Why yes, they are. Hairy rasberry crazy ants to be more specific. Just as the imported fire ant invaded the United States in the early 1900s and snuffed out other native species of insects, the rasberry crazy ant has found its way in and is beginning to do the same. Before you ask, I did not spell raspberry wrong, they are named after Tom Rasberry, the pest control operator that discovered them in Houston.
Believed to have come from South America, these ants are now spreading throughout the southern states. When I say spread, I do mean spread, as a colony can number in the millions, or possibly even billions if they combine to form a “super colony.” They are considered semitropical, so the the cooler temperatures up north should eventually stop their progress.
In this video, you can see how their sheer numbers are mind boggling as he flips over pieces of siding that are all completely covered. There appear to be millions of them. Notice their movements as well, it’s obvious why they’re called “crazy!”
So What’s the Problem?
The biggest problem is the potential damage they can cause to your property. Like fire ants, rasberry crazy ants are attracted to electricity. They haven’t figured out the reason yet, suffice to say it’s not a good thing. Due to their large numbers, an ant bridge can be formed easily between circuits in a circuit box shorting out the entire system. I also saw a video of thousands of crazy ants pouring out of a person’s computer mouse sitting on their desk…inside their home. You certainly don’t want that kind of computer bug! They don’t sting, but they do bite, so they can definitely be a hazard when people come in contact.
Another problem is these ants are either snuffing out, or displacing other native species of ants and insects that our ecosystem relies on. Even the imported fire ant, which displaced other species itself in the 1900s, is being overrun by rasberry crazy ants.
If you encounter these ants, it’s best to call a professional pest management company as they are extremely difficult to control. Their population numbers alone make them a very tough pest to eradicate, posing a new challenge for us that live in the southern United States, as well as us pest control folks trying to curb these infestations.