Thursday, October 16, 2008

When Ants Attack

I live in a jungly part of the world where the heat and humidity like to team up and make things smelly and miserable. One would think that mammals, at least, would avoid places like this, but here I am. Insects, it seems, don't seem to mind at all, and there are billions of them everywhere. Again, I don't know why I put up with this horrible idea of fun nature is trying out around here. I am no entomologist (though it would be easy to just start picking bugs up off the street here and naming them), but there appear to be no less than a million kinds of ant that live here and most of them can be found coexisting in my kitchen when someone leaves a morsel of food for them. Annoying as that can be, one nasty little type has decided that electronics, too, are food or just fun to play with.

Today they found my computer.

My computer was on my bed.

They also like to bite people.

Having sprayed my computer with ant poison (which can only be good for both me and my laptop), I threw ant poison powder all over the place and held my breath as I sprayed more aerosol all over the place. The I fled to the store for a can of compressed air. They were still there running about my keyboard when I got back and dozens more were found when I took the battery out. The air, being very cold, seems to have only stunned them into hibernation mode and pushed them further into the computer. They're there right now in my poison-smelling machine, plotting and occasionally sending one out to bite me.

These horrible little things seem to be related to or the very same Caribbean ants that invaded Texas and caused nightmares there, even threatening NASA's Johnson Space Center. They are called crazy rasberry ants by the Texans (who aren't known for their entomology either). From the Times (UK):
...crazy because they seem to move in a random scrum as opposed to marching in regimented lines, and rasberry after a pioneering exterminator, Tom Rasberry... Perhaps their most remarkable characteristic, however, is that they are attracted to electrical equipment... Worse, the ants refuse to die when sprayed with over-the-counter poison. Even killing the queen of a colony doesn’t do any good, because each colony has multiple queens.

I just don't understand how people can believe in a god. I'm thinking about putting my computer in the freezer tonight, using ant posion instead of deodorant, and looking for a job in a civilized climate somewhere.

(creative commons photo from Flickr user binux)

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