Rasberry Crazy Ants to invade Houston within weeks

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Rasberry Crazy Ants appear to be only a few weeks away from descending on Houston. In fact more than 20 counties in Texas now host billions of the ants.

"These ants are so much more powerful than fire ants, when these crazy ants move in they take over," Tom Rasberry, a Pearland exterminator, said.

Rasberry discovered the ant variety, locally, in 2002. The ants are nicknamed after him. Officially, they're known as the Tawny Crazy Ant.

The ants are noted for their irregular movements, and their sheer numbers.

The ants do not create hills, instead they prefer to live under rocks, in lawns and sometimes in trees. They can also migrate indoors.

"They can get into electrical equipment. They get electrocuted. and unfortunately that signals other ants to the same place," Paul Nester, a bug expert with Texas A&M Cooperative Extension Service, said.

The best defense against the ants is not a pesticide, at least not the over-the-counter variety, Nester said.

"Changing some of your yard structure can be a good idea. No mulch. They love mulch," Nester said.

He also recommends removing discarded wood.

Neither Rasberry nor Nester recommended expensive pre-treatment pesticide services.

"Once you have them, and get them identified, that's when you treat for them," Rasberry said.

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