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The Sugar Ant Invasion
This incident happened when I was about 13 or 14, I think. My family had already moved to Villa Tasso, a small setttlement (unincorporated part of Walton County, in the very southwestern corner) in a rural area of the Florida Panhandle.
Florida is a great place for bugs of all kinds. I used to joke that if there was a bug anywhere in the world, there was at least one of that bug somewhere in Florida. It's bug heaven.
My family lived in two mobile homes that had been connected by a custom-built addition between them. Being out in the country, there was no citified sewage system, so we had a septic tank.
One day I was in the bathroom at the back part of the second mobile home, doing what one does in a bathroom. After I finished my task, I stood up and turned around to flush the toilet — to see hundreds of big sugar ants swarming out of the toilet bowl!
You can be sure I beat a hasty retreat out of the room as I started yelling for my parents.
We discovered that a break had occurred in the line connecting the toilet to the septic tank, and the ants had been attracted to all the goodness leaking out. I was just the lucky person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In writing up this little memory, I wanted to find a photograph of a sugar ant to accompany the story. I discovered that sugar ants are properly a subset of carpenter ants. I also learned that what we used to call sugar ants in Florida might not actually be sugar ants, as the information I can find seems to indicate that they don't occur in Florida. What I remember is they were big and black and headed my way, and there were way too many of them. They might have been black carpenter ants; this guy looks kind of familiar.
|By Muéro at English Wikipedia. Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons, Public Domain|
Oh gosh, I have nightmares about critters in toilets. I once found a drowned rat in the toilet at C75. I freaked out about that.ReplyDelete
That sounds like something worth freaking out about. But my first thought was to wonder who put the rat there for you to find.Delete
That looks like a big bug indeed. I don't want to imagine being that close to a whole bunch of them. Funny story now, but not at the time, I'm sure.ReplyDelete
It is a lot easier to laugh about it now, that's for sure!Delete
Ewww! I'm not fond of bugs at all and don't think I'd want to find an army of them marching out of the toilet.ReplyDelete
I don't mind bugs too much, but not coming out of the toilet right after my butt was hanging over it!Delete
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Remember that I wrote if there's a bug anywhere in the world, there's at least one of it in Florida? We had scorpions there too! One morning I found a dead one in my shoe.Delete