Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crazy Ants - a new imported pest

Have you heard about these new ants? They are likely to be a worse menace than Fire Ants. This South American species was imported in the port of Houston a fairly short while ago, something like 7 years ago. It has made its way to Montgomery County and probably exist very near The Woodlands by now. Like all ants, the Raspberry Crazy Ant is very social. Unlike the Fire Ant, these ants swarm and like to get into dark areas. They are in fact a menace to Fire Ants. They may eventually even displace the Fire Ant. Crazy ants run about like they are crazy and thereby their nickname. So again we have another invasive creature not meant to be here. It could affect our plants, animals and upset the balance of nature.

When someone hears they might rid them of the Fire Ant, the old saying comes to mind. "Watch out what you ask for"!  One colony can have multiple queens and number in the millions. Imagine being blanketed by ants. They move swiftly. Fortunately, they do not have stingers. However, they can bite and it hurts. The ant is potentially a threat to agriculture although there is not much information yet to substantiate the fear of this ant in agriculture. The ants can cause damage to electrical systems, especially when they occupy a major power box such as an electrical switch. They are known to short out electrical systems in computer systems and traffic signals.

Visit Texas A&M's site on this subject for more information.