state agriculture officials this week are checking other nearby properties for additional colonies," reads an alert from the city.
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"The soil-nesting bigheaded ant--a species native to Africa--is known as one of the worst invasive insects in the world. Though they don't sting and their bites are painless, the bigheaded ant can invade homes in large numbers as they seek water and food. The insects also displace native ants and eat other insects."
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA), the Orange County Agricultural Commissioner's Office and Orange County Vector Control are reviewing the situation, according to the city, which asks anyone who believes they may have seen one to call the DFA Hotline at 800.491.1899.
Bigheaded GIANT ants: now there's a scary thought.