The Billion Ant Mega Colony and the Biggest War on Earth

The Billion Ant Mega Colony and the Biggest War on Earth


In nearly every corner of the earth, ants wage war against each other. Their weapons are what nature gave them. Some have strong armor, deathly stingers, or sharp mandibles. And then there’s this
tiny and not very impressive ant, but it rules the biggest empire any ant has ever built. A colony spanning continents and fighting wars that leave millions of casualties. Let’s take a look at this unlikely warrioress, “Linepithema humile”
the Argentine ant. ♫ Kurzgesagt intro music ♫ This story begins in the floodplains
around the Paraná River, in South America, It’s a crowded ant megalopolis where dozens of ant species fight for dominance, including fire ants, army ants and the rather unimpressive Argentine ant. It measures only 2 to 3 millimeters in length and with its small mandibles, it’s surprising that it survived among its buff competitors. Their homes are equally unremarkable. Their colonies range from fairly small to very large
and could be found anywhere: Under logs, in loose leaf litter
or the former colonies of other ants. Here, Argentine ants prepare their most
effective weapon against their competitors: bodies. Most ant species have
only one queen to produce ants, while Argentine ants went all-in on numbers. For every 120 workers there’s one queen, laying up to 60 eggs a day. So their colonies grow fast and have millions or billions of individuals. Teams of queens and workers frequently branch out and found new colonies. But this strategy has a downside:
As colonies grow and produce a lot of offspring, mutations occur and new colonies adapt to new environments. Their DNA slowly changes from generation to generation and differences accumulate. So after a while the ants that left the colony will become more like distant cousins and start to compete with their mother colony. In their native South American range, this is how Argentine ants behave. Within their colonies they are very cooperative
and well-organized, but they fight vicious wars against other Argentine ant colonies and other ant species With equally strong opponents on every side, the Argentine ant became extremely
aggressive, fighting for every inch of ground. But it could never dominate its neighbours…
until humans showed up. We did what humans do and transported things around the world by ship. On one of them, a few Argentine ant queens hitched a ride as stowaways from South America to Madeira and New Orleans. The Argentine ants suddenly found themselves in a strange world. Instead of being surrounded by deadly enemies, they found only victims ⁠—
nobody could fight them effectively. Because only a few Argentine ant queens
were introduced to the outside world, the resulting colonies had very low genetic diversity. On top of that, the introduced Argentine ants kill up to 90% of their queens every year. Fewer queens, less genetic variation. So, as these colonies spread across the landscape, ants that left the colony were no longer
considered distant cousins. As a result, the new colonies form not opposing but cooperating parties called “supercolonies”. This is a very uncommon
strategy in the ant kingdom, only a few of the 16,000 ant species have evolved supercolonies. A supercolony was established on the
West coast of the USA and became a base for the tiny ants’ global conquest. Today, the Argentine ant inhabits the Mediterranean zones of six continents and many islands. This one supercolony was especially successful, establishing sister locations in California, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, forming one massive intercontinental megacolony of Argentine ants. This makes them the largest society on Earth,
more numerous than even the human one. But their success has changed the ecosystems they invaded. California is a perfect example of this. In their greed for more territory, the invading Argentine ants have overrun and replaced 90% of the native ant species, including several species of Californian carpenter ants. Although carpenter ant workers are giants, their colonies have only between 3,000 and 6,000 individuals and stand no chance against an expanding supercolony of billions of Argentine ants. Argentine ant workers attack by wiping toxic chemicals on their victims which irritates the enemy and marks them as a target for other Argentine ants. When they attack, the Argentine ants wash over their victims, clinging on to their opponents in groups
