Tawny Crazy Ants Confirmed in LA - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Tawny Crazy Ants Confirmed in LA

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - They've been spreading along the Gulf Coast for years...first in Florida, then in Texas and now confirmed in South Louisiana.  And the tawny crazy ant has been preceded by it's bad reputation.  We spoke with AgCenter Entomologist Sebe Brown.
"They're smaller than the fire ant, about an 8th of an inch. This ant looks like disorganized chaos.  They run around like crazy."
This species of ant can appear in overwhelming numbers...mostly in places like a moist location where wood is in contact with the ground. How have they been spreading across the Gulf States?
"They can come in sod soil...if you buy soil from a local garden supply that hasn't been sterilized properly.  They can come in anything you can take from one place to another."
The tawny crazy ant can't sting...and you can hardly feel its bite.  But as the colonies reproduce they can cause a number of other problems.
"They'll crawl into electrical boxes and short them out.  I know Texas has experienced transformer failures...they crawl in and short them out."
Homeowners in Louisiana's Capitol City have been overwhelmed and seeking relief from the critters this summer.  Will the tawny crazy ant extend it's territory in the state?
"It's not if, but when they spread into other parishes." 
Brown tells us the Ag Center has been tracking the species and has information on treatments available should homeowners notice an infestation on their property.

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