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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|