Monday, July 1, 2013



 Just when you thought it was safe to go back in your yard. Another destructive ant species is invading the United States.  The Crazy Ant arrived in the U.S. from Argentina in 2002 and since then they have practically overrun Texas and established colonies all over the Gulf States.

What makes these ants especially bothersome is not their bite or sting.  They are extremely attracted to electrical equipment, where they make their homes.  Picture this: Alice the Crazy Ant crawls into a computer, where her body creates a connection between the electrical contacts, shorting out the circuits and electrocuting Alice.  Immediately before death she releases an alarm pheromone that lures more ants inside, ready to fight.  The result is a shorted out computer filled with thousands of dead and angry ants. In Texas, these pests have already destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars in air conditioning units, farm equipment and home electronics such as computers and cell phones.  Their small size and tenaciousness allow them to fit anywhere, and they can invade the walls and basement of a home by the millions. 

This species, Nylanderia fulva, can’t be killed with over-the-counter bait traps and poisons, and the ants can only be controlled, not eliminated.  They reproduce like ‘crazy’ and can outnumber other species 100 to 1.  Check out the great shot below taken by fab insect photographer Alex Wild.

These aggressive little buggers don’t like to dig their own nests, so when they do head underground, it’s by invading other colonies, mostly larger ants with spacious tunnels.  In some states, the crazy ant has driven out fire ants – yes, the ones in The Colony.  This has some residents actually missing fire ants, which have a painful sting but don’t destroy their cell phones.  Isn’t nature amazing?

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