One night as I sat trying unsuccessfully to stay awake in the division headquarters (I was the duty officer that night), I heard a bug walking in the hallway outside my office door. It's footstep was not familiar; indeed, I was not certain it was an insect at first, thinking that it was rather a cat in serious need of having its claws trimmed. On investigation, I found an enormous example of the earwig family with long pincers at each end. It was a wonder. It was a trophy. I had to have it for the next night's bug fights. Scrounging through the drawers of my temporary desk I found a match box and, after emptying its contents into an envelope, attempted to imprison this specimen. After a few moments scratching around inside, it unceremoniously hacked away the end of the wooden box and exited. I don't think he was happy.
I remember watching a trail of black worker ants scurrying to and fro outside my hooch in Vietnam one afternoon soon after arriving in-country, eviscerating some dead thing to stock their colony's larder. They were large ants, the largest I had ever seen. Just as I was about to lose interest, the flank of their column was assaulted by a platoon of red soldier ants with heads of such Godzilla-like proportions that I wondered how they stood and walked without tipping forward and resting on their mandibles like insane tripods. My attention riveted on one in particular that grasped a blank ant by the head and seemingly froze. I was not able to understand that it was simply applying pressure until the head of the black ant collapsed with an audible snap. Thus, I was introduced to the insects of Vietnam.
Termites, the arch-enemies of ants, demonstrated voracious appetites by devouring any wooden structure they could find. Viet Cong mortars blushed in comparison. Apparently, our bunkers appeared especially appetizing to them. Inasmuch as any shelter we attempted to dig soon filled with water, we had to build our bomb shelters on the surface. We began with 4x4 frames covered in 2x10 planking, and then entombed all in layers of sandbags. Within three or four months, the sandbags fell into a pile after the termites had totally consumed the underlying wooden structures. Thank God our M-16 rifles had composite plastic stocks rather than a wooden ones.