I admit it, I have a phobia of bugs. Insects, spiders, whatever. Anything small with more than two legs that crawls, creeps, flies or stings. I have an irrational panic and disgust response when I see (or worse, feel) them.
Yesterday I saw the biggest ant ever. In my condo. On my wall. Just crawling around like he owned the place. I’ve never seen a local ant this big. I ran to get a length of TP to pick him up with, but by the time I got back he was gone. Hiding. Waiting. Plotting.
I was uneasy, but after about five minutes of looking I couldn’t find him. Oh shit.
shiver of disgust
Just now, today, I’m typing happily on compy. I feel a “tickle” on my wrist.
Except, “oh shit, that tickle is moving”
I look down to see an ant, probably two inches long (I exaggerate because that’s what it feels and looks like to the panicked brain) crawling along my wrist and arm.
Ah! AAAAAAHHHHH! FUCK YOU, ANT!
Got him finally. After an entirely masculine (I hope (wish?)) scream, a frantic brushing off of said arm, a run to the bathroom to grab TP, and a frenzied hunt that ended with Mr. Ant crushed and flushed.
I was thinking velvet ant. Was it red and black, and fuzzy? Be careful of it, if so. They’re actually wingless wasps, and they pack an extremely painful sting (they’re also known as “cowkillers”, if that gives you any idea.)
Fire ants are tiny and they are much worse to run across, especially in your house. When we lived in Texas we had them coming indoors through the electrical outlets (they are attracted to electricity for some perverse reason). And of course one of life’s great joys is standing outdoors in your garden admiring the scenery, feeling a slight pinch on your ankle and looking down to see that you are standing on a fire ant mound and roughly 200 of them are angrily ascending your leg, about to sting the crap out of you.
Yeah, I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. I remember the fire ant dance well. Trivia: unlike most ants, which bite and then spray formic acid onto the wound to produce irritation, fire ants actually directly inject an exotic alkaloid venom, and the sneaky little bastards will climb all over you, and then pass a pheromone signal, causing all the ants to bite at the same time.
There are no pictures because pictures of “the biggest ant I’ve ever seen” would kill most of you. You would asphyxiate from laughter. They’re actually pretty small - harmless, I assume. Carpenter ants, maybe? I just really have a strong, lizard-brain gut panic reaction to anything that’s small and crawly. Especially when it’s crawling on me.