Asian Invasion

A recent “Sunday Morning” episode included a story about dangerous immigrants whose locations are well known but who will not be easily deported even though they are all a threat.  Most of these immigrants are illegal but some were brought here by the government, and despite a subsequent change of heart about their desirability the government is pretty much stuck with them.

Many of these dangerous immigrants are Asian.  But, they do not have two legs.  They are animals and plants.  And many of them are in the South, especially Florida.

Once, cotton was king in the South.  No longer. It has been dethroned by…kudzu! Instead of those often barren landscapes favored by the “Armageddon” movies, the scenes should feature structures engulfed by kudzu.  Check out these photos. 

Interestingly, kudzu did not arrive in the U.S. illegally.  The government brought it in as a “solution” to soil erosion.  Ooops…! The cure was worse than the disease. Another victory for the Law of Unintended Consequences…

The Mississippi river and its tributaries are infested with the Asian carp, which initially infested the Southern portion of the river but have been pushing steadily northward.  I wouldn’t want to swim or even boat along certain portions of the Illinois River, as you can see from this video.  An electrified barrier in the Chicago area has so far prevented them from getting into the Great Lakes.

In Florida, we have all sorts of illegals.  Burmese pythons are slithering in the Everglades.  These bad boys can swallow an adult deer.  Nor are they afraid to take on an adult gator!  (I’m waiting for the Burmese Python reality show!)

Then, there’s the giant African land snail.  Purportedly, it was once expelled from Florida. But like poltergeists, they’re baaaack!   We had some pretty large snails in Manila but I’ve rarely seen any snails in our yard here…

And Exhibit A for the “size is irrelevant” proponents is the Formosan termite. While Hurricane Katrina flooded many homes in new Orleans, many areas were spared.  But the Formosan termite threatens the entire city.

There’s one Asian pest I hope never to see  – the giant flying cockroach.  I’m scared to death of any roach, but this roach is a nightmare.  It’s attracted to light and not afraid of people.  And yes, they are in Florida….  (I travel half way around the world but the flying Asian roach has tracked me down!)

Forget about Mars invading – Asia is invading…and winning.


3 responses to “Asian Invasion

  1. There IS a python reality show! It’s called Python Hunters, and is on the National Geographic Wild channel. If you get Comcast digital cable, it’s channel 108.

  2. EEEK, this stuff is scary! Thanks for the great information and I agree, flying cockroaches would be a real nightmare!

  3. I was expecting the snail to be really disgusting, but it’s actually kind of cool. I couldn’t look at the snake though. I’d have nightmares!

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