Houston Braces For Invasion Of Crazy Ants Will Dallas Be Next

Houston Braces For Invasion Of Crazy Ants Will Dallas Be Next

The Rasberry crazy ant is an invasive species originally from South America. The earliest record of this ant in the US was from Brownsville, Texas in 1938. Recently, there have been large population explosions of this species in the Southeastern US and on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands. This species is called "crazy ant" because of the ants' quick, erratic movements. The media and others in Texas are further calling it the "Rasberry crazy ant" after the exterminator Tom Rasberry first noticed the ants were a local problem in 2002. A large infestation is currently present in at least 20 counties in Texas. The ants are about 0.125 in (3.2 mm) and are covered with reddish-brown hairs. The crazy ants are not attracted to ordinary ant baits, are not controlled by over-the-counter pesticides, and are harder to fully exterminate than many other species because their colonies have multiple queens. Attraction to electrical equipment It is unclear why colonies of crazy ants, like many species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment. Occasionally, an ant is electrocuted and, in dying, releases an alarm pheromone, which causes the other ants to rush over and search for attackers. If a large enough ball of ants collects, it may short out some systems. Control In June 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency granted temporary approval for the use of fipronil to control this ant. The pesticide is already used for termite control. Its use is restricted to seven counties in the Houston area. As of May 2009, the ants continue to spread and have reportedly caused millions of dollars in damage in 11 Texas counties. (ref. Wikipedia)


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About Larry: I have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for over 40 years. Before becoming a residential R...

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