Silliness, Southern Living

Fire Ants Are Of The Devil

God made all the animals. It says so right in the Bible. But I’m convinced that fire ants are of the devil.

I say this because fire ants are so vile and so wretched and seem to be born to pour out misery upon humanity.  And also I say this because of the many similarities between fire ants and sin. And also because I thought it would make a clever little post.

Now I did not grow up with fire ants. I grew up in the mid-west where the icy anesthesia of winter calls the earth and everything within it into a long and deep frozen sleep.  And for some, like the cockroach, the long  cold mid-western winter brings death. (insert applause)

But. The Texas winter is more of a power nap. After a short nap, the fire ants wake up refreshed and energized and after a few stretches and push-ups, they are ready to destroy happiness and all living things.

Now, how are fire ants like sin? Well I’ll tell you.

For one thing, like sin, fire ants are ubiquitous.  In Texas at least, they are everywhere, all the time, and one must never let one’s guard down. In Texas and in life, one must always be aware of where one is standing.

As well, like sin, fire ants are opportunistic.

For example, right at this very moment, just below the surface of my lush and spongy green St. Augustine grass, are likely a number of fire ant mounds, invisible to the naked eye. Just below the surface is a menacing mob of fire ants, rubbing their six tiny hands together in anticipation and cackling with glee, just waiting for some unsuspecting tender flesh to happen by.  And in Texas, it eventually happens. Sooner or later you will find yourself standing unawares in a pile of fire ants.

And because fire ants are the spawn of the devil, they are sneaky and surreptitious.  An entire army of ants will silently tip toe up your leg in stealth mode and at the appointed time, the ant commander will give the signal to BITE! And all at once, all of the little bastards will joyfully chomp down on your ankles and that very very tender space between your toes. And you will scream in pain. And maybe even cuss.

And it’s not just the fiery sting of the bite that issues agony.  Some sort of substance in the bite sends a nausea-inducing, bone chilling current of electricity, pulsing and snapping up and down your spine and out your eyebrows.

And like a wiener dog, once a fire ant bites, it will not let go until it dies.  Many people do not know this, but the fire ant was the model for the modern day invention we all know as The Jaws of Life. It’s true. No it’s not. I just made that up.  Everyone knows the wiener dog was the model for The Jaws of Life.

Anyway, like sin, fire ants always leave an ugly calling card.  After a fire ant bites, he leaves behind a tiny, hard, painful puss-filled, hateful blister. And there is nothing you can do about it but cry just a little and poke at the blister and maybe show other Texans hoping for some sympathy.

And finally, so that I might take an analogy just one step too far, as I like to do — like sin, there is nothing to be done about fire ants. Oh sure you can try this and that and for awhile it might even work.  But not for long.

Sin and fire ants.  Man can master neither – for very long.

31 thoughts on “Fire Ants Are Of The Devil

  1. I too was born in the land of the cold winter. Our ants are kindly. Then I l moved to Texas. And stepped into a hill of them.
    I’ve never looked at an ant the same way again.
    There is one way that fire ants and sin differ, at the time at least, sin can be fun. (still bad though) At no point have those little turkeys ever been fun.

    * * *
    Ha! You are so clever Happy Geek and just one reason I adore you. You are right – fire ants are NEVER fun. ~AM

  2. A fire ant bit me TWICE the other day. . .in a VERY impolite spot. . .WHILE I was in a swimming pool–cause even though water is a fast way to get them off if it’s coming from a hose, those little buggers can float. . .and do. Yes–fire ants and sin. GREAT analogy.

  3. I first encountered them in Florida! I thought the red ants were bad in California where I grew up, but these are evil, mutant things.

  4. Here here! I’m with you on these little buggars. They’ve invaded North Carolina and playing outdoors is no longer the safe and carefree thing it once was. There must be a connection to sin in that last statement, but I just can’t quite get there tonight. Oh well….it’s been a long day for this AM.

  5. Amen!
    I was attacked by fire ants in June down in Florida. It was dark and we were packing the van up after an outdoor concert. My foot started burning and I looked down and it was covered in ants. I counted 35 bites, all on the top of my foot and between my toes – I had not felt that much pain since childbirth. I think I said a year’s worth of curse words, but I was so glad it was me and not my 2 year old!

    * * *
    If you want to feel like a super duper stellar mother, try hushing a screaming 18-month-old only to find out seconds later he’s got a number of fire ants on his foot. Yeah, that makes you feel like mother of the year. I said, “Welcome to Texas, Sean.”

  6. Perfect analogy – I live in Texas!!
    And by the way – you have lush, green grass?! We can’t seem to get a drop of rain to fall here. Our grass is brown and dry and crackles when you walk across it. Come to think of it, maybe the fire ants don’t like it either!

    * * *
    My lawn is green and lush in places, thanks to the sprinkler system. But we also have big brown raw spots, thanks to a tenacious mole. ~AM

  7. Elegant third-paragraph description of winter. Icy anesthesia is very lovely. The phrase, not the… never mind…

    And I smiled broadly at your far-flung analogy phrase in the penultimate paragraph. Wow! I never typed that big long self-important word before.

