Location = Cumberland, RI
It’s 5:52AM to be exact, the sun was already up for what was the beginning of a 95 degree scorcher day in Rhode Island. I notice two swarmer (winged reproductive) Pavement Ants on my windshield. Most people would not look twice at this or turn on their windshield wipers to kill them. Not me, a proud bug geek! I decide to hit the road in route to work and see how long those suckers would stay on my windshield. As my car speed increases they struggle to stay on the windshield. Insects have a secretion from glands on their “feet” that give them this amazing ability to stick to surface, walk on ceilings, etc. The two ants stay with me for miles with my speed ranging from zero to 50MPH. They finally fly off exactly 5.3 miles from where their journey began.
It makes you realize the amazing ability insects have to “piggyback” from one location to another. This is how people share infestations with others or an infestation spreads. In fact it is the sole reason why invasive pest species come into new regions or countries for that matter. Well, just another day in the life of an entomologist. I will say it is pretty cool to observe things this way even though my wife & kids call me the bug geek.
George E. Williams Jr., A.C.E.
General Manager – Staff Entomologist - Pest Control, RI