These crazy hairy ants, probably native to South America, have started to invade the United States from Texas to Mississippi. They were recorded as being in the Caribbean in the late 19th century. They were first spotted in Texas and as of now they are in eighteen counties in Texas, twenty counties in Florida up from only five counties in 2000, two counties in Mississippi and one parish in Louisiana.
These ants are about the size of a flea and are called “crazy ants” because when they forage, they scramble randomly at such a speed that the average black any can only reach in fast forward video marching one by one. These ants have fuzz which to the naked eye makes their stomachs look less glossy than a regular ant.
These ants are not your typical ants because they can disable big industrial plants by shorting them out and it can cost thousands of dollars to control them. They can travel from place to place in hay bales, potted plants, moving vans, cargo containers, and even motorcycles. If the ant gets electrocuted it will release a chemical when it dies that is a cue to attack the threat to the colony and the other ants rush to attack.
These ants prefer to nest in moist sheltered spots and do not dig anthills and they will eat about anything, animal or plant. One Texas beekeeper lost one hundred hives due to these ants. A circle of poison will only stop them for one day and then more show up bringing their babies with them. They are looking for chemicals that can stop or curb their speed.