'Hairy Crazy Ants' Invade Southeast

    In this photo provided by Mississippi State Entomological Museum, a male Nylanderia pubens (ant) specimen is seen in Starkville, Miss., Friday, Nov. 6, 2009. Hairy crazy ants are on the move in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The flea-sized critters are called crazy because each ant in the horde seems to scramble randomly, moving so fast that videos look as if they're on fast-forward. They’re called hairy because of dense “hair” that, to the naked eye, make them look less glossy than their cousins.  (AP Photo/Mississippi State Entomological Museum, Joe MacGown)

    Joe MacGown / Mississippi State Entomological Museum-AP

    No, this is not a nightmare: hairy crazy ants are apparently invading Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana by the millions. The biting ants are called crazy because they each move at random, achieving much greater speed than an average ant. They can short out industrial equipment, and if one gets electrocuted, it releases a chemical that cues the other ants to attack a threat to the colony. Controlling the ants is expensive and can range from $275 to thousands of dollars per year per house. One possible upside is that the hairy crazy ants kill fire ants, but as one ant expert said, “I prefer fire ants to these. I can avoid a fire-ant colony.”

    Read it at Associated Press