A new invasive species of ant from South America is causing a lot of problems for people in the southeastern part of the United States, and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) recommend being careful not to transport them to your area. The ants, recently given the official common name ”Tawny crazy ants”, invade homes, nest in crawl spaces and walls, reproduce prolifically and damage electrical equipment.
Crazy ants, formally named Nylanderia fulva, were first discovered in 2002 in a suburb of Houston by a pest control professional. They have since spread to 21 counties in Texas, 20 counties in Florida and a few locations in southern Mississippi and southern Louisiana.
Ed Lebrun, a research associate with the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences, calls the ants “ecologically dominant.” Lebrun said, “When you talk to folks who live in the invaded areas, they tell you they want their fire ants back. Fire ants are in many ways very polite. They live in your yard. They form mounds and stay there, and they only interact with you if you step on their mound.”
While Tawny crazy ants have not made an appearance here, New Mexico residents have our share of ant species to deal with. According to AntWeb, there are 43 species of ants in New Mexico.
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