Crazy ants are an invasive species from Brazil and Argentina that were first spotted in the United States near Houston, Texas. Now, the species is moving and spreading across the Gulf Coast, causing plenty of concern thanks to their ability to reproduce quickly and resist traditional chemical insecticides.
According to a Hollywood Gossip report dated Oct. 28, 2013, the ants are disrupting colonies of fire ants, another invasive species. Unlike fire ants, however, crazy ants do not bite or sting. Another difference between crazy ants and fire ants is that the former will actively seek out homes, nesting in insulation and around electrical systems. The latter stay away from humans but will attack if provoked.
The crazy ants have been spotted in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida with Alabama within four miles of being invaded also.
Why do they call them crazy ants? The ants exhibit movements that are nonlinear and random, earning them the moniker of crazy ants. These ants are sometimes called Raspberry crazy ants in honor of the exterminator who discovered that the ants were causing problems more than a decade ago, in 2002. The name Raspberry refers to exterminator Tom Raspberry, not the deep red fruit of the same name.
The Institute for the Study of Invasive Species has more information about the ants, along with extensive photographs.