Published: 10:27, 28 September 2021
| Updated: 15:09, 28 September 2021
A dad had to make a run for it after being attacked by fire ants in a town park.
The wounds inflicted by the biting insects were so severe that an ambulance had to be called to the recreation ground in Sittingbourne.
James Bennett, from Newington, was walking his dogs at The Grove, opposite the Long Hop Pub, on Sunday, when he felt a sharp pain in his ankle.
The 56-year-old described it as "like being hit by a dart" but couldn't see anything wrong when he bent down to look.
Moments later he felt stinging all over his body and was forced to run away after the flying insects began to swarm him.
Retreating with his dogs and wife he went to his daughter's house in Detling, near Maidstone, where an ambulance attended and looked at the stings.
Daughter Sam Bennett, 27, said: "He was stung all over his body: back, neck, legs, ankles, arms wrist and stomach.
"We got an ambulance out to him because of the reaction to it and it's also caused an infection which he's now being treated with antibiotics for.
"We just wanted to warn as many people as possible as we know a lot of people walk around the area.
"My dad is really worried that a lot of children play in the park and if they were attacked it would put them in a bad way.
"He literally had to run away from them and has had a lot of swelling.
"I think he was more shocked by what happened than anything and I think it’s scared him that it could have so easily been one of his grandchildren or another child, luckily he was seen by the doctors quickly as if infection travels up the arm it can get into the blood stream."
Fire ants are known to inflict painful bites, with workers measuring anything between 2mm and 6mm.
Its head is dark-coloured but the rest of its body is red.
Usually, a bite from a fire ant results in a burning sensation which does not last long.