'Crazy ants' from South America are hitching rides across the South, setting up massive colonies, and relieving other occupying ant armies, including fire ants, of their duties.
Joe MacGown/Mississippi State Entomological Museum/AP
The South is being invaded – again. This time it’s erratic but troublesome “crazy ants” from South America marching – actually, hitching rides – across the South, setting up massive colonies, and relieving other occupying ant armies, including fire ants, of their duties.
With billions of ants possible per acre, crazy ants, known for their random, jerky travel, eat or chase away most other insects and reptiles, and hound yard pets inside. In single numbers pretty innocuous-looking, tiny tawny crazy ants also make pests out of themselves by sometimes biting people and shorting out home electrical wiring.
The question now is if there’s room enough in the South for the newcomers, or whether the United States needs to invest in research to figure out how to stop the “tawny crazy ant,” as well as its cousins, the “black crazy ant,” and the “Caribbean crazy ant,” before they’re ubiquitous.