Colonies of hairy crazy ants are invading Southeastern US states along the Gulf Coast. The pests, unlike fire ants multiply by the millions. Exterminators say regular pesticides are not effective, while many residents report being forced from their homes.
Unfortunately, this story is not from a science fiction film or late night D-rated movie. Had it been, it would soon hit the big screen and certainly upstage "Money Ball" and "Lion King 3D" at the box office.
Perhaps the recent arthropod infestation supports arguments claiming climate change and global warming are behind phenomena like this. Al Gore, here's your time to shine.
According to CBS News, the flea-sized creepy, crawly pests are invading parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Alabama is the only state along the Gulf Coast not mentioned as part of the infestation of the tiny creatures. But be afraid -- be very afraid Yellowhammer State residents.
The fuzzy creatures were first discovered in the 19th century in parts of South America. Then, they were called "Caribbean crazy ants," and "Raspberry crazy ants."
Because they colonize in bails of hay, luggage, and other portable storage containers, they were inadvertently brought into US ports along the Gulf Coast from expeditions.
It didn't take long for the hair crazy ants to adapt to their new environment. And because they prefer wet or moist environments, the ants invaded homes. They can be found in walls, and are so densely packed that whole walls collapse under their weight.
Joe MacGown with the Mississippi State Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University said that pest control exterminators cannot keep pace with how fast they multiply.
He said that when a pesticide is used to kill off large numbers of hairy crazy ants, scores more show up and continue devastating crops and farmland. "Months later, I could close my eyes and see them moving," he said.
"I did a test site with a product early on and applied the product to a half-acre ... In 30 days I had two inches of dead ants covering the entire half-acre," said one exterminator.
He then added that when hairy crazy ants die, they releases a special chemical that attracts others. In minutes, thousands or more ants find the scent, as if putting up a united front in defense of their fallen comrade. It's nature at its best.