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'Crazy ants' that feast on electronics

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#1
'Crazy ants' that feast on electronics and are invading the U.S.CANNOT be killed with normal insecticide

  • Since it was first spotted in Houston in 2002, it's spread to some 21 counties in Texas, 20 counties in Florida and a few locations in Mississippi and Louisiana
  • The omnivorous ant attacks and kills other species as well as monopolizing food sources to the detriment of the entire ecosystem
  • It also attacks electrical wiring, causing millions of dollars worth of damage

A new and annoying species of ant is terrorizing the U.S. and chemicals that kill off other types of the insect are proving ineffective against it.

The 'crazy' ant, named for the erratic trail it leaves as it makes its way across the country, originated in Argentina and Brazil.

But since it was first spotted in Houston in 2002, it has spread to some 21 counties in Texas, 20 counties in Florida and a few locations in Mississippi and Louisiana.



University of Texas researcher and co-author of a study on the creatures Ed LeBrun said the omnivorous ants attack and kill other species as well as monopolizing food sources to the detriment of the entire ecosystem.

He said everything from cattle to songbirds are at risk of the tiny ants, despite them being at the bottom of the food chain.

According to ABC News, the chemicals that kill the more common red ant aren't effective on crazy ants so residents should call pest control if they find an infestation in their home.

And hopefully they'll get there before the critters attack their computer.

The insects, bizarrely, are attracted to electrical wiring and components and in one year alone caused $146.5 million in damages in Texas, ABC reported.

The devastation occurs when one ant discovers the transformer then gets electrocuted when it touches it, and 'waves its abdomen in the air' omitting a certain scent.

The scent lures for ants to the scene and they too are electrocuted, again sending the scent into the air to attract their friends.

Eventually, there are so many dead ants that the electric switches get stuck or the insulation fries and the system shuts down.


Terrors: University of Texas researcher Ed LeBrun said the omnivorous ant, pictured, attacks and kills other species as well as monopolising food sources to the detriment of the entire ecosystem

But LeBrun said the biggest problem of the ant's invasion is that it has completely eliminated the red ant, or fire ant. And no one knows why.

'Perhaps the biggest deal is the displacement of the fire ant,' LeBrun said, according to ABC. 'The whole ecosystem has changed around fire ants. Things that can't tolerate fire ants are gone. Many that can have flourished.

'New things have come in. Now we are going to go through and whack the fire ants and put something in its place that has a very different biology. There are going to be a lot of changes that come from that.'

The crazy ants are most commonly found in coastal areas with warmer temperatures. Known scientifically as 'Nylanderia fulva,' they are also referred to as 'rasberry' after the exterminator Tom Rasberry who discovered them in Houston in 2002.

The 'crazy' ants do not have such a painful sting as their insect counterparts, but they are still a nuisance for homeowners.

'Crazy' ants have been identified all the way from Texas to Mississippi. Researchers believe that the ants cannot survive in regions that are dry or cold.

Unlike fire ants, crazy ants also do not spread as quickly. They can only advance approximately 200 meters per year on their own.

The biggest factor in their spread along the Southeast has been human transportation.

LeBrun urges caution for residents in areas with known 'crazy' ant populations to be mindful when they are traveling.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2338502/Crazy-ants-terrorizing-parts-U-S-resistant-chemicals-kill-species.html

Will ants eat the inside of your smartphone?
Traveling to the southern United States from South America, Rasberry crazy ants are forcing out the population of native ants, but more importantly, they are destroying electronic gadgets including smartphones. Measuring less than 1/8th of an inch, these little guys like to eat electrical components and their size allows them to slip right into a handset or a tablet.
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Will-ants-eat-the-inside-of-your-smartphone_id43955
 
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#2
My ear is itching already :p
 
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#3
I had ants in my house that ate one of my hard drives :(
 

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#4
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#5
Uncles can't be as bad:banghead::banghead:
 
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#6
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#7

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#8
how did they evolve? and how do you get energy from eating plastic and silicon!
 
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#9
Better get a can of CB-80...
 
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#10
And I bet they are microwave resistant
 
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#11
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#12

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#13
how did they evolve? and how do you get energy from eating plastic and silicon!
It's a defense thing:
The devastation occurs when one ant discovers the transformer then gets electrocuted when it touches it, and 'waves its abdomen in the air' omitting a certain scent.

The scent lures for ants to the scene and they too are electrocuted, again sending the scent into the air to attract their friends.

Eventually, there are so many dead ants that the electric switches get stuck or the insulation fries and the system shuts down.
This sucks. :(
 

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#15
how did they evolve? and how do you get energy from eating plastic and silicon!
I'm sure at one point it had something to do with a lab, some scientists and "for the good of humanity" blah blah blah.

Or...

They were always attracted to electronic wiring (electricity), but this has come to pass due to electricity not being very popular up until the last 150 years or so.
 

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#16
It isn't extreme. Certain animals can 'hear' electricity in wiring and even in circuits. And it attracts them to nibble the wire.
Just google it up.
 

de.das.dude

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#17
It isn't extreme. Certain animals can 'hear' electricity in wiring and even in circuits. And it attracts them to nibble the wire.
Just google it up.
thats funny cuz i have never been attracted by the sound of chicken roasting....
 

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#18
i have never been attracted by the sound of chicken roasting....
Sorry d.d.d probably that's the reason why you remained so skinny :p

It's documented here and in several other pages if you google it.
 
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#19
kamakazi ants, I ™ it :roll:
barsteward, this is EXACTLY what I was going to post when I read the OP thinking I was all cool and all :cool: but you got there first :mad: :banghead: :roll:
 
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#20
Yup I just got a flyer in the mail a month ago about these things. They just started to show up in my county. So now Florida has crazy ants, killer bees and face eating zombies.
 

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#21
We had a dog when I was a kid, that used to chew the crutch out of women's jeans, now that is crazy.
 

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#22
Yup I just got a flyer in the mail a month ago about these things. They just started to show up in my county. So now Florida has crazy ants, killer bees and face eating zombies.
You're hogging all the good stuff. :mad:

Good thing it probably is too cold for them here. I assume it's this one? Why did it start to spread? Is it indigenous to the US or did it come from somewhere else?

BTW, an attraction to electricity is not unique for this ant. I think most ants are.
 
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#23
We had a dog when I was a kid, that used to chew the crotch out of women's jeans, now that is crazy.
Was his name Mailman? Because Ive been known to do the same thing.
 

de.das.dude

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#24
Yup I just got a flyer in the mail a month ago about these things. They just started to show up in my county. So now Florida has crazy ants, killer bees and face eating zombies.
try being in australia. even the cute things are tying to kill you there.
 
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#25
Yup I just got a flyer in the mail a month ago about these things. They just started to show up in my county. So now Florida has crazy ants, killer bees and face eating zombies.
Get over t blighty fella theres only one crazy ant here and thats me, no zombies phew sos off t but was The zombie found out to be just a mentalist or actually zombie ridden? ?.