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

 

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6 thoughts on “Crazy Ant

  1. Little critters, especially insects, fascinate me. In their abundance, and their ingenious adaptations to life and the changing world are fascinating. For the second time this year (in a second place) we are in the midst of a Shad Fly emergence, the sky literally turns dark with their swarming and in 2003 there was such a large swarm that one local weather radar even picked them up. While these guys don’t live long, today or tomorrow I’ll need to get out the brand new leaf blower that I bought just for this purpose, to blow off the (literally — no exaggeration) thousands and thousands of shad flies what are currently turning the entire out side of my coach BLACK with their corpses. Ah. Nature. 🙂

    • They don’t “wipe out” fire ants, they do send them packing. Any place crazy ants go, all other ant species disappear. It figures roaches hover around magnetic energy. Thinking about it, lots of the natural world hums to the tune of magnetism. Migratory birds, monarch butterflies migrating to Mexico….
      Thanks for the follow, I’m off to explore your blog 🙂

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