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Ants swarm over Texas city

posted 5/15/2008 2:25:33 AM |
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tagged: news, straddle

In what sounds like a low-budget horrow film, voracious swarming ants that apparently arrived in Texas aboard a cargo ship are invading homes and yards across the Houston area, shorting out electrical boxes amd messing up computers. The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as "crazy rasberry ants"- crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and "rasberry" after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who did battle against them early on. One resident stated that they're itty-bitty things about the size of fleas, and that they're running everywhere. A Texas A&M University entomologist said that it would be nearly impossible at this point to eradicate the ants because it is so widely dispersed. The good news? They eat fire ants, the stinging red terrors of Texas summers. But the ants also like to suck the sweet juices from plants, feed on such beneficial insects as ladybugs, and eat the hatchlings of a small, endangered type of grouse known as the Attwater prairie chicken. They also bite humans, though not with a stinger like fire ants. Worse, they, like some other species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment, for reasons that are not well understood by scientists. They have ruined pumps at a sewage pumping stations and a gas meter.

Exterminators say calls from frustrated homeowners and businesses are increasing because the ants - which are starting to emerge by the billions with the onset of the warm, humis season - appear to be resistant to over-the-counter ant killers. It's not just enough to kill the queen. Exports say each colony has multiple queens that have to be taken out. At the same time, the ants aren't taking the bait usually left out in the traps, accourding to exterminators, who want the Environmental Protection Agency to loosen restrictions on the use of more powerful pesticides. This is from the AP.

What's your thoughts on these little critters?

Mine, I would get the hell out of Texas!

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May 15 @ 3:52AM  
I had a little more to add to the blog with minors details, but Kim called me so I just finished what I was writing so I could talk with her.

May 15 @ 4:02AM  

Why can't they just dust the area with ant poison, like they do for mosquitoes ?

May 15 @ 4:14AM  
Chuck, I went ahead and finished the story up with what you were inquiring about.

May 15 @ 5:15AM  
Well they sound irritating but it's far more difficult

getting rid of my mother in law!!

May 15 @ 6:57AM  
Well straddle, since our first invasion from Texas way with the pure SMALL fire ants, who slowly but surely pushed out native species such as the LARGE fire ants, AND the native red/black ants (seriously, when was the last time you saw an Army Ant? Been a while ain't it!) we have nine kinds of hell with the southern bred ants from Mexico.

10 years one here had seen them.

4 years ago, you might come across a pile of them.

2 years ago, you now don't have any other ant species in my yard BUT these meat eating bastards.

And now, I have to spray the yard, probably 3-6 times a summer to CONTROL them, it is almost impossible to truly kill them out (trust me, I tried digging them up and burning them out, you name it).

The spray, while never my favorite, is also the most effective.

Tell me mother nature is not a fickle bitch when another ant invasion shows up 10 years later..........and just so happens to kill the first invaders too............

May 15 @ 9:01AM  
It's not just enough to kill the queen. Exports say each colony has multiple queens that have to be taken out.

And they say kings rule?

It does seem we hear of these new insect invasions/dangers every few years. Killer bees, fire ants, disease spreading ticks and skeeters.

My kids are due to vacation in another area of Texas soon. I wonder if the ants will spread there? Hope not.

May 15 @ 9:40AM  
I have noticed the last two summers a dramatic increase in ants here on the river. I want to say they came from Texas but those don't march in a straight line. ..I put boric acid down around the house a couple days ago...multiple queens??? Great...little sex maniacs. ...I feel like I am in the Alamo...but I am not moving!!!! It has been warmer here the last few years...wonder if global warming has anything to do with this.

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Ants swarm over Texas city