Rasberry Crazy Ants Invading Southeast US

In what sounds like the intro to a low-budget horror film, millions of “hairy crazy ants” are invading the southern U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi.

The flea-sized reddish-brown ants, covered in small hairs that give their abdomens a “fuzzy” appearance, are called crazy because of how quickly they scramble around when disturbed.

While normal ants can easily be contained with a variety of store bought treatments, exterminators have been observing that no matter what pesticide they use to kill the crazy ants, the dead bodies trigger a chemical that attracts many more ants to assemble.

As an example of the destruction that these creatures are capable of producing, CBS News reported that a computer system that controls pipeline valves in Texas stopped functioning twice in 35 days due because of the ants before exterminators were hired to maintain monthly treatments.

“We’re kind of going for overkill on that particular site because so much is at stake,” said exterminator Tom Rasberry, who found the first Texas specimens of the species in the Houston area in 2002. “If that shuts down, they could literally shut down an entire chemical plant that costs millions of dollars.”

Regarding initial treatments to contain the crazy ants, Rasberry said:

“I did a test site with a product early on and applied the product to a half-acre … In 30 days I had two inches of dead ants covering the entire half-acre. It looked like the top of the dead ants was just total movement from all the live ants on top of the dead ants.”

Scientists say that the crazy ants are native to South American but may have arrived on US soil via cargo ships bringing hay or other raw materials.

For more information on the hairy crazy ant, also called the Rasberry crazy ant, head over to Texas A&M’s website.

via Fox

Share this article: Rasberry Crazy Ants Invading Southeast US
More from Inquisitr