It's no joke
One data centre thought they'd combat these wee beasties with spiders. The inevitable chain of events followed, and the data centre ended up being swallowed by an old lady.
She's dead, of course.
A massive horde of computer-killing "crazy ants" are invading the southeastern US, killing other species as they go. New research released today in the journal Biological Invasions warns the aliens have wiped out at least one other ant invader, the exotic fire ant, but are also targeting local ants with deadly precision. More …
Being from the southeast, I'm very much aware of these pests. It's not all electronics they are interested in, but just some electrical and moisture. So, you could put a keyboard in the yard. They would never touch it. But a relay for , say a well motor, or an electrical outlet, and they swarm it. I don't know what the difference is between a wet computer verses an outlet, but there is and that's what they want. They especially are a problem in electronics for A/Cs and wells. They crowd the relay contacts (nothing else electrical in or around the area) and get crushed, preventing the relays from closing.
I deal with them the same way I deal with fire ants, I purchase a spray bottle of ant killer (Home Defense MAX) once a year and spray around all items (thus my multiple years of experience with them.) every 6 weeks.
All other electronics, my pump, salt water machine, lights, etc...... no problems. Relays and outlets..... it's like they are committing mass suicide.
If possible, get some Roach-Proof (boric acid) and sprinkle that around the affected devices. Lay it down pretty thick - like you are the Winchesters laying down a circle of protection from demons. Arthropods don't like the stuff - it gets into their joints and tears them up, causing them to dehydrate, as well as getting into their spicules and choking them.
Erm, boric acid works on ants as a stomach poison. It doesnt affect their joints in any way at all....Furthermore, they wont ingest it unless its mixed with a sugar or protein based food (honey/peanut butter).
Besides, Quantum Maxforce (Imidacloprid) will deal with the entire colony....
A PCB is made up of sandwiches of epoxy, fiberglass and copper. I doubt ants can sense glass or copper but they might be picking up a chemical signal from the the epoxy. A small change to the epoxy chemistry might put them off.
It is not clear to me that they are attracted to the PCB though. It could be a chemical signal from wire insulation or something to do with electric fields. Some research is required. No matter what it probably doesn't make economic sense to make special electronics for what is now such a small market segment. Some other mitigation is needed.
"What is wrong with the downvoting turds lately?
Windows 8 sucks. #dealwithit
You must be new here. "Eadon" continuously posts anti-MS posts at all opportunities - even if the topic isn't about windows.. Such as this one.
People have asked him to stop - he won't, hence all the downvoting.
P.S. hashtags don't belong on this site either
Eadon has, yet again, successfully derailed the first page of a comments thread, pushing all other relevant comments down, by trolling all of you fucking morons into responding to him. One post, and you've all been sucked in and rendered the entire thread worthless with your ranting at him.
Yes, I know this post contributes to the derailment, but if anyone wanting to respond to this has even one fucking brain cell, this post will remain the last one in the chain.
My respect for the El Reg community is dropping fast, decrementing every time I see you idiots giving Eadon exactly what he wants.
Successful troll is successful.
Handily, I happen to be a mod, so I'm going to do that universally popular mod thing and remind everyone of the house rules: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/01/register_comments_guidelines/
Pay close attention to points 2, 3 and 4. Think about what you're saying, be pertinent and don't troll. Don't like what another user posts? Ignore it. Can't ignore it? Use the handy grey "ignore" button next to that commentard's username so you don't have to make the effort to ignore it.
tl;dr Play nicely or else.
"I wasn't aware of it being against the rules on here. Oh you're not a moderator? okay stalemate then."
I don't think there is anything in the rules about not posting inane status updates every 5 minutes, but if I did, it would be in your right to tell me I'm doing wrong, even though *shock, gasp* you ain't moderator either. Stalemate #2
Ye gods, how many things can you get wrong in one article? RIFA sting, they dont bite, except to anchor themselves (they then sting in a cute little circle). The venom is the second nastiest after pogomyrmex (itself a 10th as nasty as taipan venom, think a mid range viper or a uk Adder) and its primary danger in humans is either venom overload or anaphylaxis. Add to this that theyre aggressive little sods that make asiatic bees seem positively cuddly and you begin to see why theyre so nasty. Oh and they also love electrics too, traffic lights being a particular favourite..
Fulva has a secret weapon in that it is one of the super colony ants - RIFA colony is based on a single queen, Fulva colonies have several and related colonies act & react as one. In the wild these can cover large areas and crowd out even species like RIFA.
Thank you for your informative post. I was going to write a similar post explaining the nature of the sting and its effect, but you covered most of it already. One sting is bad. But if you accidentally step on a nest, you can get hundreds of stings at once.The venom is a combination of toxins, histamines (they cause allergic reactions), and formic acid. It causes a small, very painful blister, and the surrounding skin is also irritated. The blisters take about two weeks to heal. Words like "fire" and "burning" only begin to describe the effect.
Most of the nests I've seen were adjacent to or underneath logs and boards on the ground. The ants also fill up junction boxes if there are conduits leading to the ground. The boxes I've seen were filled with moist dirt. I'm not sure if the ants were eating the wires, but the moisture ruined the electrical parts.
