Old 04-04-2001, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 5
Why they-

go down,
in the earth,
to get out of the rain.


Link to Staff Report: Where do ants go to get out of the rain? -- CKDH

[Edited by C K Dexter Haven on 04-05-2001 at 07:06 AM]
Old 04-04-2001, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 8
What do ants do when it rains?

I can tell you, because I'm from New Orleans where it rains all the time and there are tons of ants. Maybe if they are in the ground already they are OK, but I'll tell you what they do if they are outside the hill. They go rafting! The first layer (maybe more) sacrifice themselves, gripping each other with jaws and claws to make a raft. These ants eventually drown, but the rest cling to the top of the raft; and standing on the corpses of their bretheren does not make them happy. They float on top of the water, looking to a human wader like some rusty dust inexplicably floating down the street... then they slap against your thigh and you have a garter of insane ants on. By the time you finish killing them you have an interesting collection of welts ringing one leg (of course, they can get on both legs) and up your arms. This is even more fun if you are allergic to the things. Bottom line is, wading in a flood is most unwise. If you must do it, watch out for the ants.
Old 04-04-2001, 11:20 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 77,479
You're referring, of course, to the column recently posted by Doug, Where do ants go when it rains?.

When you're posting a new thread on a column, it's requested that you provide a link to the original article.

By the way, welcome, both of you, and enjoy the Straight Dope!
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
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Old 04-05-2001, 04:44 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 1,241
Maybe if they are in the ground already they are OK, but I'll tell you what they do if they are outside the hill.
We have the same thing in Texas, except I've only seen this behavior in fire ants; other ants seem to float (and drown) alone. I can also attest that they sometimes get bubbled up right out of the ground - at least 'round here where there's lots of near-surface limestone.

I feel a strange sense of satisfaction seeing a bazillion fire ants floating down the Colorado River, riding on the backs of their dead comrades... If you've ever had the 'joy' of being attacked by fire ants, you'll understand the source of this satisfaction.
Old 04-05-2001, 06:19 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 14,082
They invade my kitchen! Every single time!!
Old 04-05-2001, 10:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 413
where do ants...

when I water the raised vegetable beds, the ants come pouring out with eggs in their mandibles... and they always go UP.
mine, fortunately, are not fire ants!

I'd provide a link but I'm not sure how to do so.
Old 04-15-2001, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pratts, Mississippi
Posts: 6,246
I am very glad that red ants, black ants, little bitty brown ants and all species of ants except one have a method of surviving the great flood (which is how a normal rain must seem to them). The exception of course is the fire ant and I second the comment about "if you've never stepped on a fire ant hill". Fire ants, kudsu and Baptists will soon take over the south.
Old 04-16-2001, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 3,264
My all-time favorite description of fire ants, courtesy of Dave Barry: "Fire ants are a species of insect that was accidentally imported into the United States from someplace else, probably Hell."
"You won't like me when I'm angry. Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources." -- The Credible Hulk
Old 04-26-2001, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Durham, NC, USA
Posts: 3,199
Originally posted by catholicguy
Why they-

go down,
in the earth,
to get out of the rain.
I thought that was

They go down,
in the ground
to get out
of the rain.
Old 04-26-2001, 07:06 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chatham, NJ, USA
Posts: 5,022
"Earth" and "ground" are both current. For what it's worth, it was "earth" in Maine in the 50's.
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. Taliessin through Logres: Prelude
Old 04-26-2001, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Durham, NC, USA
Posts: 3,199
Originally posted by John W. Kennedy
For what it's worth, it was "earth"
Well, that rhymes.

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