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Woman contends with invasive insects after developer makes lawn mistake: ‘It’s super common here, but it sucks’

“I just don’t understand why people choose HOAs…”

"I just don't understand why people choose HOAs … "

Photo Credit: iStock

Some homeowners may need to avoid their lawns because of developers importing an invasive species that brings the burn. 

In February, Caitlin (@byCaitlin) shared how her homeowners association in North Carolina brought in Bermuda grass from South Carolina that was infested with fire ants. 

“It’s super common here but it suuucks,” Caitlin wrote of the Bermuda grass on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Sadly the HOA requires Bermuda so I’m just slowly replacing lawn w/ garden.”

The potential for painful, itchy bites from fire ants is perhaps enough motivation for anyone to have a forward chat with their HOAs regarding bylaw changes. Or make the transition to a garden like the OP — which could save you beaucoup bucks on your water bill. 

However, the reasons to avoid this fatal lawn mistake go beyond simply avoiding uncomfortable welts. 

Invasive species are a multibillion-dollar problem globally, causing almost 40% of animal extinctions since the 17th century, according to data from the U.N. 

That’s a major concern given that the disruption of biodiversity has been linked to the spread of disease, increased levels of planet-warming pollution in our atmosphere, and potential food insecurity

Black and red fire ants were accidentally brought to the U.S. from South America in the 1900s, and since then, they have spread to multiple states. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that the ants can “damage [farm] equipment during cultivation and harvesting,” while corn, soybeans, and citrus are among the crops at risk. Young children and animals are also more vulnerable to their bites. 

“I’ve heard that cinnamon powder will repel them,” one Redditor said in a discussion about infestations of red ants and fire ants.

“I just don’t understand why people choose HOAs. … When I was looking for houses, that was my first question,” another person wrote in the subreddit r/NorthCarolina. 

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