Hoarding >> Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House

Still, we don't look for history of child abuse in ants, discuss ant toilet training, or accuse ants of character flaws and laziness. And we don't imagine that ants are crazy or that their problems are all in their heads because, after all, these are ants. But if "mentally ill" isn't accurate, what should we call them? Surprisingly, the answer to that question has come, not from Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House psychologists or psychiatrists but from microbiologists, specifically parasitologists. 

And tedious dissections, not discussions, showed the way. In Scene II (the one with the self-destructive ants), there was another actor (one we couldn't see) at work inside every Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House character portrayed. Because it is a very small actor, it is perhaps understandable that it escaped our attention. Everyone in Scene II was infected with a microscopic, lance-shaped fluke, a trematode called Dicrocoelium dendriticum. 

D. dendriticumis a parasitic flatworm. Parasitism is one of the oldest and most venerated ways of life on this planet. Living things have evolved to parasitize nearly all other living things, Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House plants, animals, or microorganisms. Parasites themselves can be parasitized by smaller, but equally devious, life forms. And the animals and plants that do the parasitizing are as varied as their hosts. 

All things that parasitize animals fall into two Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House groups, protozoa and helminths. Protozoa are single-celled animals such as Plasmodium falciparum,which infects nearly one-third of the world's population and causes malaria. Helminths are worms, round, flat, and tape. D.dendriticumis a flatworm (or fluke as flatworms are sometimes called). 

In spite of their amazing variations, parasites have one characteristic in Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House common: they cannot reproduce themselves outside their hosts. Parasites have lost the ability to perform one or more vital functions usually related to collecting or digesting food. Inside an animal's body, the host takes care of these functions for them; outside the hosts, the parasites often die. 

Many parasites have evolved complex life cycles that help meet this uniform Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House need in ways only parasites understand. These cycles involve several hosts and stages of development and necessarily feedback on themselves, so parasites end up in the same hosts where they began the cycles, and the whole process starts over. 

D. dendriticumis like that. In fact, among parasites, D. dendriticumhas one of the more interesting life cycles. Life begins for this fluke in the bile ducts of grazing cattle. This is where the adult flukes lay their eggs. Bile is produced in the liver and is transported, via the bile duct, to the intestine, where the bile aids in the Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House digestion of dietary fats. 

In infected cattle, when the bile moves from the liver to the intestine, it takes D. dendriticum eggs along with it. A short while later, the eggs (along with the cow's or bull's feces) find their way onto the grasses underfoot. There, snails with inexplicable tastes ingest the cattle's feces and the Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House parasite's eggs. Inside the snails, the eggs of D.dendriticumhatch, pass through two sporocyst stages of their lives, transform into another life stage called cercaria,and migrate to the respiratory chambers of the snails. 

Inside their respiratory chambers, snails make slime balls to aid movement across the fields.When the slime balls are secreted onto the snails' feet, so are the cercaria. As the snails make their way toward Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House whatever it is that draws snails, the slime balls are left behind in the grass. Slime balls are ant food. 

When ants eat them, they also eat the cercaria of dendriticum. Inside the ants,mostof the cercaria encyst in the walls of the abdomen, but one or two migrate to the head and encyst in the sub-esophageal ganglion, a part of the Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House brain. Here the cercaria transform into another life stage called metacercaria. 

Unlike the metacercaria left behind in the abdomen, these never become infective. These metacercaria do something else. They drive their hosts mad. As evening approaches and the air temperature drops, ants infected with do not return to the colony along with their fellow workers. Instead, the infected ants climb to the tops of surrounding Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House grasses, clamp their mandibles into the grass blades, and remain there, immobile, until the morning sun warms them again. 

When that happens, the ants (at least those who survive) resume their normal behavior, until the following evening. Temporary Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House insanity. "Temporary" because it lasts only as long as the sun is down. "Insanity" because the timing of the ants' indiscretions corresponds exactly to the feeding cycles of the grazing cattle who feed most vigorously during the late evenings and early mornings. 

But here, the grasses are filled up with mad beings that suffer not from poor toilet training or moral and spiritual turpitude but from an Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House infectious disease. Parasitic madness. Madness with a past and a purpose. Each night beneath the African moon, crazy ants perch atop the grasses of Nigeria and wait for the cracked molars of hungry cattle to end a mad ritual. 

When the Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House madness is complete and the ants are finally eaten, completes its complex life cycle, and the arduous trip from cow to ground to cow closes once more. Inside the cow, digestive juices strip ant from parasite, and while the scene fades to black, life begins again, minus a few crazy ants. In the jungles of South America, there is another dance between ants and parasites. 

The parasite is a mushroom. Beneath tropical Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House canopies, spores of Cordyceps a mushroom are whipped about on warm equatorial breezes and spun between tree trunks and twisting vines until they land in the spiracles of black ants. Spiracles (holes in the tough exoskeleton of ants) allow ants to breathe. Cordyceps uses the spiracles to get beneath ants' skin. 

Once inside the ants, the fungus attaches to the soft tissues and begins to raise a family. For a few days, everything is fine, but the fungus knows that it will need more than the ants can provide. Soon, deep within the ants, the fungus will achieve sexual maturity, and it will be Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House time to sporulate. 

Once again the infected ants, driven by the new-found Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House energy of sudden acrophilia, leave the relative safety of the earth, climb atop the grass, clamp their mandibles onto the tips of the green shoots, and hang there. The fungus then consumes the ants' brains and sprouts through the emptied skulls. Bathed in sunlight, once again, the fungus sporulates. 

At the grass tops, where the wind blows freely, the spores are quickly spread, sometimes for miles and always to other ants. The fungus has lifted itself from the primordial slime, gathered itself upon the wind, and set off, once more, for a new life. Other varieties of Cordyceps mushrooms parasitize and alter the Tips On Cleaning A Hoarder's House behavior of caterpillars, mealybugs, and beetles. Fungal madness. Infectious insanity.

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