The video: "It sounds like a horror movie," says Janet McConnaughy at the Associated Press. Hordes of super-fast, flea-sized ants with a nasty bite are swarming the U.S. South, from Texas to Florida. (Watch a news report below.) These so-called "crazy hairy ants" are probably native to South America, and their victims in the U.S. so far include everything from industrial plants — the ants can short out heavy equipment — to beehives. They travel in "cargo containers, hay bales, potted plants, motorcycles, and moving vans" — and there are now millions in the U.S. These ants are also quite hard to kill, and even if one dies, it often releases a chemical that calls in an attack from the whole colony.
The reaction: These terrifying little critters are a "billion times worse" than those house ants you find so annoying, says Lindsay Mannering at The Stir. In fact, with Halloween coming up, this almost sounds like a giant put-on: "What could be scarier than an ever-expanding army of ants that move at incredible speeds and that multiply if you try to kill them?" The "million-dollar question" is why they're marching north to the U.S., says Brian Merchant at TreeHugger. The answer is almost surely climate change. And as tropical weather creeps northward, "it shouldn't be much of a surprise if more and more northern states start seeing visits from the frantic little buggers." Here's what we're in for:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
Subscribe to the Week