Texas is being invaded again. This time the invader is an untaxonomized species of ant called the crazy Rasberry ant2 after Tom Rasberry,1 the Pearland exterminator who first identified them. These ants may be related to the Caribbean crazy ant that is found in the Southeast US and, crazily enough, the Caribbean. Because they were originally found near the Port of Houston, they may have arrived by ship.2 Supporting this theory are claims that they have also been found near ports in Florida and California.4
The ants are called “crazy” because they seem to wander randomly, instead of in regimented lines like other ants. They also move very quickly.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the ant, other than they rapacious reproductive habits, is their tendency to eat electronics. They can also overwhelm and kill small rodents and birds. But on the bright side, they eat fire ants!
- Ayres, Chris (16 May 2008). “ Billions of electronic-eating ‘;crazy rasberry ants’ invade Texas.”
The Times Online. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Center for Urban & Structural Entomology (ND). “Exotic Texas Ant,
Paratrechinasp. near pubens.” Texas A&M University, Department of Entomology. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Lukefahr, Nathaniel (2 July 2008). “EPA makes exemption to battle crazy ants.”
The Facts. Accessed 3 July 2008. Wall Street Journal(16 May 2008). “Houston Suffers Attack of ‘Crazy Rasberry’ Ants. Accessed 3 July 2008.