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An Out-Of-Control Crazy Ant Infestation Caused A Texas Man To Nearly Shoot A Colony That Had Been Nesting In His Yard

The non-native ant species, Nylanderia fulva, was discovered on a Texas property back in 2002, by a pest controller, Tom Rasberry. The insects then became known as “Rasberry ants” before later earning the nickname “crazy ants”. The latter nickname comes from the ant’s erratic movements. These ants are relatively small and they move slowly, as their annual marching distance is about equal to the distance of two football fields. Despite this, the ants have become known for their nuisance marches across urban and suburban regions of Texas and other Gulf Coast states.

Texas A&M University researchers have trapped crazy ants in 23 Texas counties, most of which are clustered in the southeastern portion of the state. Not surprisingly, these ant marches bring them into homes and buildings, and they are commonly found in Texas homes all year round. Due to the massive size of crazy ant colonies, which are also 100 times denser than all other ant colonies found in any given area, crazy ant infestations can reach maddening proportions. On one occasion, a Texas man who had been sharing his home with thousands of crazy ants finally flipped out and pulled an AR-15 automatic gun on a large crazy ant nesting-mound that had been in his front yard. Luckily, his wife’s actions caused him to calm down before he pulled the trigger, but this particular instance still serves as an illustration of how frustrating a crazy ant infestation can become.

Crazy ant colonies are so large that researchers are not exactly sure how populated a particular nest can become. One experiment had Texas researchers placing bottles around an infested outdoor area. Once the bottles were retrieved shortly afterward, they were filled with a total of 180,000 individual ants, far more than have been found in red imported fire ant colonies, which are also notorious for being massive in size.

Have you ever found a group of pale-colored ants moving erratically within your home?

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Crazy Ants Can Destroy Electrical Appliances After Finding Their Way Into Your House

The tawny crazy ant was first discovered in the United States way back in 1938. This first crazy ant specimen found in the US was collected from Brownsville, Texas, where crazy ant populations are still high in number today. Tawny crazy ants are known by many common names, such as “rasberry crazy ants” and simply “crazy ants”. Crazy ant populations in the US did not become large enough to pose a significant threat until the early 2000s when numerous colonies were found within 27 counties located in southeastern Texas. Since then, the crazy ant has established an invasive presence within every one of the Gulf Coast states. In addition to the many unique and costly forms of damage that these ants inflict within homes, to the ecosystem and to infrastructure, these ants also seem to be resistant to the typical types of bait used to control other invasive ant species, such as red fire ants. All over-the-counter insecticides are worthless against infestations of these ants, and there is currently only one chemical insecticide that has proven effective at controlling crazy ant populations. But this chemical, fipronil, is heavily regulated and its use is strictly limited to areas that are affected by destructive forms of crazy ant activity.

Crazy ants have long been causing serious problems within structures such as houses, apartments and buildings within the state of Texas. For example, several years ago in Austin, numerous crazy ant infestations were reported within several homes, businesses and apartments. The crazy ants that had been infesting these structures caused many appliances of all kinds to stop working after the insects made their way into the internal machinery where they damaged wires and caused short circuits that resulted in temporary power loss. Most notable were the scores of air conditioners in Austin that became worthless after swarms consisting of thousands of crazy ants accessed the internal compartments of these air conditioners. Once the ants gained access to the internal wiring within these air conditioners, they caused circuits to short out by using their own bodies to redirect electrical currents. Researchers are not yet in full agreement concerning the reasons for this ant species’ natural attraction to electrical equipment.

Are crazy ants a threat to homes and infrastructure within the area of the country where you reside?

 

 

 

 

Fire-Ants

A Skydiver Is Saved By Venomous Fire Ants After Her Parachute Fails To Open

A Skydiver Is Saved By Venomous Fire Ants After Her Parachute Fails To Open

Not everybody has the guts to give skydiving a chance. Many adrenaline junkies cannot get enough skydiving in their lives, and the activity is relatively safe, as it is rare for parachutes to fail at opening. Although parachutes open for skydivers nearly one hundred percent of the time, the thought of a parachute not opening is enough to keep many people from attempting this extreme sport. Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to discover a malfunctioning parachute while falling from a height of well over fourteen thousand feet. If you found yourself in this situation what would you do? Of course, there would not be a lot to do in this situation except for attempting to steer oneself toward a relatively soft area in which to land. In addition to this, skydivers are trained to brace their bodies in a particular manner before making impact with the ground. In any case, one thing you certainly would not be thinking about in such an intense moment is fire ants. However, a woman who jumped from a plane with a failed parachute managed to survive, and she owes her life to fire ants.

There are not many situations in which falling on a fire ant nesting mound would be advantageous, but one woman managed to find a benefit. Back on September 25th, 1999, a forty seven year old woman named Joan Murray went skydiving. Unfortunately, on that day, Murray’s parachute failed to open after she jumped from a plane that was flying at an altitude of fourteen thousand five hundred feet. Murray’s secondary parachute also failed to deploy, which led to Murray crashing into a fire ant mound at more than eighty miles per hour. These fire ants did not waste any time attacking her unconscious body before she was rushed to the hospital. According to doctors, the fire ants shocked Murray’s heart into beating in addition to stimulating her nerves. By attacking Murray, the fire ants were helping to preserve her body until she reached a hospital. Murray was in a coma for two weeks and several operations had to be performed on her, but she survived thanks to those fire ants.

Have you ever accidentally disturbed a group of fire ants?

Waco Ant Control

Waco Ant Control: How to Get Rid of Ants

Waco Ant Control: How to Get Rid of Ants

 

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