and pulling apart their limbs. It doesn’t matter how many of them die ⁠—
there are always more. Once the colony is overrun and exterminated, the Argentine ants feed on their victims brood and take over their home and territory. The Argentine ants’ numbers allow them to hunt down and devour such an excessive mass of different insects that over time some species disappear
from the ants’ territory completely. Argentine ants don’t care about working
with the local flora and fauna, they consume them and move on. And, if their next stop happens to be human property, they will rudely make themselves at home there too. They forage in dumpsters, bowls of pet food and sneak into kitchens to claim leftovers. Not just our homes: our gardens and
fields are also impacted by Argentine ants, since they tend to hordes of aphids as their cattle. The aphids feed from plants and produce a sweet honeydew, which they trade with the ants for protection. Since the ants have no major enemy to fear in their new homes, the aphids thrive and ultimately kill the plants they live on. So, on top of being a major disruption
for the ecosystems they invade, they are also a huge pest for agriculture. But the rule of the Argentine ant is being challenged. Parts of the super colonies have broken off and become their own empires. A merciless civil war has broken out. For example, the Lake Hodges Supercolony has been fighting against the Very Large Colony for years in San Diego County. A massive war is going on over a dynamic front line stretching over kilometers, an estimated 30 million ants die here each
year. On other fronts, an old acquaintance from the Parana River has risen from the shadows Red imported fire ants, which were accidentally introduced from their
old home to the coast of Alabama, Not only are the red fire ants fierce fighters
and more than able to deal with the Argentine ant, they are also able to form
super colonies themselves. Now the old wars from their distant home have been
taken to a foreign battleground. In the southeastern US the super colonies
clashed fiercely. The Argentine ants found themselves outgunned by the fire ants. The fire ants major workers are more than twice the size of the
Argentine ants and wield venom-injecting stingers, even though the Argentine ants
fought fiercely, the fire ants were too much for them. After countless lost
battles the red imported fire ant exterminated the Argentine ants super
colony from much of the southeastern US. This is one territory lost but the
Argentine ants will fight on. This amazing network of cooperating super
colonies is the biggest success in their history. And they’ll not give it up because of a small defeat. They will stand their
ground against any enemy that might arise. No matter if it’s on the Paraná River or on one of the large battlefields across the world. ♫ Background music winds up ♫ These videos were developed with the support of ‘Curiosity Stream’, a subscription
streaming service with thousands of documentaries and non-fiction titles. Kurzgesagt viewers can visit curiositystream.com/kurzgesagt to get a free 31-day trial to watch films like “Big World in a Small Garden”, a
documentary that takes a close look at the world of insects around us or other
documentaries by the likes of Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough, and many more, all available for offline viewing. Once your trial is over, the subscription
is only 2 dollars 99 a month. Curiosity Stream was founded by the same people
who started the Discovery Channel, with documentaries, spanning science, nature,
history, technology and lifestyle. It’s a great way to binge watch fun videos while accidentally learning things. Thank you so much to our friends at Curiosity Stream for supporting our ant’s obsession and making ant-bitious projects like this
possible, stay tuned for part three and visit curiositystream.com/kurzgesagt for your free trial. *Kurtzgesagt duck quacks while floating through space*
♫ Outro music ♫

