The Hairy Crazy Ant Eats Fire Ants: New Threat To Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida
Here in Texas we have just gotten used to fire ants, they can be controlled but it’s not an easy task. However, a new ant called the Hairy Crazy Ant, Caribbean Ant or Crazy Rasberry Ant (as it is better known) is spreading and causing new threats to the area. I say it’s new, the ant has actually been in Texas since the early 2000’s first seen in the Houston area but they are spreading.
These ants are smaller (about the size of a flea), faster, and hairier than their cousins. They are found in urban and rural areas, in homes and industrial locations. They move from location to location in cargo containers, plants, boxes, basically if they can hitch a ride they will.
They are very hard to get rid of too, in fact, experts say “overkill” is really what you have to go for with this particular ant. There have been only two approved pesticides in Texas for use on this particular type of ant
They will short out electrical equipment, which is what has happened twice in Houston, causing millions in damage. Experts from Texas A&M say that if one ant is electrocuted it releases a chemical that warns the other ants to attack. They will even attack bee colonies completely wiping them out. They aren’t afraid of anything.
They don’t build ant hills either, they swarm and they like dark moist areas and they move extremely fast. It is believed these ants are
from South America where it picked up the name Caribbean crazy ant. They are often called Crazy Rasberry Ants named for the exterminator Tom Rasberry. Many exterminators have tried to get rid of these annoying little pests but to no avail. You just have to be diligent and keep treating for them repeatedly.
They are spreading much like the fire ant, which is not native to North America either, finding ways to become resistant to treatments and thrive environmentally. However, with this ant a bite is less painful and more rare than with the fire ant. I guess one bonus though is that they will actually eat the fire ants!
Here are a couple of news stories out of Houston about the Crazy Raspberry Ants.