The Orlando Sentinel reports that Crazy ants have reached Florida, and they are heading inland by the millions. You heard right, millions! It is an insect invasion. These ants, first reported in 2002, have been slowly working their way from Texas, across the Gulf states, and now they're finally here. So what does this mean for you? Well there's good news, and there's bad news.
Here is the good news. These butterscotch colored ants, called crazy ants--because of the erratic way they move--have a good trait; they kill fire ants. When crazy ants go up against a colony of fire ants, the crazy ants almost always win. Some scientist have even observed crazy ants living inside fire ant mounds, with fire ants still active in the mound. This is great, right? Well, only partly. It is nice to have less fire ants around. No one likes having fire ants crawl up over their shoes and bite their ankles. And, less fire ants, means less fiery bites. But fire ants have a good quality as well...the majority of them stay in, or near, their colony. Crazy ants do not. They explore. And, that exploration gets them into tiny cracks in walls, and has them pouring through outlets like a flood. This is damaging to infrastructure, and has lead to power outages. Some scientist believe crazy ants swarm electrical outlets and wire, because of their attraction to their own alarm pheromones. If one ant gets zapped, the others come running.
Okay, so that wasn't all good news, but sadly, we have to move on to the really bad news.
Crazy ants grow in population at a disheartening rate. Scientists studying these ants believe it is because they have multiple queens in each colony. That means one colony of crazy ants can produce thousands of ants. Reuters reports of a scientist from Texas A&M, who claims to have visited homes where residents have collected trash bags full of dead crazy ants. Trash bags! That is a lot of ants, especially when you consider crazy ants are nothing more than a spec. In some Gulf states, people report that these ants are so tightly packed they look like dirt, until you look closer, and realize the dirt is moving! An Orlando Sentinel reader near UCF said he found the engine of his Ford F-250 covered in ants this summer, and blames the ants for keeping it from starting. Now that is crazy.
What does this mean for you?
Don't wait for the ant army to overtake your home. Find out how professional pest companies are fighting this new threat, and learn how you can protect your home from ants, year round. It is easier than you think. And, not at all crazy.