What does termite mean?

What does termite mean?


What does termite mean? termite. Noun 1. A white-bodied, wood-consuming insect of the infraorder Isoptera, in the order Blattodea.

Top Realtor Rookie Mistakes 🤦‍♂️ Preventable Termite Related Delays in Escrow

Top Realtor Rookie Mistakes 🤦‍♂️ Preventable Termite Related Delays in Escrow


You’ve heard you can’t spell escrow without
three T’s: Tears, Taxes, and Termites. Unless you are making an all-cash offer, chances
are that a termite company will be involved at some point in your escrow transaction. Clearing the termite certification process
is a major hurdle in most escrow transactions in California. There are common, yet preventable, mistakes
realtors and homebuyers alike repeat over and over when scheduling termite work for
escrow. In order to prevent making the mistakes most
rookies make, it’s important to understand how termite work fits into the escrow process. In all escrow transactions involving a mortgage
lender, the lender will set certain conditions and stipulations attached to the buyers going
on contract for the loan AND the property the lender is loaning on. Lenders will want to make sure that the property
they are lending on is structurally sound and not at risk of future structural failures
(see section i vs section ii). For that reason, lenders will at the very
minimum order a thorough Wood Destroying Organism inspection on the property in addition to
the general home inspection (see Most Common Termite-Related Delay in Escrow) . If the home is in California and it is over
10 years old, chances are there will be some sort of WDO or termite-related finding. Of course, each property is unique and should
be thoroughly inspected, but realistically speaking, if the property is close to being
10 years old it will likely be a minor termite finding that is likely easily dealt with by
local treatment ( see Termite Control Local Treatment vs Fumigation). Nonetheless, the lender will see this termite
issue as a problem that can create future structural integrity issues if deferred or
improperly handled. For that reason, the lender will require the
termite issue be addressed as a precondition to funding the loan. This is where the errors begin. I should disclaim, the following mistakes
I am about to describe are all rooted in one big major error, and that is not having a
termite inspection done early enough in the escrow process to give you enough time to
deal with and clear any termite-related hurdles before close of escrow (see Most Common Termite-Related
Delay in Escrow ). Having said that here are some of the common
rookie mistakes we see. Termite issues are found with just a little
time left to close escrow. A realtor fears there won’t be enough time
for the lender to review the termite inspection report, provide preconditions for repairs,
and go through the process of scheduling and clearing before close of escrow. What does rookie realtor do? They try and guess what the preconditions
will be or, in a more fun version of this rookie mistake, they ask the termite company
to guess what items should be repaired in order to close escrow. Each lender, each underwriter, and each loan
is unique and different. What lenders require as preconditions to providing
a loan is entirely up to the lender. It’s not a good idea to try and guess what
the lender will set as preconditions. Doing so only creates chaos, confusion and,
inevitably, delays. Its a better idea to have the report in the
lender’s hand early in the process so that there is enough time to address any termite-related
issue that may arise. Second Rookie Realtor mistake, approving work
without authorization. I wish this wasn’t common, but it is. A lender provides notice that termite issues
need to be dealt with prior to funding the loan, and a realtor fears there’s not enough
time for the buyer and seller to hash out who will pay the cost. Or, the realtor fears the work is so extensive
and time to close escrow is fast approaching so, in an effort to save every last minute,
Rookie Realtor approves the work himself without telling anyone. Let me tell you, we are a group of really
good-looking termite control service providers, but for some reason, people don’t like us
showing up and surprising people with unexpected termite work. I can only imagine how this goes when it happens
to the other companies out there. It’s not a good idea for Rookie Realtor
to approve work they aren’t really authorized to approve. When a termite company shows up to a property
that no one is expecting to undergo termite work, what happens is a great big knee-jerk
reaction. Work is immediately halted, and all the other
parties involved need time to understand why really good looking termite professionals
came out of nowhere without consent and who is expected to foot the bill. By the time all of that gets figured out,
at least a day is lost and scheduling the work now goes to the back of the line for
the termite company losing even more time. This spectacularly bad idea is especially
problematic in condo or townhome communities (see Closing Escrow in HOAs). It’s a better idea to present the lender’s
termite-related preconditions as early in the process as possible so everyone involved
has the opportunity to approve and schedule properly. Third Rookie Realtor mistake, failing to coordinate
work and contractors. Here we are again with Rookie Realtor far
into the escrow timeline and no termite completion and certification to show. Fearing that it might upset people to know
that there is termite work which must be done but was not disclosed earlier in the process,
Rookie Realtor schedules termite work to be done in conjunction with other projects in
hopes that the termite work will “sneak in,” or will blend in with all the other
work and will go unnoticed. This doesn’t work because for two reasons. First, when either super good looking termite
professionals or not-so-super looking termite dudes show up to do work on a property, people
take notice. So, it doesn’t work no matter who you hire. Second, often termite work is not conducive
to allowing other work to be done. How can a painter paint when the wood is being
drilled and treated for termites? How can a roofer work when a house is being
tented? A better idea is to lay out all of the work
needed to be done to the property early enough in the escrow process to schedule the work
to be completed and develop appropriately as escrow unfolds. In short, your escrow time is not just paperwork
time. Escrow time is the time to get the necessary
repairs and work done in order to successfully clear escrow. Get your termite inspection done early and
that alone will set you up to have enough time to clear any termite-related hurdle well
before escrow is to be closed. We continue to be Southern California’s
preferred termite and pest control service provider. We pride ourselves in being the number one
provider of dependable and convenient termite inspection and services for escrow. Schedule a termite inspection with one of
our local termite inspectors at www.termitepro.us or Contact us at 1(844)GOT.ANTS.

