North Carolina woman says fire ants 'exploded' all over, delivering painful stings that nearly killed her

A North Carolina woman never thought completing a simple task such as yard work would result in a near-death experience.

Donna Kearns, of Archdale, was cutting through tall grass with a weed eater Saturday when she accidentally hit a mound of fire ants. The ants then “exploded” all over her, delivering sharp stings that “felt like pins going through you,” she told Fox 8.

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Panicked, Kearns told the news station she attempted to wash the ants off with water, but began to feel ill before collapsing in her yard.

Moments later, Kearns, who was experiencing allergic reactions from the stings, was saved by a couple who drove by her home and saw her sprawled in the yard. Emergency officials were called and Kearns was rushed to the hospital soon after.

Fire ants are known to sting, especially when their nest is disturbed and the creatures feel threatened. In fact, according to Healthline, the ants attack in “swarms,” quickly climbing their way up legs and other “vertical surfaces.”

"Fire ants are notorious for their painful stings. A floating fire ant colony is 10s to 100s of thousands of stinging ants out in the open. Unlike honeybees, an individual fire ant is able to deliver multiple stings," Adrian Allen Smith, research biologist and head of the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, previously told Fox News.

Fire ant stings can be deadly. Anyone can develop an allergic reaction to the stings, though those who are stung for the first time have a higher chance of developing a more serious reaction.

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After spending two days recovering in the hospital, Kearns says she's on the mend.

"It was meant to be, I guess it wasn't my time to go. She was in the right place at the right time, and thank God she stopped and I love her to death," she told Fox 8.