Monday, January 17, 2011

"INFESTED!" with the Wrong Ants

On a new episode of Animal Planet's "Infested!" that aired about two weeks ago they featured a family suffering from "Argentine Ants." For some reason though the majority of the ants they show are actually one of our native Formica species... not found in Georgia where this event occurred. An Expert tells me they used Formica ulkei which I believe only occurs in northern US states and Canada.

I don't like seeing innocent ants villeinage in this way. The full program kept repeating that they were Argentine Ants, Linepithema humile. They do eventually show stock footage of real Argentine Ants, but they also showed stock footage of South American Army Ants! This mistake here is on par with showing footage of a turtle while talking about the danger of polar bears for some reason.

There is a scene where a little girl is taking a bath... then suddenly the camera quickly transitions so she's covered in ants. Filming that must have gone something like this.

Director: "Okay cue Girl!"
Girl begins bathing.
Director: "Okay cue Ants!"
Man with bucket of ants throws contents onto girl.
Girl: "Ahhhh Mom! Dad! Ants!"

And the family kept thinking the problem was because their house was made of wood. In the end they gut the entire house and reinforce it with concrete. While I agree that would limit the nesting options and ways into the house for the ants, I have to point out door ways and windows are still an issue. I wonder if installing central heating and AC wouldn't have done a better job. I suppose it's good to update foundations now and then though.