Tag Archives: Leiningen versus the ants

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.


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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