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Caribbean Crazy Ants!

11 Jan

January 11, 2012

Nobody respects ants. Big deal, ants. So what? Sure, nobody likes them, but if you walk into your kitchen at 3am and flip on the light, which would you rather see?

A- a nest of black widow spiders
B- your brother-in-law in his underwear raiding your fridge
C- a couple of ants

Ants are the afterthoughts of the bug world. OK, they can ruin a picnic, but so can Paulie Shore, and of the two, I’d rather have ants show up. (Now before you say “fire ants” remember that I am writing from New York City where we are tougher than that.)

You see an ant you step on it you keep walking. Unless we are talking about Them!

But that’s Hollywood. In order to make the humble ant into a threat they had to use the standard 1950’s boogeyman “Atomic Radiation” to make them into the size of a latter-day Orson Welles and even then all they did was hang out in the sewer. I’d have left them alone and let the giant albino alligators take care of them.

The other way for Hollywood to turn the pathetic little members of the family Formicidae into a threat is to up the ante and instead of one or two or even a few dozen, have about a gazillion trillion show up at your picnic. That’s too much for just one can of Raid.

The Naked Jungle stars Charlton Heston and please give me a second to get this out of my system.

“A planet where ants evolved from men?’
“Get your stinking mandibles off me you damn dirty ants!”
“The only good ant is a dead ant.”

Thank you. I see Heston in a movie and I have Planet of the Apes flashbacks. Good thing The Omega Man isn’t that quotable or we’d be here all day.

600full-the-naked-jungle-screenshot

The Naked Jungle is based on a story called Leiningen Versus the Ants by Carl Stephenson. Written in 1938, there’s no need for me to summarize it because you pretty much saw it all in the clip above. YouTube is a real boon for lazy writers like me.

“But Mr. Blog,” you are saying, “that’s all movie bullshit. In real life I get ants in my toilet all the time and one flush takes care of them. Ants are no real problem.”

Please stop using bad language in my blog. And remind me to never go to the bathroom in your house.

But seriously, wonder if the tiny little ant can really pose a danger to the world at large?

OK, I get that it is hard to take “Caribbean Crazy Ants” seriously- what, too much rum? But if that was your half-acre of land and you had two inches of dead ants on the ground and millions more on the march you wouldn’t be laughing.

Who would expect ants to be so blood-thirsty as to launch “revenge attacks”? These guys are the Bin Ladens of the insect world. The University of Florida has a pretty good site about them if you are interested and want information more scientific than “crazy ants”. According to the UoF, “Pest control operators using liquid and/or granular broad-range insecticides appear unable to control this nuisance ant.”

According to this MSNBC article, they have been known to not only destroy bee hives but also to- get ready to worry- “disable huge industrial plants.”

And those fire ants I laughed at earlier? These guys wipe them out like they were an afterthought. I’m not laughing now.

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7 Responses to “Caribbean Crazy Ants!”

  1. bmj2k January 11, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    You can listen to Escape’s radio version of Leiningen Versus the Ants from the good folks at Relic Radio: http://relicradio.com/otr/2012/01/st104-leiningen-versus-the-ants-by-escape/

    You can read the story here: http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lvta.html

    Like

  2. Mac of BIOnighT January 11, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    I get something like that in my computer room/bedroom almost every year, some years worse than others. When it starts, I usually wake up in the middle of the night and my bed is full of ants, crawling all over me (and no, I do not drink). That’s quite a way to wake up, believe me. The thing gets worse as days go by, to the point that when you look at the floor, you see it moving (really). They fall like rain from the ceiling (it’s wooden beams), some years ago my computer screen burned because there were a lot of ants inside that created some contact that electrocuted them and my screen with them. They seem to come from nowhere, you can’t track back any line, they just appear. When it gets real bad, I have to sleep on the couch in the kitchen. It’s a nightmare, really. I spend a week fighting them with poison and the vacuum cleaner and a month fighting my sense of guilt for taking all their lives. And what I have is nothing, apparently, I can’t even imagine what it must be like in the places mentioned in your article…

    Anyway, sounds like it’s time for me to pay a visit to the sci-fi section of relic Radio 😉

    Like

    • bmj2k January 11, 2012 at 6:16 am #

      Woooow, that is not what comes to mind when I think about Italy.

      Like

      • Mac of BIOnighT January 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

        It’s not like that all over Italy, it’s just that I live in the woods and my house was bult sometime towards the end of the 1800’s. The walls are all made of stones and full of holes, and the ceilings on the ground floor are made of wood, so it’s very easy for insects, hornets and all sorts of animals to nest inside the walls or ceilings 😦
        It’s not always at its worst every year, as I said, let’s say it ranges from a few ants to absolute film-like nightmare, and it usually lasts only a week or so.
        By the way, thank you so much for the beautiful image of the black widow nest in the kitchen, it’s been haunting me since I read it and I get it every time I get up during the night and go to the kitchen for water or something… Aaaargh!!!!!!!!

        Like

        • bmj2k January 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

          When I wrote that I naturally just pictured my own kitchen. I live in an apartment in NYC and never expect to see a black widow’s nest. But living where you do, I can see where it would induce paranoia. One of my aunts who lived in Queens had a story about flipping on the lights one night and seeing what she called “millions” of roachs in her kitchen but in reality it was more like four.

          Like

  3. Thomas Stazyk January 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Great post. Know what you mean about Omega Man (a true classic). It has some great quotes–they just aren’t easily worked into day to day conversation. As in:

    “Sorry you didn’t make it.”
    “Sorry the world didn’t make it.”

    or

    “You are discarded.”

    or

    “Now we can build”
    “Build coffins. That’s all you’ll need.”

    oh, and

    “He tried a gambit and it almost worked. But it ended in a stalemate with the Family down three pawns.

    Like

    • bmj2k January 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      For some reason, the only quote that comes to my mind from The Omega Man is “can you dig it?” but that’s not from The Omega Man, it’s from The Warriors. And the image I always think of from The Omega Man is that bust with the hat on he kept in his house. You’d think the film would have made a stronger impression given the fct that I like it so much.

      Like

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