Crazy Ant


A few days ago I came home to ants in my laptop, not so much an infestation as a scouting party. Their source immediately clear, I watched as solitary soldiers stepped tentatively across the windowsill then up the side of my desk. Not easily discouraged, they kept coming until setting an “ant trap” on the exterior sill miraculously avoided a very bad situation.

Oblivious to the magnitude of swift intervention, it wasn’t until a friend sent links to ant infested laptops that sobering reality set in. Who knew ant infested computers were a problem?

Several YouTube videos later I stumbled upon the Crazy Ant. Dubbed “crazy” for their erratic movement, these ants make my minor problem seem trivial. Widely distributed in tropical and sub-tropical countries, this little monster wasn’t on North American radar until 2002. That year Houston, Texas rang the infestation bell – since then, crazy ants have spread across the southern U.S. from Texas to Florida.

Among other peculiarities, crazy ants have a fondness for electronics. Not shy about inviting themselves in, some scientists theorize they’re attracted to the magnetic field around electronics.

exotic ant

Considered invasive for their ability to obliterate indigenous ant species, crazy ants have officially reached “pest” status in America. Taking no prisoners, these guys can produce and cover themselves with formic acid to survive fire ant venom. They don’t sting, but sure can bite, aren’t attracted to bait or traps and scoff at commercially available insecticides. Also known as Raspberry or Tawny Crazy Ant, these marauders are here to stay.

http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/ants/rasberry.html