create account

TIL: Tropical Fire Ants in Virtually All Tropical Areas Come From Acapulco! by lily-da-vine

View this thread on steemit.com
· @lily-da-vine ·
$10.24
TIL: Tropical Fire Ants in Virtually All Tropical Areas Come From Acapulco!
<html>
<p><img src="https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRamUeYdOkZuUhgTr9drnicux-spHCow9d5slH8xeldMu1ODbi9JOl9b2R5Og" width="470" height="313"/></p>
<p>Today I learned that the tropical fire ants (solenopsis geminata) found in virtually all tropical areas of the planet came from one place, none other than my beloved Acapulco, Mexico. &nbsp;How did this happen? In the 16th century, the Spanish had an established trade route between Acapulco and Manila, Philippines. &nbsp;They filled their ballasts with soil in Acapulco, emptying them to replace it with cargo elsewhere. &nbsp;They'd just leave the dirt on the shores, which was filled with all sorts of biological organisms, including fire ants.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Researchers have analyzed the genomes of 192 different types of tropical fire ants, looking for patterns. The patterns seemed to coincide with the beginning of international trade by the Spanish. The trade route set up between Acapulco and the Philippines was the first trade route across the pacific oceans. &nbsp;They would ship silver on this route, filling their ballasts with soil from Acapulco as needed to even out weights. &nbsp;</p>
<p>Anyone that's had any personal experience with fire ants will tell you, they're terrible to deal with. &nbsp;They bite, leave itchy spots worse than mosquito bites and they're aggressive little bastards. &nbsp;I've had more than my fair share of encounters with them here. &nbsp;What actually spurred us looking into the ants in the first place was an ant raid on our house last night.&nbsp;</p>
<p><img src="https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15267968_336488796729818_4144993476074126414_n.jpg?oh=48b7f12b195b1917ca12e28ba913eb80&amp;oe=58C30C33" width="540" height="960"/></p>
<p>The thick black speckled line on the wall is the ants...</p>
<p><img src="https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15284017_336488816729816_5546009654545018418_n.jpg?oh=7283ea21b097d5cff1eb7b033257d198&amp;oe=58F644AD" width="960" height="540"/></p>
<p>We didn't even get pictures of the nest area they were swarming, it was unreal.</p>
<p><img src="https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15283937_336488923396472_7765625551934159267_n.jpg?oh=49c7a7a941ecf9c9e100fa0044987f18&amp;oe=58F8A5AD" width="540" height="960"/></p>
<p>They came in heavily, with 4-5 lanes of ant traffic running across the wall. &nbsp;They seemed determined to either make a temporary nest, or meal of my dry foods containers. &nbsp;There were probably 5000 of them total or more. &nbsp;We made quick work &nbsp;of them, with the use of a propane torch, filling the air with the stench of burning ants. &nbsp;After that came about 50 leafcutter ants, which I'll write an article about next. &nbsp;There weren't as many but they're big suckers and they can do some real damage to plants, overnight. &nbsp;I had heard in my reading about farming that when you kill fire ants, cut ants will come. &nbsp;This was a pretty extreme, explicit example of what they were talking about. &nbsp;</p>
<p><img src="https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTfC_SY3-qF5PEtjlzgVyuY-sbTIyXHWjbghgPcds6UGlMZwG846w" width="450" height="282"/></p>
<p>So there are many different kinds of fire ants. &nbsp;The one's most common on my property are black with red heads, solenopsis richteri or the black imported fire ants as they're called in the states. &nbsp;They're the type that sting and inject you with an alkaloid venom. &nbsp;If enough of these things swarm something, they'll kill it. &nbsp;They're known to kill scorpians, spiders, tarantulas, snakes, lizard and all sorts of small animals. &nbsp;So just remember, next time you get attacked by some fire ants, they're trying to kill you. There might be enough of them to make it happen, but they're gonna try. &nbsp;</p>
<p>They nest in soil, leaving characteristic mounds where they nest. &nbsp;They're known as being extremely invasive and in my opinion they are. &nbsp;A US government website reported that 5 billion dollars is spent annually on fire ant control. &nbsp;They are known for driving families out of houses, even if just temporarily.&nbsp;</p>
<p><img src="https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQe0DuV2CQ0kASsD1fvx63pdAKGkvVyJf79jDELNquHJbq1MrvEAQ" width="385" height="257"/></p>
