Floating islands of fire ants


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/08/31/floating-islands-of-fire-ants.html

Trump tweeted he witnessed "horror and devastation" of Harvey, but others say he didn't really

Hard pass.




Previously (specifically, in antediluvian times):


Thats one of my favorite gifs ever.

Also - I’ve seen fire ant rafts- but nothing that big.

Holy fuck those things are evil. Visiting Texas and the old family farm house was fun, but fire ants were sure to make it a bad time. I went hunting for petrified wood in a dryish creek bed and fucker were everywhere, crawling over my shoes and shit. I am lucky I only got bit twice that day.


I don’t think it’s just fire ants. I threw a canoe-sized black walnut limb into the stream to get rid of a big nest of black carpenter ants I couldn’t afford to have in that particular location. The ants tried to form a living bridge to the streambank, but they repeatedly failed and instead ended up swirling downstream as floating rafts, some of which carried eggs/pupae along with them.


Oh good. A new nightmare. Just what I needed.



There’s a guy near where Mr. Kidd’s dad lives in Alabama who melts down aluminum cans, then dumps the molten aluminum down a big fire ant mound. While I have mixed feelings about killing things in the name of “art”, I don’t feel too bad about hellfire from above comin’ for the fire ants.


As a native Texan, this just feels like Thursday.


Dawn those motherfu**ers!


As a native Alabamian, I’ve had more than my share of run-ins with fire ants (there are whole swaths of the state that I’m convinced contain one continuously connected megacolony). I can’t imagine splashing into one of those rafts accidentally. I’m breaking out in sweats just thinking about it.

Fuck those little bastards.


I find it very satisfying to watch the whole anthill start to steam, then collapse, as the molten aluminum settles in:


Then you should definitely not read this story, to which I have conveniently provided a link.




Lots of varieties of tropical ants form travelling masses to move between rendezvous points or through hazardous terrain with moderately sedentary life forms (like pupae and large queens), especially those with no permanent physical colony home


Is it bad of me to want to see a video of a fire ant raft being sprayed with dish soap?

I mean, yeah “they” say to use dish soap to sink the rafts, but how much? How should it be applied? (from very far away, duh) What is the proper technique?

The article I saw didn’t have any video, only saying that the ants let go of each other, so the flotilla breaks apart and it can take ten minutes to kill 80 to 90% of the ants. How can you increase this percentage? Is it enough to make sure the queen is killed? Or do you need to get all the eggs? Or ALL the ants?


I’m actually surprised that the first aluminum down the hole doesn’t quickly solidify and block off the tunnel.


I’m guessing the heat doesn’t dissipate as quickly underground as it would in the open air. Although, I’ve watched a fair few of these videos and it seems like the molten aluminum stays liquid for a rather long time in any case.


When they are rafting about, they carry 165% more venom and deliver much higher doses when they sting. Play with dish soap around them at your own risk.