The Next Insect Invader: Crazy Ants

New species may drive off fire ants, destroy electronics

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 19, 2013 5:50 PM CDT

(Newser) Rat-sized snails, red-eyed cicadas, and now ... crazy ants. That is the latest insect invasion to hit the US, with billions marching in from South America and setting up colonies in the South, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "The entire Gulf Coast is going to be inundated in a very short period of time," says the entomologist who discovered the species here in 2002; the ants have in the last decade spread from Houston to Florida.

Crazy ants—apparently so dubbed for what the Monitor calls "their random, jerky travel"—pose two big problems: Firstly, they may upset the ecological balance in southeastern states by driving away fire ants. "They don't sting like fire ants do, but aside from that they are much bigger pests," says a researcher, CNN reports. Secondly, they love nesting in electronics, creating short circuits and ruining your gadgets, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Hairy crazy ants are on the move in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.   (AP Photo/Mississippi State Entomological Museum, Joe MacGown)
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