Crazy Ants Invade Four States – Can They Be Stopped?

“Until I saw crazy ants with my own eyes and saw the infestations
and realized what folks are dealing with, I just could not have imagined it.”

- Robert Puckett, Ph.D., Entomologist, Texas A & M

This tawny (yellowish-brown color) Rasberry crazy ant (Nylanderia fulva) is an invasive species of ant from Brazil and Argentina that some how got to Houston, Texas, in 2002. They were first noticed by pest exterminator, Tom Rasberry. The word “crazy” refers to the ants' random scurrying all over in contrast to the straight lines made by fire ants, for example. In only a decade, crazy ants have spread in huge densities through 24 counties in Texas outward to Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, tending aphids for honeydew (above), eating insects including fire ant larvae and shutting down electrical transformers. Image © 2013 by Danny McDonald, Texas A&M.
This tawny (yellowish-brown color) Rasberry crazy ant (Nylanderia fulva) is an invasive species of ant from Brazil and Argentina that some how got to Houston, Texas, in 2002. They were first noticed by pest exterminator, Tom Rasberry. The word “crazy” refers to the ants' random scurrying all over in contrast to the straight lines made by fire ants, for example. In only a decade, crazy ants have spread in huge densities through 24 counties in Texas outward to Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, tending aphids for honeydew (above), eating insects including fire ant larvae and shutting down electrical transformers. Image © 2013 by Danny McDonald, Texas A&M.

June 27, 2013  College Station, Texas - In 2002, for the first time, a pest exterminator named Tom Rasberry in Houston, Texas, reported watching a mass of ants he had never seen before running around in chaotic patterns, “like they were crazy,” he thought. What Rasberry was watching were very different ants from Brazil and Argentina that probably got transported to Texas on a boat or in a shipment of fresh food or plants. The ants are a tawny yellowish-brown color and can also be brownish-red. You'll hear them called Tawny Rasberry Crazy Ants. They are small, about 1/8th-inch long, and forage together in millions. To scientists, one of the unique aspects of these South American invaders is that wherever they nest, their numbers can reach 100 TIMES as great as all other ants combined.

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