"Crazy Ants" Infest Gamer's Dormant PC And Oh God They're Everywhere
Featured Image Credit: lazylollipop via Reddit, Marvel Studios
Ok, this is horrendous and I hate it and I must share it with someone because I cannot witness this abomination alone. Someone's PC became infested with ants when they left for a month, and the video is not for the faint of heart.
Uploading the evidence to Reddit, user lazylollipop begged for some sort of advice on what to do in this grim set of circumstances. When I say the insects are everywhere, they are... everywhere. Scuttling along wires, squeezing through the tiniest of gaps, weaving in and out of the components. It's hard to even understand how this happened, but all that lazylollipop knows is that the ants weren't there a month ago and now, upon their return, they have made themselves (very literally) at home. "I played games and ran benchmarks so they would come out cos of heat [sic]," they said. "Also left my pc running overnight but they still inside. Help [sic]." Unfortunately, this was one of the worst things they could have done to shift the ants from the machine.
May I formally introduce Nylanderia fulva, also known as the tawny crazy ant. They come from the rural areas of Colombia, South America, where it has actually eradicated all other ant species. Cool. Not a brilliant start to the positive PR campaign that these creatures will have to spin following this viral video. There is even evidence that these ants have suffocated small farm birds like chickens and bitten cattle on soft tissues like their eyes and nostrils. Yeah. Absolutely awful. Tawny crazy ants are capable of biting and leaving formic acid deposits when attacked, which triggers a short yet appreciable pain on the skin. They are called "crazy ants" due to their erratic movements, as seen in the video where they crawl wherever they please across the computer rather than start a specific line for all to follow.
In keeping their machine on, lazylollipop created the ideal dwelling for the ants. They are attracted to electrical equipment, causing thousands of dollars in damage and remedial costs in some cases, and no one is quite sure why they are so obsessed with these devices. One theory is that they like the sensations of the magnetic fields generated by the coursing of an electric current through wires. Another theory is that they enjoy the warmth of plastic and metal, along with the safety of an enclosed space. All in all, leaving the PC to heat up to encourage the ants to leave was a very bad idea.
"They do not have a central hive. They have multiple queens. They are very hard to kill," said Adjace-esque in the comments. "You can clear them from your computer by taking it apart and putting the pieces in airtight bags until the ants have all died. But I would also contact a professional exterminator because they must be in or near your house. If you just kill the ones in the computer, they will come back. They are not killed by ant baits or traditional over the counter pesticides. Exterminators have access to controlled pesticides that may work... These ants are not to be trifled with. Their main hobby other than destroying electronics is eradicating fire ant colonies."
If this story has given you the heebie-jeebies and every mote of dust on your computer now looks just like an ant, I have some good news if you don't live in the southern states of America. According to Wikipedia, their habitats are restricted to the Gulf Coast of the United States. So, brilliant news if you live in the other 194 countries on the globe. Less than brilliant news if you were planning to move to Texas some time soon.