Pray Tell “Crazy Ants” Don’t Arrive in Your Neighborhood

December 5, 2013 at 4:50 PM Leave a comment

This is the first I’ve heard of the awful-sounding “crazy ants” which are literally driving people in Florida and Texas nuts.  Colorado isn’t all that far from Texas so I’m keeping my fingers crossed they don’t come here.  Having them in the neighborhood sounds like hell:

Soon he and his wife were waking up to find vast, frantic networks of ants zipping around the kitchen floor in all directions. When the picture on their 50-inch box television started flickering, Mike took off the back panel and found the guts throbbing with ants. He got rid of the television.

Outside, dead ants began pooling around the base of the house in heaps so high that they looked like discarded coffee grounds. (It’s common in Texas these days for a person who is shown one of these heaps of dead ants to take several seconds to realize that the solid surface he or she is scanning for ants actually is the ants.) Mike laid out poison, generating more heaps of dead ants. But new ants merely used those dead ants as a bridge over the poison and kept streaming inside.


Rasberry first spotted the crazy ants while on a job at a chemical plant in the Houston suburb of Pasadena in 2002. Outside the office, he saw a couple of hundred ants traveling in erratic swirls. “I just sprayed ‘em with my can; no big deal,” he remembered. The following summer, he was called back to the same spot. “There were literally billions of them,” he said.


Duke turned 65 the day before. He wore a yellow T-shirt, a yellow cowboy hat and gold-framed tinted glasses. His story was typical: One evening, his iron stopped working, then sparks shot from the appliance and a tide of crazy ants came rushing out. Other Dukes lived in neighboring houses; they all had similar stories. The ants had caused $1,600 of electrical damage to one woman’s car; infiltrated the “glass break” detector of one house’s alarm system, causing the alarm to blare; and just the previous night, shut off the water at Strom’s brother Melvin’s house by disabling the pressure switch on his well. “Ain’t that some ants,”


Soon ants were spiraling up the tongues of my sneakers, onto my sock. I tried to shake them off, but nothing I did disturbed them. Before long, I was sweeping them off my own calves. I kept instinctively taking a step back from some distressing concentration of ants, only to remember that I was standing in the center of an exponentially larger concentration of ants. There was nowhere to go. The ants were horrifying — as in, they inspired horror. Eventually, I scribbled in my notebook: “Holy [expletive] I can’t concentrate on what anyone’s saying. Ants all over me. Phantom itches. Scratching hands, ankles, now my left eye.” Then I got in my car and left.


Here’s a video (not connected to the article above) I found on YouTube:



Entry filed under: Animals (Other Than Us).

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