May 14, 2008

It's Almost As If They're Organized

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM -- billions of evil marauding ants are rampaging around the metropolitan Houston area, infesting homes, destroying computers and other electronics, ravaging plants and even going so far as to bite people. Even worse, the ants -- who apparently landed in the Texas area via cargo ship -- are apparently impervious to our traditional ant-killing methods. The AP reports:

Exterminators say calls from frustrated homeowners and businesses are increasing because the ants—which are starting to emerge by the billions with the onset of the warm, humid season—appear to be resistant to over-the-counter ant killers.

"The population built up so high that typical ant controls simply did no good," said Jason Meyers, an A&M doctoral student who is writing his dissertation on the one-eighth-inch-long ant.

It's not enough just to kill the queen. Experts say each colony has multiple queens that have to be taken out.

At the same time, the ants aren't taking the bait usually left out in traps, according to exterminators, who want the Environmental Protection Agency to loosen restrictions on the use of more powerful pesticides.

And when you do kill these ants, the survivors turn it to their advantage: They pile up the dead, sometimes using them as a bridge to cross safely over surfaces treated with pesticide.

"It looked like someone had come along and poured coffee granules all around the perimeter of the rooms," said Lisa Calhoun, who paid exterminators $1,200 to treat an infestation of her parents' home in the Houston suburb of Pearland.

The Texas Department of Agriculture is working with A&M researchers and the EPA on how to stop the ants.

"This one seems to be like lava flowing and filling an entire area, getting bigger and bigger," said Ron Harrison, director of training for the big pest-control company Orkin Inc.

OK, let's review. Our enemy has established colonies -- let's call them by their proper name, terror cells -- with multiple autonomous leaders. Our enemy uses irregular and novel tactics to defeat our counter-measures, going so far as to mercilessly use its own dead as a survival mechanism. Our enemy attacks in mass waves without regard for human life, common decency or private property.

Clearly, the solution to this involves flamethrowers.

True, flamethrowers won't work indoors, where we'll need to use brutal poisoning agents to destroy the ant menace, but flamethrowers should work wonders against their secret outdoor bases, where they store their supplies and plan their supplies. In the event conditions don't allow for the use of flamethrowers, there are plenty of other things we could do, like use caustic acids, industrial solvents, grenades and our neighbors' garden hoses to kill the wretched vermin in their own nests. If things got really serious, we could even import thousands of anteaters from South America and let them destroy the pestilential scourge.

However we fight the ants, one thing is clear: we must stop them before they threaten to spread beyond the greater Houston area. We must not waver. We must not tire. We must not falter -- and we must not fail.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 14, 2008 11:52 PM | TrackBack
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