Family suspects fire ants in Franklin County man‘s sudden death

— Erin Edwards is mourning the sudden death of her husband, even as she picks her way along a dirt road near the Youngsville home they shared.

“Just be careful. I don‘t want nothing to bite y‘all,” she said to a reporter who came to ask questions about the Sept. 28 death of Floyd Edwards.

He was 66, cutting back overgrown brush on his Bush Hog mower. The blade got stuck in some wire, so he tried to untangle it, his wife said.

“He got out from under the Bush Hog, and he told me he couldn‘t breathe,” she said.

Floyd Edwards, an avid outdoorsman, didn‘t have any known allergies, but he once had a heart attack.

“He said, ‘You‘re going to have to call somebody for me,‘” his wife recalled.

Before paramedics arrived, she noticed his tongue swelling, a sign of a severe allergic reaction.

“You don‘t have an EpiPen. You just feel helpless,” Erin Edwards said.

The EMS crew could not keep him alive as they rushed toward Maria Parham Hospital in Henderson.

Erin Edwards was certain that insect bites on her husband’s arm, perhaps from fire ants, were to blame.

“The reason why we thought it was fire ants was because he was lying on the ground, but we don‘t know,” she said.

Now, a photo of Floyd Edwards and funeral memorabilia occupy a corner of their home. In addition to his wife, Floyd Edwards is survived by a daughter and two stepsons.

“He loved his family. He loved his children. He was one of the hardest-working people that I know,” Erin Edwards said.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, stings from five insects are known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Those insects are honey bees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets and fire ants.