Giant hogweed and fire ants spotted in Comox Valley

July 22, 2013, HQ Comox, by Jonathan Szekeres

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. says fire ants and Giant Hogweed have been spotted around the Comox Valley.

Executive Director Gail Wallin says while fire ants can leave extremely painful bites, giant hogweed is just as bad, as it’s sap causes severe skin burns when exposed to sunlight.

She says the best way to deal with either annoyance is to ask for help.

“Keep a look out for them, and when you do find it, report it to your community or a invasive species council in your area,” says Wallin.

A fire ant can be 2 to 6 millimeters long, with a reddish brown color, and their bites leave people with a burning sensation.

Giant Hogweed can grow up to 20 feet high, with a reddish-purple stem.