A story on Science News Daily is cause for alarm, hysterical panic, and other paranoia:
The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as “crazy rasberry ants” – crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and “rasberry” after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who did battle against them early on.
Why is this cause for running in circles hollering “the sky is falling?” Well:
Worse, they, like some other species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment, for reasons that are not well understood by scientists.
They have ruined pumps at sewage pumping stations, fouled computers and at least one homeowner’s gas meter, and caused fire alarms to malfunction. They have been spotted at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and close to Hobby Airport, though they haven’t caused any major problems there yet.
Exterminators say calls from frustrated homeowners and businesses are increasing because the ants – which are starting to emerge by the billions with the onset of the warm, humid season – appear to be resistant to over-the-counter ant killers.
“The population built up so high that typical ant controls simply did no good,” said Jason Meyers, an A&M doctoral student who is writing his dissertation on the one-eighth-inch-long ant.
It’s not enough just to kill the queen. Experts say each colony has multiple queens that have to be taken out.
They also are obstinately refusing to fall for our tricks:
At the same time, the ants aren’t taking the bait usually left out in traps, according to exterminators, who want the Environmental Protection Agency to loosen restrictions on the use of more powerful pesticides.
And when you do kill these ants, the survivors turn it to their advantage: They pile up the dead, sometimes using them as a bridge to cross safely over surfaces treated with pesticide.
It’s like something out of Phase IV