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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 16, 2017

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Submitted: August 16, 2017



It’s safe to say that every homeowner in America hates termites.  The little white, wood eating insect causes countless dollars in damage every year.  But for us homeowners there is sweet and painful revenge in the form of another brutal insect called the Asian Needle Ant.  As the name implies, the Asian Needle Ant is originally from Asia and is fairly new to this country.  The ant has a black body with long, dark-red legs and it feeds almost solely on termites.  It is basically a termite murdering machine and it uses it’s long needle-like stinger (which is how it gets it’s name) to destroy it’s prey.  Honestly, it is quite fascinating to watch the ants do their wrathful work and I got to witness it first hand.


One day I was ripping an old board off of a dilapidated deck that I was repairing.  As I ripped the board off, thousands of white termites poured out of the board.  Most people would probably freak out but unless you are a piece of wood, termites are actually quite harmless and helpless little creatures.  Unlike an ants hard-segmented body a termite’s body is soft, delicate and smooth.  It’s bright white body mind as well be a bright white surrender flag because that is all a termite can do if it finds itself in the jaws of it’s enemy.  You see, a termite has no claws, stinger or pinchers to defend itself; pretty much it’s only defense it to run and hide which it’s not very good at either!  


As I pulled the termite infested board away from the deck I threw it in a small ditch and I continued working.  About twenty minutes later I returned to the board to see what the termites were doing, just out of curiosity, but their fate was sealed.  An Asian Needle Ant found the unsuspecting termites and she returned to her nest to tell her sisters- yes, almost all of the ants in the colony are female!  It wasn’t long before hundreds of the black and red needle ants began descending upon the poor termites.  Many of the termites tried to escape the ants but the ants were much faster and they quickly snatched up the fleeing termites.  Even though there were about three times as many termites as there were ants, the ants made short work of the helpless termites.


The needle ants were efficient and they started their killing spree at the outside perimeter of the termites and they began working in, sealing off any escape.  You could almost tell that the ants were excited to find their prey and it seemed like some of them were playing with the poor termites before stinging them.  Some of the ants were seemingly playing tug of war with them.  One of the ants would bite onto the back side of the termite’s fragile white body while the another ant would latch onto the head of the termite.  They would then lift the termite off of the ground and violently tug it back and forth, back and forth.  Many of the termites were ripped in half by the needle ants during this strange and evil ritual.


When the Asian Needle Ants were ready to sting their prey it was also very violent.  The black ant would run up behind a fleeing termite and snatch her up.  It would then wrap her long dark-red legs around the termite’s delicate white body and squeeze.  The termite would squirm helplessly as the black ant squeezed tighter and tighter until the termite could no longer squirm.  You could see the termite’s white legs flailing about as the ant lifted her off of the ground in it’s little bear-hug.  The ant would then violently thrust her long black stinger into the termite’s soft white body and it would continue holding it’s victim for about twenty seconds, until the venom took effect.  


After the ant was satisfied with her handy work she would release the termite and she would rapidly chase down another one.  The ants would each attack about five or six termites before they would start carrying them back to their nest.  Before long their were little white termite bodies everywhere.  I noticed that most of the termites were still squirming just a little bit as they lay there on their backs after being maliciously attacked and stung by a needle ant.  They definitely were not moving enough to escape but I could tell that they were still alive, barely.  It was almost as if the ants had purposely subdued them instead of killing them outright and it seemed like their was something much more sinister going on at the little crime scene.  After each ant attacked about a half-dozen termites she would effortlessly pick up one of the “subdued” termites.  Soon their was a trail of the black and red ants carrying off the little white termites, many of whom were still squirming just a little bit.  As some of the ants left to return back to the nest, many more of her sisters would return to continue the relentless assault on the termites.


It was all over for the poor termites and it only took a couple hundred ants to wipe out thousands of the termites.  They are quite efficient hunters and the termites never stood a chance.  I later found out why the termites were still squirming even after they had been stung instead of just dying from the venom right away and it is actually by mother-natures design.  You see, Asian Needle Ants purposely keep their poor termite victims alive for storage reasons.  The venom only paralyzes the termite unless the ant injects her with a larger dose of the venom.  The ants drag their subdued victims deep down into their nest and store them in a special chamber.  The needle ants keep them alive, just barely, so they don’t rot and spoil until they are ready to feast on them.  When the ants get hungry they drag a couple of the white termites out of the storage chamber and devour them…alive!  How's that for revenge, homeowners of America?


© Copyright 2017 Spaceman. All rights reserved.

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