Drought worsening southeast Texas' problems with crazy ants

File Photo

October 4, 2011 4:36:46 PM PDT
They're small, hairy pests that can cause big problems at your home or business. We're talking about an insect known as crazy ants. They're invading the southern US, and the drought is making things worse here in southeast Texas.

According to Texas A&M, crazy ants were first spotted in Harris County in 2002. They've since been spotted in other Texas counties, including Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, Chambers. And one pest exterminator says this year is particularly bad for crazy ants because of the weather.

Crazy ants are probably not what you want to see on the outside of your home or business.

"This is where they're coming in at, right here, these crazy ants, raspberry ants, everybody's got a pet name for them," said Claude Griffin with Gotcha Pest Control.

Crazy ants are named for their erratic fast movements, and because of the drought this year, they're thirsty and willing to do anything for water.

"These are like special-ops ants," Griffin said.

Masses of ants can infest an area quickly -- inside or out. They'll invade electrical wiring and get inside of air conditioners.

That's exactly what the Selim Jawda, the owner of the Babylon Cafe on Houston's west side, doesn't want.

"As a business, it must be really clean, clean, clean," Jawda said.

He's just days away from his big grand opening.

"It must be completely clean before I start to open," he said.

He called professional pest control to kill the ants, which is exactly what the entomologists at Texas A&M say to do.

"How do you get rid of them?" we asked Griffin.

"Fix the conditions then you got to talk to the homeowners, and two, you've got to see what they've been doing to create them," he said.

The ants nest inside and outside and eat everything.

"They know exactly where their food and water is for a certain amount of days and when they run out, what do you think they do? They hitchhike on hay bales, on car tires," Griffin said.

There are no household chemicals that can get rid of the crazy ants ,which means Jawda is keeping the exterminator's phone number close.

"I make a contract with them to be here every two weeks or every month," he said.

There are two pesticides approved for use against the crazy ants are for professional use only and require multiple applications. And they are only approved for use in Texas counties where crazy ants have been confirmed.

Load Comments