Blowin' in the wind

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Sat Sep 26 13:39:04 EDT 1998

Jim Taylor wrote:
> Anne:
> Glad to hear you and yours made it through Georges w/o loss of body parts.
> As one who is married to a woman allergic to formic acid (the original ant
> acid), I am intrigued by your statement that the white-footed ant has
> replaced the fire ant at your digs.   Reckon where can I get some?
> Jim Taylor
> Savannah, Ga.
Reckon Mother Nature is heading a bunch of them up your way as we speak. 
airborne. I wouldn't dream of interfering. 
The USDA would, I trust, jump heavily upon anyone who deliberately
shipped a bunch of these nice little guys about. However, any shipment
of anything from South Florida is very likely indeed to contain some of
I think we should consider carefully the notion that they may be on the
whole beneficial. Assuming what we want is miles of fields of stuff,
this is the ant of choice. Sounds as if it would particularly benefit
And yet, you know, if the USDA had deliberately imported this ant i
would be screaming as loudly as any of you. 
Nobody notices ants, and so this ant has won before we noticed that
there was a war. 
A suggestion:
Make a bunch of clear lucite mounts of this ant; all phases: workers,
intercastes and royalty. Distribute these, through state agricultural
agencies, and actually track the spreading of this ant. Find out what it
does to agriculture etc. before you decide to eliminate it.
I'll bet it doesn't do well in wild areas ... does anybody know? 
My concern is that the measures recommended to eliminate this ant, if
carried to extremes, destroy all our efforts to create wildlife-friendly
back yards. 
If compost piles are accused, we lose the compost piles, and the host of
little critters that live there and eat ants. 
 	Folks in Florida used to live with invasive ants. There were tricks
you used to keep them off the bed and out of the food. Now would be a
good time to send them to Tom. 
Or send them to me and I'll knit them into useful info for people who
would rather live at peace with their bugs. I know many such people. 
Anne Kilmer
1424 Lake Bass Dr.
Lake Worth, FL 33461

Note, by the way, I did not bring this ant here, there is not the
slightest possibility of eliminating it, and any attempts we make to
attack a colony causes it to scatter and create satellite colonies. 
I'm hoping, here, to get baseline data of Tom, since if you have these
ants now, Georges did not fetch them to you. 
They are intriguing ants, remarkably intelligent, and I propose a truce.

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