Combat

Pest Identification

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Crazy Ants Invading USA

Now almost everyone has a crazy aunt or two and they are always good fun on Thanksgiving. But a different type of crazy ant is causing problems and you definitely don’t want them in your home. A South American pest known as the Tawny crazy ant has invaded Gulf Coast states from Florida to Texas. The name is derived from the ants’ behavior. They swarm about in psychotic patterns and terrorize people by racing up their feet and bodies in a disordered orbit. They multiply like, well… crazy and they die in huge piles that have to be seen to be believed. Although individual ants are only 1/8 of an inch long, people in Texas literally fill up garbage bags with piles of dead ants. And that’s not the half of it.
Crazy ants are drawn to electronic devices including TVs, microwaves, computers, electrical outlets, circuit boxes, and even cell phones. Millions of ants can stream into a device until it short circuits. Other ants do the same thing with electronics but crazy ants do it in such large numbers that a television can become a writhing, brown ant monster.

Crazy ants were first detected in Texas in 2002 and since that time they caused an estimated $150 million in damage each year. Large swarms of crazy ants have even been spotted near NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. While the crazies haven’t yet caused significant problems, officials fear the invasion might lead to a major meltdown in the center’s electric infrastructure.

People in infested areas should avoid leaving electronic devices unprotected. Experts recommend buying airtight cases or even shrink-wrapping electronics to prevent a crazy ant incursion. Talk about computer bugs!

No permanent solution has been found to eradicate the ants. If they invade your yard, the entire ground will be covered with writhing, shimmering ants. If you walk among them, they will swarm over your legs, body, arms, and face like mindless zombies. They don’t bite but it’s still a horror movie moment.

Crazy ants are not just the bane of human existence. The ants swarm every creature they come in contact with including birds, lizards, and livestock. They have been known to pack into the nasal cavities of chickens and songbirds and asphyxiate them. If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is.

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