September 16, 2009

Crazy ants invade San Antonio

San Antonio is trying to deal with a tiny invader that can cause big problems, the crazy ant.

A few colonies of crazy ants have been found in one section of the city, the San Antonio Express News reports. They probably arrived from Houston, where they have been established for about 10 years, possibly brought in on plants.

Unlike fire ants, crazy ants do not bite or sting, experts say. What they do is multiply to the point where their colonies have millions or billions of ants.

They also like to live in unlikely places, like the inside of computers. Roger Gold, an entomologist at Texas A&M University, said some chemical manufacturers in Houston had to suspend production because of crazy ant damage.

These things are horrible, said Gold, part of a joint federal-state crazy ant task force.

Where these ants occur, even the fire ants move out.

Crazy ants, which prefer warm moist regions, were first reported in Bermuda 100 years ago and have been observed in 14 Texas counties. They were named for their erratic movements.