<p>They're omnivores, they'll eat: plants, microscopic organisms, bugs, sweet liquids, tomatoes, unhealthy plants, small animals, small insects, scorpians. &nbsp;Some use a alkaloid venom injected, others spray formic acid. &nbsp;To find food, they send out scouts. &nbsp;When foods located, the scout returns, using his stinger to leave a pheromone trail. &nbsp;The other ants follow that trail and that's how those lines get started.</p>
<p>In terms of control, you've got two options. &nbsp;Many people just pour water, boiling or not into the mounds to smother the ants. &nbsp;This isn't always effective, so many people take an aggressive stance with pesticides. &nbsp;It works, but it's been proven to have ill effects on your health. &nbsp;Keep in mind, as a gardener, if you kill off the fire ants, the leafcutter ants will come. &nbsp;They'll eat your garden overnight if given half a chance. Balance is key, especially in the tropics.</p>
<p>So there you have it, the badass tropical fire ants everyone hates have been sourced to Acapulco. &nbsp;Living here and experiencing the amount of fire ants that I have, I have no issues believing this one. &nbsp;&nbsp;I've actually been astounded at ants since I've been here. &nbsp;I had honestly had very few bad experiences with ants before moving here, so it was a bit startling to me to say the least. &nbsp;</p>
<p>My first several weeks in this house were spent dealing with fire ant bites, as there were many and I wasn't used to needing to look out for them. &nbsp;I get less now because I've learned to avoid them, although occasionally I find myself standing on a mound, disguised in grass. Or I let my kitchen get a bit messy, only to be punished with an onslaught of fire ants, coming for my food.&nbsp;</p>
<p>My advice for anyone looking to come here? Get an apartment higher in a building or just be meticulous about keeping your kitchen clean and you shouldn't have problems inside. &nbsp;Outside is another story, it's up to you if you want to take in that battle. &nbsp;I've heard the boiling water route is the best natural way to go about it, good luck!</p>
</html>
👍  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 22 others
properties (23)
post_id1,479,935
authorlily-da-vine
permlinktil-tropical-fire-ants-in-virtually-all-tropical-areas-come-from-acapulco
categorytil
json_metadata"{"app": "steemit/0.1", "format": "html", "image": ["https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRamUeYdOkZuUhgTr9drnicux-spHCow9d5slH8xeldMu1ODbi9JOl9b2R5Og"], "tags": ["til", "nature", "history", "life", "minnowsunite"]}"
created2016-12-03 23:08:12
last_update2016-12-03 23:08:12
depth0
children2
net_rshares32,921,071,806,958
last_payout2017-01-04 03:02:21
cashout_time1969-12-31 23:59:59
total_payout_value7.981 SBD
curator_payout_value2.256 SBD
pending_payout_value0.000 SBD
promoted0.000 SBD
body_length6,459
author_reputation236,834,215,077,615
root_title"TIL: Tropical Fire Ants in Virtually All Tropical Areas Come From Acapulco!"
beneficiaries[]
max_accepted_payout1,000,000.000 SBD
percent_steem_dollars10,000
author_curate_reward""
vote details (86)
@builderofcastles ·
I have my food in sealed containers inside rubbermaid bins.
Its the only way when the outdoors are not quite as out as you would like.
properties (22)
post_id1,480,195
authorbuilderofcastles
permlinkre-lily-da-vine-til-tropical-fire-ants-in-virtually-all-tropical-areas-come-from-acapulco-20161203t234310641z
categorytil
json_metadata"{"tags": ["til"]}"
created2016-12-03 23:52:39
last_update2016-12-03 23:52:39
depth1
children0
net_rshares0
last_payout2017-01-04 03:02:21
cashout_time1969-12-31 23:59:59
total_payout_value0.000 SBD
curator_payout_value0.000 SBD
pending_payout_value0.000 SBD
promoted0.000 SBD
body_length134
author_reputation18,668,572,517,060
root_title"TIL: Tropical Fire Ants in Virtually All Tropical Areas Come From Acapulco!"
beneficiaries[]
max_accepted_payout1,000,000.000 SBD
percent_steem_dollars10,000
@thecryptofiend ·
Great post.  I find ants fascinating.  Luckily we don't have fire ants here, just regular non fiery species!
👍  
properties (23)
post_id1,480,775
authorthecryptofiend
permlinkre-lily-da-vine-til-tropical-fire-ants-in-virtually-all-tropical-areas-come-from-acapulco-20161204t020415559z
categorytil
json_metadata"{"tags": ["til"]}"
created2016-12-04 02:04:15
last_update2016-12-04 02:04:15
depth1
children0
net_rshares49,159,678,279
last_payout2017-01-04 03:02:21
cashout_time1969-12-31 23:59:59
total_payout_value0.000 SBD
curator_payout_value0.000 SBD
pending_payout_value0.000 SBD
promoted0.000 SBD
body_length108
author_reputation323,593,656,929,629
root_title"TIL: Tropical Fire Ants in Virtually All Tropical Areas Come From Acapulco!"
beneficiaries[]
max_accepted_payout1,000,000.000 SBD
percent_steem_dollars10,000
author_curate_reward""
vote details (1)