Ants treat comrades injured on the field of battle

Ants treat comrades injured on the field of battle


The Matabele ant’s strict termite diet means many of these ants’ days are spent in dangerous raids on these combative insects. The termites are no pushovers, which leaves many ants wounded after each raid. Researchers recently found that injured ants are often carried back to the nest by their fellow soldiers. Now they have discovered that once back at the nest, the injured ants’ wounds are treated by their nestmates, who spend time grooming the open wounds to clear debris, adding antimicrobial chemicals, and removing any pesky termites. And the treatment works. Ants treated within the first hour had a mortality rate of 10%, while ants that received no treatment had a mortality rate of 80%. Researchers found that lightly injured ants altered their behavior when near a returning column of ants. When nest-mates were close, they slowed their pace dramatically, signaling that they’re injured If the ants passed them by without help, the injured ant immediately started walking faster, following them back to the nest. Ants that lost five or more limbs in a termite battle were rarely helped back to the nest. Normally, when an injured ant is found, it curls up into a ball to allow for easy transport. Heavily injured ants, however, flail their remaining limbs about and spin on their backs, becoming so uncooperative that they’re left behind. Moving forward, researchers hope to find out if this grooming behavior simply prevents infection after termite skirmishes or if it could also be an effective treatment if an infectious disease attacks the colony.

Frequently Asked Questions about Termite Control | Arizona Best Choice Pest & Termite Services

Frequently Asked Questions about Termite Control | Arizona Best Choice Pest & Termite Services


There are many
factors in treating a home that add to the cost
of the termite treatment. In order to get an accurate
price on a termite service, we recommend to our
clients that they get a free inspection on the home. That way, the purpose
of the inspection is will give us
the ability to look at the level of
infestation, properly identify the foundation
types of their home, what are the termites using as a
point of entry into their home, and how do we go about
treating the home based on those points of entry
and level of infestation. There are some potential
hazards that they want to be aware of
during the treatment. So typically, what we ask is
that people keep their children and pets away from
the technicians while they’re doing their work. All of the products
that we use today are all registered with the EPA. They’re injected under
and around the foundation. They’re designed to
soak into the soil. And once they bond with
the soil and the project is deemed complete,
you and your family can go out and conduct
business as usual. There are multiple variables. The first variable is the
foundation type of the home. The second variable is
what is the linear footage of your home, meaning
what is the measurement of the footprint of your home? A third dynamic is what type
of material are they using? There are a wide
variety of termiticides available on the market today. Some of them operate very
well in Arizona soil. However, there also are many
low-grade low-cost generic products on the market
today that, while they provide the termite control
operator with a lower chemical price point, and provide the
consumer with a lower price point, they don’t
always give you the best overall value, because
they break down quickly. All of our termite services
at Arizona’s Best Choice are guaranteed. Our minimum warranty
is for one year. We also have options
where you can go up to five years of
a warranty, based on your initial treatment. After the one or
five-year period of time, all of our warranties are
renewable for the lifetime of your property. They’re also fully assignable
if you ever sell your home. You will get a
notice in the mail each year alerting you that it’s
time for your annual warranty inspection. You simply give us a
call at the office. We schedule a convenient
day and time for one of our uniformed technicians
to come out to your home and perform a complete
property inspection. If we find a reoccurrence of
termites for whatever reason, we take care of any treatments
necessary at our expense, not yours. There’s two types of homes–
those that have termites, and those that are
going to get them. And while, again, that’s
not an exact science, one of the key elements
in termite prevention is actually good inspection. So minimally, what we
recommend to customers that you have your home
inspected once a year for termites, regardless
of age or history. Based on an annual
inspection, you can look into different
options, whether it’s a preventative
treatment, or, if you’ve kept up with an
annual inspection, you can rest assured
that if there is a termite
infestation discovered, you’ve caught them early in the
process, which will give them the ability to go in and do
whatever treatment’s necessary early, before any real
damage takes place.

