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Crazy Ants Invade Southern States

A colony of tawny ‘crazy ants’ is spreading across the southern United States.

The ants are dubbed crazy because of their erratic behaviour and tendency to swarm together. Experts said they are a danger to local wildlife as well as electrical wiring in homes.

Local resident, Bill Leake, said he first noticed the ants on his property about 5 years ago. Within a few months, the local fire ant population had been wiped out but the crazy ants had swelled significantly in number.

The ants are formally known as Nylandia fulva and are native to Argentina and Brazil. It’s believed they were brought to America inadvertently by travellers and were first sighted in 2002.

The crazy ants cause problems for people because they nest in walls, crawl spaces and in electrical circuits and wiring. Researchers from Texas A&M University stated that they can cause around US$146.5 million in electrical damage a year.

Traditional fire-ant pesticides are ineffective against the crazy ant and pest controllers who fail to recognise them are likely to use the wrong control method. Termite strength pesticides must be used to control them instead.

However, the ants tend to blend separate colonies together into a super colony, making them very difficult to eradicate.