'Crazy' ants plague Texas, fouling electronics
Texans are battling a plague of insects that sounds right out of the book of Exodus. So-called "crazy Rasberry ants," named after Tom Rasberry, the exterminator who first identified them, and called "crazy" for their erratic marching pattern, have begun appearing in huge numbers in the Houston area. The ants have been wreaking havoc on homes by destroying electrical wiring, according to the Houston Chronicle, which offers this fear-inducing introduction:
You won't be able to hear them.
Don't even try.
But somewhere out there, maybe as near as your backyard, the crazy Rasberry ants are marching. Hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of them are coming in a near-unstoppable zig-zagging insect army intent on making your home, yard and life a living hill.
The swarms of hairy red ants, the size of grains of rice, are peaking as summer approaches and the weather gets hotter. The ants have fouled up computers and gas meters and caused fire alarms to malfunction, according the the Associated Press.
While researchers are not sure exactly where they came from--they are similar to ants from the Caribbean and U.S. Southeast--they know that they arrived in Texas via cargo ship and were first spotted in 2002.
Adding to the problem, exterminators told the Chronicle, is that they appear to be resistant to many over-the-counter insecticides.
If there's any good news, it might be that the Rasberry ants eat fire ants, another six-legged nuisance in some parts of the country.
-- Tony Barboza