Pestec | Sydney Pest Control | Pest Control | Termite Control | Pest Managment Sydney

Pestec | Sydney Pest Control | Pest Control | Termite Control | Pest Managment Sydney


CompareQuotes is an independent company that hand selects the most reliable, professional and affordable businesses in the trade and service industries. The following business has consistently met our standards and they are a supplier that we can highly recommend. Hey, I’m Rowan from Pestec. I’m termite expert. I’ve been in the industry for 27 years. Pestec are the termite experts, so we specialize in the area of termite prevention and termite control. Termites cause more damage than fire, floods and storms combined in Australia every year. Because the house is their biggest asset, the Australian standards recommend that an inspection should be done at least every 12 months. We do a full termite inspection of the property. We service the greater Sydney area. What makes us different from other Pest Control companies would be that the level of skill from our technicians. That have a lot of experience already in the industry and then, we train them in the ways of termite control. Pestec’s expertise, I mean, I don’t think you can really question it at the end of the day. I found them to be quite professional and always reliable and I’ve also found them to have completely eradicated our pest problems. We also do general pest management, so we can treat for cockroaches, spiders, ants, rodents. Yeah, we have also used Pestec for our home, pest control purposes and they’ve been fantastic with our two little kids. So, I mean, it is really important that we have no spiders and other pests around the place. They’ve been right on top of that. So it’s been great, a great service. We give people set time appointments, which a lot of people in the pest industry don’t do. They just say they will be there between 9 and 12. Communication is great with Pestec, you know, we’re always receiving informal visits from them just to check on things, always courtesy calls to make bookings etc. So, the communication is great. We have a range of tools to use in termite management. We use thermal imaging where it’s necessary. With latest technologies, we try to use a non-invasive way of dealing with termites, finding termites. No matter what type of termite control might be the appropriate thing to have at someone’s home, we can carry out whatever it is that’s needed, because we are registered to use all products in the industry and we’ve got the appropriate training to do so. I would recommend Pestec without any hesitation whatsoever. They’re a great business, they solve a problem for you, they turn up on time, and they’re experts in their field. I’ve had absolutely no hesitation in recommending Pestec for either commercial or for personal or home pest control. I think they are fantastic; they’re certainly the best company that we’ve ever used. In Australia, everybody’s house is at high risk of getting termites. You need to have your home inspected every 12 months. Give us a call, we’ll look after it for you. Pestec Pty Ltd PO Box 3318, Narellan NSW 2567 P: 1800 111 616 F: 1800 111 616 F: 02 4647 7363 E: [email protected] www.pestec.com.au

