September 12, 2017
Philadelphia residents and others around the country were besieged this week by swarms of flying ants.
Not exactly a fun time, but it's a better hand to be dealt by Mother Nature than a hurricane.
The flying ants, also known as alates, pose no threat of pestilence to human beings. They're merely a sexually mature generation that has risen to multiply in our midst.
You want to see something really frightening? Check out this mutant monstrosity spotted by a homeowner in South Hanover Township (terrifying clip via PennLive).
The homeowner, whose name wasn't released, found the circulating worm-like mass in his driveway and decided to film it instead of hightailing it to Canada or anywhere else far away from Dauphin County.
According to PennLive, the insects in the video are the larvae of a "little-known species of dark-winged fungus gnats," which sounds like a Daylin Leach insult.
The gnats, which are no larger than a quarter-inch as winged adults, are part of one of the least studied families of flies, Sciaridae.
Most often observed in areas of rich, organic soils with heavy thatch, particularly after rains, the larvae migrate in swarms that can look like a snakeskin until it's examined closely.
Are they interested in consuming human flesh? No. They reportedly enjoy feasting on the roots of plants such as peppers and potatoes. In the event that you ever see them, you should have enough time to protect your garden as long as they're busy going in circles.