Couple wants to eliminate fire ants in Algiers Point parks for f - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Couple wants to eliminate fire ants in Algiers Point parks for free

NEW ORLEANS - All the rain recently has been bringing the fire ants out in full force, and one Algiers couple is trying to rid their community parks of the pests for good and for free.

"This is the kind of stuff that messes up a good weekend activity," said James Wilson about a festering mound of fire ants in Algiers Point.

The pests can be a danger to kids and pets.

A day in the park catching Frisbees for the Wilson's two dogs quickly turned painful as one stepped in one of the many fire ant mounds in a neighborhood park.

With the recent rain, the ants have been building their mounds up out of the ground, which ruins nice picnic or birthday party spots.

"They come up out of the ground so they don't drown," said Angela Wilson.

It's why the Wilsons are asking the New Orleans City Council to allow them to treat the parks in Algiers Point for free. They're semi-retired and own a pest-control business.

"As you see from our dog, the bites are bad, and some people don't know whether they're allergic to ants or not but anaphylactic shock can be very very bad," said Angela Wilson.

Just last week, a 12-year-old-boy in Texas died after a severe allergic reaction to the ants he stepped on during football practice. Family members hired an attorney to see if the boy's death could have been prevented.

"The parents have a deep concern over what types of policies and procedures are in place at the school district regarding one, responding to emergencies when children are at school, how the football fields are maintained, how pests like ants and insects are viewed by the school, what types of maintenance contracts they have," said the attorney for the boy's family, Thomas Henry.

In Algiers, the Wilsons said they can help with prevention and help avoid tragedy.

The Wilson's expect it will cost about $1,200 to treat three parks, and they want to do the treatment twice a year for the long term. It'll be free to the community and a small price to pay, they say, to protect everyone from the ants.

"We're part of the community," said James Wilson. "We live here. I've got friends of mine that volunteer to pick up garbage, they volunteer to do different things. This is something that I can do."

City Council's Sanitation and Environmental Committee has to review the Wilson's request before they're allowed to treat the parks. A decision could take a couple of weeks.

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