Have you heard of them yet? They've been the source of multiple news stories. And, scientists have been watching them closely--spreading across the Gulf coast states like a wild fire. In some places these ants are so tightly packed they look like dirt or saw dust, until you look closer, and realize, the dirt is moving. So, is there need for alarm? Will they be marching on your Georgia home in the not too distant future? It looks that way.
What are crazy ants?
These butterscotch colored ants go by a few names. They are officially known at Nylanderia fulva, and originate from Argentina. But since hitting the states in 2002, they have taken on the name Rasberry crazy ants, in honor of the Texas exterminator who first discovered them, and because of the erratic way they move. These ants rarely bite humans, but they can be destructive to property, and electrical systems.
The good news.
Crazy ants choke out fire ants, by eating up all of their food resources. That's right, all those nasty little fire ants that bite your ankles and calves don't have a chance against an army of crazy ants. Because crazy ants are craaaaaazy! Actually...it is because crazy ants are able to bathe themselves in a chemical excretion that protects them from the venom of fire ants. They stand up on their hind legs and wipe the secretion from their posterior all over their body, and it acts like fire ant armor. Crazy, huh? This allows them to flood into fire ant territory without fear. Some scientists have even discovered crazy ants living inside fire ant hills, while fire ants are still active!
The bad news.
Though fire ants bite, they tend to stay close, or inside, their colonies. Crazy ants do not. They roam the land by the millions--getting into everything. The Orlando Sentinel reported on a man who couldn't start his F-250. When the man went to check his engine, he found it covered with crazy ants, and that is saying something, since crazy ants are a little more than a millimeter in size. These ants seem drawn to electrical power. Scientist have a theory, that crazy ants are attracted to their own alarm pheromones. When one ant gets a zap, the others come gather around in force. This has created electrical problems for residents in the Gulf states.
Before you find yourself sweeping up dead crazy ants by the trash bag full, or late to work, because your vehicle won't start, consider consulting a pest professional on how to defend against this new threat. You don't have to wait till the crazy ants are piled near your foundation, or on your window sills. You can call today, and get advice on how to protect your home year round--not just from crazy ants--but also, from the host of other bugs that try to steal your happiness. Start fighting back against bug infestations today!