Monday, May 18, 2009

Crazy ants are coming

And they're on the march from Houston.

A destructive menace is heading west on I.H. 10 with San Antonio in its sites. It's the crazy Raspberry ant that was first spotted in Houston in 2002. No one knows where it came from or how to control it but it reproduces faster than any insect experts have ever seen.

"This is an alien species," says Sam Houston State University Entomologist Dr. Jerry Cook. "This is in higher densities than any other insects I've ever seen. They number in the billions and cover everything around them.

"Where you'll have 200,000 ants in a big fire ant mound, you'll have billion of crazy ants in one area, in that one group. They form a carpet of ant over acres that is several inches thick.

"It's a potential ecological disaster, displacing everything in front of it, other insects. Some people think getting rid of insects is good but it's not good for the environment. Insects play a vital role. When you destroy insects you destroy the food for birds and other animals that depend on these insect populations. It could affect our food supply, reducing the crop yield by 30 - 40 percent."

(from KENS-5)

Let's hope this isn't as bad as portrayed in the article. Despite scary visions of attacking, swarming, stinging ants, we've pretty much learned to live with fire ants. And remember all the warnings that preceded the approach of the killer bees from South America? Well, they're here, but somehow we weren't hit with the hellish, buzzing, doomsday scenarios painted by the b-movies. The bees are dangerous, they just didn't take over our towns like people thought they would.

Maybe the crazy ant won't be as bad, either. Granted, I don't like the idea of a "carpet" of ants spreading through my yard, but I'm not going to freak out just yet. Let's see how it plays out when they get here.


Dave said...

My favorite part was when they finished the story and went right into a commercial for a pest control company. Nice timing, eh?

Albatross said...

Classic. But at the link below is perhaps one of the most unfortunate, disturbing, groan-worthy product placements ever.

WARNING: The video at the link is graphic and violent (it is from Battlestar Galactica, after all), but if you can watch through to when the commercial starts, you will be rewarded (or penalized?) for your patience.

You have been warned. Watch if you want to.

Here it is.