Destructive 'Crazy Ants' Invading the Southeast U.S.

Destructive 'Crazy Ants' Invading the Southeast U.S.

They feast on electronics and normal insecticides won't kill them. "Crazy Ants" are on the march in four states, including Mississippi, and there may be no way to stop them.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - They feast on electronics and normal insecticides won't kill them. "Crazy Ants" are on the march in four states, including Mississippi, and there may be no way to stop them.

According to Dr. Roger Gold, an entomologist with Texas A&M, "We don't know of any biological control that will control these ants."

Crazy ants are invading the southeast, mostly along the Gulf Coast. They started in Texas, transported by humans from South America.

"Our industry refers to them as a super colony, super in that they have multiple, multiple queens and just millions of workers," said Lanier James with James Pest Control.

Compared to hundreds of thousands in fire ant colonies, the crazy ants' sheer numbers make them dangerous.

"There are some examples of livestock in South America that have been smothered by the ants," said Dr. Gold.

And if that's not enough, "They also really damage electrical equipment," said University of Texas researcher Ed Lebrun.

"You'll see them get into electrical equipment boxes, on AC units outside homes," added Lanier.

Crazy ants also monopolize food supplies. "Where these ants occur, they actually displace fire ants," said Dr. Gold.

Don't call the exterminator. Crazy ants are in the gulf region of Mississippi, but they're not here yet.

That could change, because they're spreading rapidly and we probably can't stop them.

Lanier said, "In all likelihood we won't be able to stop them."

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