These Ant Paramedics Save Their Injured Comrades

These Ant Paramedics Save Their Injured Comrades


♪Intro♪ If you’re ever seriously hurt, you can probably
go to a hospital and get help. But animals don’t have doctors. If they’re injured, wounds can get infected
pretty quickly or mean impending doom. Except… that might not necessarily be true
for one species of ant. In a paper published this week, researchers
from Germany have discovered that the African Matabele ants tend to each other’s open
wounds after vicious battles with termites. And they think it’s the first time a behavior
like this has ever been observed in insects. Two to four times every day, Matabele ants
hunt termites. A scout ant finds a vulnerable nest of termites
and then leads a raiding party back to it. But termites have powerful jaws, called mandibles,
so these raids are pretty dangerous for the ants. They often end up with one or more of their
six legs bitten off. Scientists already knew that these wounded
ants secrete pheromones from glands in their mandibles that act as calls for help, attracting
their friends to carry them home. And now, thanks to a combination of lab and
field experiments, we also know what happens next. Very badly injured ants — who have lost
almost all of their limbs — are left behind, because they thrash around so much that helper
ants can’t carry them. Ants that are less badly injured — like
if they’re missing one or two legs — keep still, cooperate with their rescuers, and
are more likely to be carried back. This keeps resources from being wasted on
lost causes. Once an injured ant gets home, other ants
lick their wounds for several minutes. Ants don’t really have tongues, but they
carefully clean the injuries with their mouthparts. According to these experiments, ants that
lose limbs and don’t receive this treatment have about an 80% chance of dying. But with the licking, that number drops to
10%. The researchers think this treatment helps
reduce the chance of infection in open wounds, removing dirt and debris that could carry
pathogens. And while this hasn’t been tested yet, it’s
possible the ants could be applying some sort of antimicrobial substance as well. Once they heal up, ants that still have four
or five legs left can get around just fine and contribute to the colony. So this treatment isn’t just out of the
goodness of their hearts — it’s a useful adaptation. Those wounded veterans are still expected
to earn their keep. Ant medicine may be full of surprises, but
we’re still learning a lot about human medicine, too. And a study published in the journal Science
this month gleaned some new insight into brain disorders. Many medical conditions can be diagnosed based
on physical signs, like a rash or a tumor. But psychiatric conditions are different. Doctors can’t spot them on a brain scan;
they have to be diagnosed based on feelings and behaviors. We know that certain gene variations are linked
to risks for certain psychiatric disorders, but that part of biology involves a lot of
questions, and not very many answers. All of your cells have the same DNA, so sequencing
your genome can reveal what gene variants you have. But analyzing all the RNA in a cell, which
is called a transcriptome, actually shows which genes are being expressed. That’s because the information stored in
DNA is decoded into RNA to make all the different proteins our bodies need. Cells in different organs need different proteins,
and therefore different active genes, to do their jobs. But other things, like environments you’ve
been exposed to, could affect gene expression too — including genes in brain cells, where
tiny chemical changes can affect how you think, feel, and act. This new study combined data from nine previous
studies to form a meta-analysis of 700 brain tissue samples from deceased people. Specifically, the researchers were looking
at RNA in cerebral cortex tissue — the surface structure in the brain that’s involved in
a lot of information processing and decision making. The tissue samples came from patients with
autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and alcoholism, and some brains of people
without any diagnosed disorders for comparison. Using a lot of math, the scientists used all
this transcriptome data to look for patterns of gene expression. These are all different disorders with different
symptoms, so it would make sense to think that their causes and effects in brain cells
would vary, as well. But learning if and how these conditions overlap
might give scientists new hints about how to help these patients. And some patterns the researchers found caught
them by surprise. For instance, bipolar disorder and depression
were fairly distinct, even though they’re both considered mood disorders and share some
symptoms. Alcoholism also had basically no overlap with
any of these other disorders, despite previous studies that suggested that alcoholism and
depression might share some genetic risk factors. Schizophrenia and autism, on the other hand,
showed some similarities. With both disorders, patients seemed to express
fewer genes for communication between neurons and more genes related to inflammation. And inflammation-related genes were extra
active in the autism brain samples, adding to evidence that gene overexpression could
play a role in that condition. There are other small results too, but no
huge takeaways yet. Mostly, this study is another step toward
learning how brain functions can go wrong. Transcriptome research won’t actually help
with diagnoses and treatments until we do a lot more of it, and on more specific parts
of human brains. But by gradually learning about how psychiatric
disorders might affect brains biologically, researchers hope to develop more effective
treatments someday. Thanks for joining me for SciShow News, and
a special thanks to Patreon President of Space Matthew Brant. Without Matthew and all of our patrons on
Patreons, we wouldn’t be able to make SciShow and bring you all up to date science news. ♪Outro♪