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Well that's just not a good sign. [Ants]

Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed VigiloConfidoRegistered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I live in northeast Mississippi. But that's not what I need advice about. ;-)

Today, we observed some unfamiliar ants in our yard. We're used to tiny fire ants, big black carpenter ants, and just a number of different kinds of ants. Sucks, but that's the cost of living here.

These ants, however, were moving in a swarm. This prompted us to look closer, because all the ants around here usually travel alone or in long, thin trails. These, however, were traveling in one swarm -- kinda picture an octagon, then trails between all the non-adjacent vertices as well, and then ants crawling along all these lines at once. It all seemed very orderly, though I'm sure that was a trick of the brain. In any case, the octagon was steadily moving across the yard, headed in the general direction of my car (!!!).

I'm an experimental type, so I did a quick bunny-hop stomp through the middle of the swarm. They all spread out, still orderly, and started moving back the direction they came from. We put a couple stragglers in a jar and poisoned the crap out of the rest of them.

They're 1/4" long, and a sort of reddish-brown color. We've never seen them in this area before. Any clues?

Gandalf_the_Crazed on
PEUsig_zps56da03ec.jpg

Posts

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Army ants, maybe? They exist, but are rare in the US compared to South America.

  • TheHopelessGamerTheHopelessGamer Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    A quick bit of googling suggests they could be fire ants, which sounds terrifying. I don't know much about exterminators, but one thing to do would be to look around and see if there are any in your area that would come out to have a look without charging you to at least be able to diagnose the problem.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2010
    If you can identify a nest, a bigass pot of boiling water is a surprisingly effective, environmentally friendly means to deal with it.

    But yeah get an exterminator out for a free inspection deal if you can.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • FeatherBladeFeatherBlade Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Are you anywhere near your state's land-grant university, or an agricultural research station associated with it? They should have an entomology lab that you could take the captured ones to for ID.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • a penguina penguin Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Carpenter ants can be reddish- brown, too. That's probably what they were.

    As for why they had a neat little ant formation, I have no clue. I doubt they're interested in your car though, if they're carpenter ants.

    This space eventually to be filled with excitement
  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    a penguin wrote: »
    Carpenter ants can be reddish- brown, too. That's probably what they were.

    As for why they had a neat little ant formation, I have no clue. I doubt they're interested in your car though, if they're carpenter ants.

    I doubt they'd be carpenter ants ... I don't think they have very big colonies at all, but the carpenter ants we have in the northwest US might be a different variety then the southeast.

    Also I can't make 'mechanics' flow into 'mechan-ants'. I just can't make the pun, dammit.

    9UsHUfk.jpgSteam
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    a penguin wrote: »
    Carpenter ants can be reddish- brown, too. That's probably what they were.

    As for why they had a neat little ant formation, I have no clue. I doubt they're interested in your car though, if they're carpenter ants.

    I doubt they'd be carpenter ants ... I don't think they have very big colonies at all, but the carpenter ants we have in the northwest US might be a different variety then the southeast.

    Also I can't make 'mechanics' flow into 'mechan-ants'. I just can't make the pun, dammit.

    My aunt could, but its kind of late so I don't want to call her.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    a penguin wrote: »
    Carpenter ants can be reddish- brown, too. That's probably what they were.

    As for why they had a neat little ant formation, I have no clue. I doubt they're interested in your car though, if they're carpenter ants.

    Yeah, I was only worried about that because I already have fire ants living somewhere in my car. I've looked and looked, but I can't find where they're staying. All I know is that I see them crawling across my dash while I'm going down the road, and whenever I lift the hood they're swarmed around the battery terminals.

    Ants are not my favorite thing, you might say.

    PEUsig_zps56da03ec.jpg
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    You might want to fix that ant problem, too, before they short something important out one day.

    Boric acid and a food trap in the car, maybe? And coat your tires with repellent. It's possible that the colony isn't actually in your car but just staying near where you park it.

  • MightyMighty Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
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