DALLAS (AP) - In what sounds like a really low-budget horror film,
voracious swarming ants that apparently arrived in Texas aboard a cargo
ship are invading homes and yards across the Houston area, shorting out
electrical boxes and messing up computers.
The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as "crazy rasberry
ants"‹crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in
regimented lines, and "rasberry" after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who
did battle against them early on.
"They're itty-bitty things about the size of fleas, and they're just
running everywhere," said Patsy Morphew of Pearland, who is constantly
sweeping them off her patio and scooping them out of her pool by the
cupful. "There's just thousands and thousands of them. If you've seen a
car racing, that's how they are. They're going fast, fast, fast. They're
"At this point, it would be nearly impossible to eradicate the ant
because it is so widely dispersed," said Roger Gold, a Texas A&M
The good news? They eat fire ants, the stinging red terrors of Texas
But the ants also like to suck the sweet juices from plants, feed on
such beneficial insects as ladybugs, and eat the hatchlings of a small,
endangered type of grouse known as the Attwater prairie chicken.
They also bite humans, though not with a stinger like fire ants.
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