  8. Up and over here, we don’t see that many fire ants, except …..
    At the cemetery. That’s right; death, sin, Fire Ants.
    I guess it’s the soil they use in attempt to cover up all that sin. It causes fire ants.

    And I think maybe locusts might be related to fire ants.

    * * *
    Ugh. Fire ants are a common site, graveside in Texas. It’s their final act of evil. They torture the grieving and then eventually consume the corpse. Makes me lean towards cremation – just so the fire ants won’t win. ~AM

  9. I loved this post. Totally agree. When I was three I stepped into a hill of fire ants and didn’t know it until they were all over me–just like you said, stealthy little things. This is probably my earliest memory. It’s the only thing I don’t like about living in Texas. I love the heat and humidity, but not the ants. Or flying roaches. Ew.

    * * *
    Yes. Fire ants and flying roaches are the price we pay for getting to live in the fabulousness that is Texas. I love my Texas. ~AM

  10. I mistakenly stood in a nest of fireants just off the beach at Daytona this past Feb. We were going thru’ a house remodel job of my bro in-laws & looking at the ocean view. Not sure how many bit me…at least 8-10 & I suffered the consequences for weeks! Won’t make that mistake again…I hope. No fire ants in Indiana that I know of…just snakes! (That’s who I think is the devil!!!)

  11. I am so thankful we don’t have those in Minnesota! Granted, we trade the roaches and the fire ants for innumerable mosquitoes with unbelievable tenacity, but I think I’d take them any day over what you’re describing.

  12. I lived in Utah for most of my young childhood. The ants were nice there. Then we moved to Arizona. Me and my two younger sisters discovered the hard way that the ants in AZ are of the devil. I’ve had several encounters with them. And I’m allergic to those horrible bugs.

  13. I read that you can pour cornmeal on them. They will take them down into the mound and the grains will expand and suffocate them.

    But is that true about the roaches? I heard you can shake em up in water, freeze them and they will still live. May have to try that and blog about it.

    * * *
    It’s probably true. You know what they say about cockroaches and Cher…

  14. Coincidentally, my boy got bitten by fire ants three times yesterday. After dealing with the pain (and a swollen finger this morning), he is totally buying into your theory. He loves bugs, but these are not bugs. They are the spawn of the devil, and yes, I surely do see the resemblance to sin. Very astute thinking for an antique… wish MY brain still worked that well!

  15. I don’t know about fire ants. But I do know about flies–not American flies, fat and lazy and relatively few in number, but African flies and their ways. They are from the pit of hell. How do I know? Because one of Satan’s name, Beelzebub, means Lord of the Flies. Yep. I wonder if, perhaps, in one of the gnostic gospels, it might also call him Lord of the Fire Ants?

  16. OK…I don’t think we have fire ants up here in Chicago? They sound dreadful:P

    I also wanted to thank you for the excellent point you made on my post about “The Secrets of Mommy Bloggers” Why do women get such a bad rap?

  17. The bane of my southern existence: fire ants.

    When we first moved to Florida, I kept waking up with fire-ant bites on my (ahem) behind. Our brand new house had a little nest of them in the master bedroom, right under our bed. We quickly got rid of them, but the moral of the story is: you’re never really safe if you live in the south.


  18. This brought back dreadful memories of getting tortured by fire ants when I lived in Florida. I had never heard of them until then. They truely are evil. My feet and ankles were in so much pain, that I couldn’t wear shoes for almost two weeks. The pain is something I will never forget. My 4 year old grandson in Texas got attached by them going to the movies. I hear they have made their way into Oklahoma now. I will be aware, very aware.

  19. So very well said! Can’t tell you how many times the words, “Watch out for the fire ants” have fallen off my lips! Georgia…Texas…it’s the same sinful battle!

  20. Ooooo…if there was one thing that I definitely did not miss about being in the south it was these nasty little devils! I have, right now, even as I type this, four, count ’em FOUR, nasty little fire ant bites between my tender toes because I had the audacity of standing behind the car to open my trunk to get my groceries into the house.

    Little f%$#ers!!

  21. After getting married and moving to Texas (from the midwest–home of freezing winters and salvation from horrible ants), my husband said, “Welcome to God’s Country”. What he didn’t say was that the devil himself left his calling card in the form of those pesky fire ants. I discovered that for myself about six months later. I was ready to move back to Kansas!

  22. This is one of many reasons that I look forward to Jesus’ return. I’ve never encountered a fire ant, but it definitely fits the “spawn of the devil” moniker if anything does.

  23. Read this entry and all the comments with great interest as I work for a company that does support work for the Govt Dept concerned with the biosecurity of our country – so even down here we know about these dang things!
    NZ is currently free of fire ants, but they are very very high on our list of wee beasties to watch out for at our borders.

  24. Oh! I have lived in Texas my whole life, and I guess in west Texas the winters were cold enough there, because only since we have moved to Midland in the past year, have we had fire ants. And I HATE them. I hate the pain they bring to me, but mostly, I can not endure the screaming they elicit from my 5 year old, and the fact that they now have a plausible excuse not to go outside and play. Just when I think I have them conquered in my yard, I’ll see another mound. I remember my granddaddy in a war with a ground hog, and I laughed at how passionate he was about it. Oh, how I rue that day of laughing. My sin is coming back to haunt me!

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