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Category: Bed Bug Mattress Cover | 14.07.2015
Although the new pests don't pack the powerful sting of fire ants, scientists say they can do as much damage, killing wildlife and shorting out electrical equipment. Called crazy ants because they scramble in all directions rather than trudging along a straight track, the ants carpet the ground and swarm over anything in their way -- plants, animals or humans. In Florida, similar insects are known as Caribbean crazy ants (paratrechina pubens), and they have been spreading rapidly for about five years, said Roberto M.
In Texas, the bugs are known as Rasberry crazy ants, after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator in this Houston suburb who has been warning about the new ants since he first found them in 2002.
The Port of Houston now gets weekly pest-control visits to control the ants, which damaged backup power equipment there about a year ago, spokesman Edwin Henry said. Termidor, which chemical titan BASF AG originally developed for termites, is government-approved for keeping the ants at bay, but it must be applied by professional exterminators at a cost of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.


Over-the-counter pesticide sprays leave piles of dried corpses that look like drifts of brown sand, but still barely dent the ants' numerous populations.
Mounds of dead ants were piled up by a back door of the First Presbyterian Church in Pearland last week when Mr. He and other scientists are eager to study the ants more, but funding has been hard to come by. The Texas Department of Agriculture is surveying other beekeepers, said Bryan Black, a spokesman for the agency, which organized a task force on the ants with the USDA last November. Crazy ants have an additional trait that is proving especially irksome: They like to hang out where people live and are difficult to dislodge once they get inside buildings. No baits -- poisons that insects carry into their colonies -- have yet been formulated specifically for these ants, which eat everything from hotdogs to honey, but don't like fire-ant bait.


Roger Gold, head of the urban entomology program at Texas A&M, noting that people are responsible for much of the ants' spread, transporting them in objects such as potted plants. He said the Texas ants act like those that infested Colombia a decade ago, asphyxiating chickens and causing farmers to flee.



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