> Given El Reg's record in entomology I'm surprised they weren't described as termites.
That would have meant mentioning Space Marines, and then Copyright Violations Against Space Marines, and then we would be off on a tangent with Andrew.
Seriously, these ant invasions are weird. It's almost as if an alien intelligence wanted to take us out with better and better engineered stuff .... like in Philip K. Dick's Expendable. Maybe we should talk to the spiders.
" for reasons no one fully understands, they swarm into machines and chew away at the wires. Once an ant is electrocuted, it releases a signal calling other ants to help it, which can quickly result in a ball of dead ants inside a circuit, with thousands of ants cramming in"
Another use for old machines. Combined with a bug-zapper inside, just replace when full.
(do they prefer 60hz or something?)
The "signal" is a release of pheromones, specifically a "distress" pheromone - not an electrical signal. "Spoofing" that pheromone would mean synthesizing it.
In normal conditions, the idea is "that which kills one of us may kill all of us, so let's kill it first!". Great, if what is 'killin joo doods' is something that can be killed, like an anteater. Bad, if it cannot, like a high voltage circuit.
So let the ants spoof it. Lay some stripboard, hook alternating tracks up to live and neutral mains with a suitable limiting resistance, and put it in an enclosure to keep kiddie-fingers out. Ant goes in, ant goes pop, more ants are attracted, cycle continues. You won't wipe out a whole colony with an ant-trap, but even just killing a few thousand ants will slow their growth and make them a bit more manageable.
There are various - including rather egregarious fungal infections, parasitic wasps and other insect cuties. If you want something mammalian as a pet thats RIFA safe may I suggest the Pangolin? Comes in a nice shade of brown with full body armour plating as standard... Think a cross between a Jack Russell and a Tiger Tank...
"cross between a Jack Russell and a Tiger Tank..." Based on that description alone, I want one.
Can they live on anything other than these ants or do I have to import a colony too?
(Australian joke alert - we have a distinct wariness of importing species after a little thing called the Cane Toad was brought in to combat an annoying beetle).
Cane Toad? *Cane* Toad? Pah! Luxury! I got m' Clever Person Certificate from UEA and the place were overrun wi' Coypus brought in by Victorians frum South America t' manage banks o' Norfolk Broads.
Bloody things were size o' beavers an' med noise like human baby cryin'.
Cane Toad. Pfft! You soft southern hemisphere jessies.
Now there's something I can comment on, what with having a PhD in pheromones.
Actually, from our perspective, a pest which has an alarm pheromone is actually a really easily-defeated pest; all you do is synthesise either the exact alarm pheromone, or preferably something that is even more effective. Then you simply spray the pests with the alarm pheromone, which alarms them a very great deal. The alarm response is hard-coded; they can't not respond to it, and they cannot get bored and go away; while ever there is alarm pheromone present the ants HAVE to be alarmed.
Whilst they're alarmed, they can't really do much else; no feeding, looking after young, cleaning the nest and whatever; they will simply run round like crazy looking to attack stuff. Repeat dosing of alarm pheromone, then putting out alarm pheromone-doped flypaper ought to sort the sods out; that and putting out bait laced with juvenile hormone synthetics.
Juvenile hormone is a lovely, lovely thing. Insects normally have a larval or non-adult phase, followed by an adult phase. While in the juvenile phase, the juvenile hormone keeps them from developing adult characteristics. Spray an area with persistent synthetic juvenile hormone (or better yet, put out ant-bait laced with the stuff) and the colonies then suffer ant developmental problems, including an inability to breed; this has already been demonstrated agains Pharaoh's Ants. I should add here that juvenile hormone has absolutely no effect on humans or indeed any vertebrate at all.
"juvenile hormone has absolutely no effect on humans or indeed any vertebrate at all.
Are you sure? I've seen a lot of Chavs who seem to have been affected (or at least dont appear to have left the Juvenile state). Although, it doesnt appear to have harmed their ability to breed (unfortunately)...
When I lived in Western Australia some Singapore ants killed my computer's hard drive. They seemed to like the insulation of electrical wires in general, but when it came to the hdd there was some kind of foam between the circuit board underneath and the metal case. They were going crazy for that stuff, and also followed the wiring up into the drive itself. Did not sound very nice when I next started it up.
I ran experiments on fire ants (Solenopsis Invicta) and their behaviour in the presence of
electrical fields at University and whilst the reasons were not clear why they behaved
differently the phenomenon is well recorded. It was known as far back as the 1950's from studies
in Russia that small organisms don't like electrical fields. It was published in Russian initially and not well known. In essence it said if you plot a graph of smallest insect size you can spot versus distance to electrical pylons you get a direct correlation. I.e. really small gnats and the like stay well away, medium insects
stay a fair distance and only big things like birds go really close.
I always thought we should use this by putting ugly pylons down the middle of motorways to
prevent fly’s hitting windshields.
Now these ants seem to do the reverse by being attracted to strong electrical fields but at least last time I looked people were thinking of using that to build traps.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019