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Billions of crazy ants threaten to overrun the southern US

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Crazy Ant
Crazy Ant

Rasberry crazy ants — or Tawny crazy ants depending on who you ask — are currently running amok in southern Texas. In the 11 years since their discovery by exterminator Tom Rasberry, they've managed to effectively overrun small communities outside Houston, teeming by the billions in the walls and under the floors of average homeowners in the area. As Jon Mooallem of the New York Times tells it, the ants "decimate native insects. They overtake beehives and destroy the colonies... In South America, where scientists now believe the ants originated, they have been known to obstruct the nasal cavities of chickens and asphyxiate the birds. They swarm into cows’ eyes." These ants are only one of many invasive species making life miserable in the US today, collectively known to cost $120 billion a year in damages. However, scientific uncertainty about just what these ants are and where they come from has led to a decade of governmental inaction. At this point, it might be too late to do anything about them.