by wjw on July 27, 2006

You know, giant insects never really scared me.

What scares me is lots of little insects.

This brings me to this article from a Montgomery paper describing the giant yellowjacket nests sprouting up throughout the South, so big they swallow cars and furniture.

‘The largest nest Ray has inspected this year filled the interior of a weathered 1955 Chevrolet parked in a rural Elmore County barn. That nest was about the size of a tire in the rear floor seven weeks ago, but quickly spread to fill the entire vehicle, the property owner, Harry Coker, said. Four satellite nests around it have gotten into the eaves of the barn, about 300 yards from his home.
‘”I’m kind of afraid for the grandkids. I had to sneak down there at dark and get my tractor out of the barn,” Coker said. “It’s been a disruption.”

. . . ‘These gigantic nests may have as many as 100,000 workers and multiple queens.’

Okay. Scared now.

Urban July 27, 2006 at 10:56 am

The multiple queens thing is interesting.

Might be something similar to this:
(“Ant supercolony dominates Europe”

“They think the initial success of the alien invaders would have led to high nest densities, which in turn would have favoured co-operative behaviour over aggression.”)

liz July 27, 2006 at 4:06 pm

Wow. this makes me glad I live in Michigan. I think I would have had the car towed away and burnt down the barn just to end the insect terror…

Responsible Artist July 27, 2006 at 7:45 pm

Glad I didn’t know about this when I sprayed an underground nest last spring. PS- Yellow Jacket jewelry has never gone out of style.

Coherent July 28, 2006 at 9:18 pm

After a certain size and dangerousness, I would consider it (the colony) to no longer be an amusing natural quirk, but a potentially dangerous invading predator. I’m always fascinated by the evolutionary potential of such supercolony creatures, but sometimes the next evolutionary leap isn’t something you want happening in your backyard.

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