My Big Fat Argentine Ant Colony

A few weeks ago, our apartment was invaded by ants. They started showing up in the living room. Then in the bathroom. Then in the kitchen. Poisoned bait holds them at bay for a few days, then they show up again. I was puzzled by this. I mean, either it poisons them or it doesn’t, how come they always “recover” after a few days? – but after some internet research, it all makes sense.

Turns out we literally live on one giant pile of ants, and I don’t mean just below our house, or below Berkeley, or below the East Bay – I mean a massive ant colony that stretches from San Francisco Bay down to San Diego. That’s 900 km (560 miles, for the metrically challenged among my readers). It being one “supercolony” means that if you’d take one of the little ant workers slaving away on our kitchen counter and dropped it onto an ant trail somewhere in Hollywood – it would be recognized by its siblings as one of their own, and would just keep doing whatever it is ants do. In fact, you could even drop it somewhere in the Mediterranean region, or Japan, and it would assimilate in an instant. That’s because Argentine Ants have a global “Mega-Colony”, consisting of the “California Large”, Mediterranian and Japanese Supercolonies that are all one big family. You can read more about this phenomenon here.

Now, imagine their Thanksgiving get-together…

One Response to “My Big Fat Argentine Ant Colony”

  1. ilse Says:

    what fresh horror…and I thought we had a problem with our country mosquitoes…


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