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Destructive ants marching on San Antonio

01:31 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deborah Knapp, KENS 5


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May 18th, 2009

The crazy rasberry ant is named after exterminator Tom Rasberry, who first discovered it in 2002.

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A destructive menace is heading west on Interstate 10 toward San Antonio.
It’s the crazy Rasberry 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 billions of crazy ants in one area, in that one group. They form a carpet of ants 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 to 40 percent.”
The crazy ants even kill fire ants, which many may think is good news, but they are more destructive to homes and businesses than fire ants. They pack into electrical equipment in such dense numbers that they short out computers, air conditioning units and car computers.

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