HONG KONG (Reuters) - Red fire ants, whose fiery sting can sometimes be fatal to humans, have been found near the entrance to a Disneyland theme park in Hong Kong, a company official said Friday.
"It is the first red fire ant mound we discovered in our landscape," said Esther Wong, a spokeswoman for Hong Kong Disneyland, which is due to open in September.
Wong said the company planned to exterminate the pests, which pack a nasty sting that can cause painful, itchy blisters and nausea.
Hong Kong has been battling to stop the ants from spreading since they were first found in the territory two weeks ago and daily updates have been front-page news in the popular press. Inspectors have found 576 anthills since then.
The ants were found recently in China's southern Guangdong province adjoining Hong Kong. The insects were in tangerine trees and other potted plants, many of which were scheduled to be shipped to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year celebrations next week.
The red fire ant, which originated in South America, has defied efforts to stamp it out in Australia and the United States.