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Crazy ants are taking over Texas, and it isn't fun

Scorpio

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Crazy ants are taking over Texas, and it isn't fun
10 / 50

Houston Chronicle

Brett Barrouquere 1 hr ago




Ants are a nuisance, best known for itchy bites and ruining picnics.

But, a new species of crazy ant is taking over Texas. In some ways they appear to be worse than fire ants and there's no good way to stop them.

These ants swarm fast and are plentiful in some areas.

“An invasion of these can be so extreme that it’s hard to call it just a nuisance,” University of Texas entomologist Edward LeBrun told The Austin American-Statesman.

The wacko ants first popped up in Pearland in 2002 and have been becoming more and more of a problem ever since.

The ants have been known to crawl into and ruin televisions, appliances and other electronic devices. No one is entirely sure why.

David Oi, a research entomologist at the Department of Agriculture, told The New York Times in 2013, the bizarre idea that the bugs are actually attracted to the electricity itself can’t be ruled out.

The crazy ants or Raspberry ants - yep, that's actually what they are called - are found in 23 Texas counties.

The ants have very little venom, but do impose a slight sting when they bite. Mostly, though, they're a hazard to electrical equipment.

They are a relatively new species in the region and little is known about how to control or kill the population. And, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much that can be done about them right now.

So, for the moment, the best advice is to avoid ant piles and clusters. And, hope that none make it inside to crawl around the electronics.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/cr...r-texas-and-it-isnt-fun/ar-AAlaV4z?li=BBnbcA1
 

Silver

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When I lived in the Texas Hill Country, fire ants were a major problem. What I would do to controls them was wait until after it rained - I would then dig up the mound and blast them with a pear burner, frying the eggs, queens, and everything else. It worked pretty good in controlling them. Fire ants displaced red ants - what Horny Toads ate - causing them to become rare. Now out in far West Texas, we have red ants and lots of horny toads and no fire ants or crazy ants.
 

GOLDBRIX

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mayhem

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We have had the crazy raspberry ants wher I live for at least ten years now. Although the menace has seemed to retard here lately. They ate up the electronics on the well pump ten years ago, and a coffee pot about 8. There is nothing much you can do to kill them. We have had pest control service for the last 30 years and they still showed up. Probably coming in in container ships.
 

Aurumag

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When I lived in the Texas Hill Country, fire ants were a major problem. What I would do to controls them was wait until after it rained - I would then dig up the mound and blast them with a pear burner, frying the eggs, queens, and everything else. It worked pretty good in controlling them. Fire ants displaced red ants - what Horny Toads ate - causing them to become rare. Now out in far West Texas, we have red ants and lots of horny toads and no fire ants or crazy ants.
My technique is very similar:

I flood the ants out of their nests.

When the workers come out with the eggs, I torch them all with mapp gas.
 

Goldhedge

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#10
you don't suppose....

Biodegradable, soy-based wiring insulation in some cars appealing to rodents, causing trouble


Has the push to go green gone too far?

That may be the case when it comes to the wiring in our cars, trucks and SUVs. It turns out a new type of environmentally-friendly wiring may be too friendly to animals.

No Start, Wiring on Driveway

Woody and Mary Herald couldn't figure out why their Buick Lucerne suddenly wouldn't run.

"I got in it," she said, "and it would just click, click and would not start."

So her husband popped the hood, looked around,and on the ground underneath spotted a chewed off wiring harness.

"On the ground is this connector with 6 inches of wire on either end of it," Herald said,"that the varmints had chewed in two completely."

New Wiring Tasty to Rodents

It turns out a number of car brands have wiring that is tasty to rodents, according to Connecticut Watchdog, CarTalk and a number of automotive blogs.

Mechanic Marc Dueubber said many automakers have moved to biodegradable, soy-based wiring insulation in the past 10 years. It won't last forever in landfills, like older plastic wiring.

It's great for the environment, but even better for hungry mice and squirrels.

"They are drawn to it, therefore they are chewing and eating it," Duebber said. "And we are finding nests created in the upper plenums (fresh air intakes). "

He showed an air filter that mice recently turned into a nest, using bits of wiring insulation.

What You Can Do

Some automakers are responding. Honda dealers now sell rolls of anti-rodent tape for wires, that can be used on any car, not just Hondas.

"There are some products you can put there as a rodent deterrent," Duebber said.

Mary and Woody Herald bought a product called Rodent Repellent for use under the hood. They have also put bits of mothballs around the wiring just to be sure. They say they simply wish they had been warned, before their $400 repair.

"They want to go green, but they should warn the public," Mary Herald said.

If you suspect a critter has gotten under the hood of your car, you need to take action immediately because he will be back. And he may bring his friends and family next time.

As always, don't waste your money.


http://www.newsnet5.com/money/consu...ome-cars-appealing-to-rodents-causing-trouble
 

ABC123

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#11
Dumping a huge cauldron of boiling water on the nest works really well.