Warning to parents: local playground infested with ants

ocala news, marion county news, ants, florida, ant beds, fred king playground

Belleview, Florida — Parents who are considering taking their children to play at “Fred King Playground” located at 5641 SE 113 Street, Belleview might want to think twice.

On Monday,  Ocala Post received an e-mail from a parent who stated that she had recently taken her child to play at the playground after stopping for ice cream at Ms. Steve’s Ice Cream.

The parent stated that as her child was playing, she began to cry out in pain.

When the mother ran to aid the child, she quickly realized the problem: her child had been stung by several ants.

“Luckily, my child is not severely allergic,” the parent said. She went on to say, “If it’s the City of Belleview’s responsibility to maintain pest control, they should do a better job.”

The parent asked Ocala Post to investigate the incident.

Upon arrival at the park, it became clear why the parent was concerned. Ocala Post observed hundreds of active ant beds, both inside and outside the mulch-area of the playground. The playground is literally infested with thousands of ants.

The ant beds ranged from small to extremely large. One ant bed was observed to be 13 feet in length, which was located alongside the fence line. While some ants are to be expected at a playground, “Fred King Playground” is a rather small area for such a large infestation.

The parent said, “If a child who is allergic falls into one of those ant beds, it could be disastrous.”

According to doctors, the sting from an ant can be quite serious to a child who is allergic. Life-threatening allergic reactions can progress very rapidly and require immediate medical attention.

Many of the ant beds were hidden within the grass, which made them more difficult to see; however, it was the ants hiding within the mulch-area that the child came into contact with.

Ocala Post reached out to City of Belleview officials and asked who is responsible for the upkeep of “Fred King Playground.”

A response had not been received by the time this article was published.

Parents should use extreme caution when visiting this playground with their children.

The child who was stung was treated at home and has made a full recovery.

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