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"Crazy Ants" Invade Central Texas

Updated: Tuesday, June 4 2013, 09:56 AM CDT

Creepy, crawly, "Crazy Ants" have now made their way into Central Texas. The new invasive species is displacing fire ants, which may sound great, but they can pose a different danger.

Walker Hale, a board certified entomologist with ABC Lawn and Commercial Services showed us Tawny Crazy Ants are living and thriving in South Austin.

"Besides erratic behavior, they're also tawny, almost a reddish color, all the same size and it's a very hairy ant," he said while holding several of the non-stinging ants in his hand.

The species is wiping out the villainous fire ant population. But Hale said crazy ants could throw off the ecological balance.

"If they're a primary food source for invasive ants, you're affecting the complex cycles that nobody has a great grasp on what their potential is," Hale explained. "It's not supposed to be here and anything it does in the environment will displace the native ants."

Hale said researchers have already tried wiping out the species.

"Unfortunately, we've been very unsuccessful, to put it mildly," Hale said.

With no known predators, crazy ant colonies can grow up to 100 times that of fire ant colonies.

"They aren't happy just in your landscape, they'll come into your wall voids and home proper," Hale said. "They can form bridges with dead ants and bridge over whatever compounds you put out."

Raid won't do much and the most effective products are not available to consumers. So, call a professional if you think your home is infested.

The good news about crazy ants is they don't sting like fire ants. Also, reproductive members of the species don't fly.

Photo from Danny McDonald

By Katherine Stolp

"Crazy Ants" Invade Central Texas

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