Crazy Ant update - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Crazy Ant update

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Rasberry Crazy Ant Rasberry Crazy Ant

Here's some background information on the Rasberry Crazy ants. The name originated from exterminator Tom Rasberry who first noticed them around the Houston area in the early 2000s. The species resembles the Red Fire Ant somewhat with it's reddish brown color.

They move around erratically hence crazy-like and millions of them hang out at one time.

They don't have mounds and typically live beneath objects on the ground.

Just like Fire Ants, the crazy ones really have a thing for outdoor electrical equipment like cable boxes, air conditioning units…etc.

These ants don't sting, but do bite. They excrete an acid that smells like vinegar that can be irritating if it gets in your nostrils or eyes.

Crazy Ants are so invasive, that they will drive most of the insects including Fire Ants away thus restricting the insect food chain for birds.

They are originally from South America and were brought over by human interaction. A few examples are transporting plants, lumber, hay, rocks etc.

They love warm, moist environments like the southern U.S. In fact, they have overrun 20 counties in southeast Texas since 2002.

As for where the Crazy Ants are headed, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Entomologist at LSUS, Dr. Beverly Burden says that they have migrated into Louisiana, but not very far:

"They are in a parish in the northeast corner of Louisiana. But right now they have not made it very far north of the I-10 corridor".

That parish is Moorehouse northeast of Monroe.

Dr. Burden indicates that it's only a matter of time until they reach the I-20 corridor, but believes any farther north may be tough on them:

"I think they will be able to survive here maybe not in Arkansas and maybe not at higher elevation...but certainly here".

So, since it is inevitable that the Crazy Ants will eventually migrate to the ArkLaTex, what can we do to protect ourselves and property from them. Dr. Burden suggests keeping your property clean and dry plus use an insecticide:

"If you do have a problem, there are some cultural things you can do...pick up your yard, don't have a lot of debris, keep it dry.  And there are some insecticides that are effective against the crazy ant.  What I tell people is that they need to look at the active ingredient on the bottle, the can, the jar, the box of the insecticide and the active ingredient ends with the suffix thrin...it means it's a Pyrithrin and it's going to be effective against the Crazy Ant".

Companies that produce these chemicals are Spectracide, Ortho and Bayer. Dr. Burden says that they all perform about the same. Several treatments over time may be needed.

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