POSTED: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 12:12pm
Tyler , TX (KETK) — There is a type of ant spreading through Texas and other southern states.
It's called the crazy ant.
It's not in East Texas, yet but, we're told once it does get here, the crazy ant will not only be a nuisance to us but it can kill other species here at home.
These little critters have a couple names, but it's most common name is the tawny crazy ant.
They get their name from their sandy color and erratic behavior.
Originally from South America, research shows the ants were brought to the US by people transporting plants and other materials.
These ants have been in our population for ten years, but recently have been spreading throughout the southern part of the country.
They are said to be worst than fire ants.
"These ants invade buildings, they get inside all our components of electrical, they get into air conditioning units the thoughts of where they can get into is infinitesimal," said owner of Alpha Pest Control Dennis Newberry.
Crazy ants have been seen in 24 counties in Texas, mostly in the southeast.
And also in Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.
But, they are making their way to East Texas we're told in the next 2 to 10 years.
Dr. Srini Kambhampati Department Chair of Biology at UT Tyler says they multiple in huge numbers.
Dr. Kambhampati says the problem with invasive species, like crazy ants, is they do not have their natural enemies to keep them from spreading.
"They are kept in check by things that feed on them or otherwise kill them. But, when you bring them to a new location and when they come here without any of their natural enemies, they tend to grow in population size very quickly," said Dr. Kambhampati.