PEARLAND Ten years after being discovered in this country, the Rasberry Crazy Ant is still trekking across Texas.
They ve invaded Jim Schluntz s Pearland property.
They swarm all around and go crazy, said Schlunztz. That s why they call em crazy ants.
Since their original discovery in Harris County in 2002 by exterminator Tom Rasberry, they have spread into 21 Texas counties and other parts of the Southeast.
What s it like having an ant named after you? asks reporter Tiffany Craig.
It was kind of neat at first, admitted Rasberry. Now, it s extremely time consuming.
It s time consuming because Rasberry gets hundreds of calls each year from people, just like Jim, who can t get rid of them.
This particular ant species produce so huge in numbers, said Rasberry. You just can t kill them all.
No one is sure how the crazy ants got to the United States but they ve been causing headaches for homeowners ever since.
The ants shorted out Schluntz s truck stereo and his car alarm. He s worried that his breaker box is next.
They ll get in there and ruin em, said Schluntz. They love electric stuff.
Rasberry tells us if more research was done on the crazy ants, they would be easier to control.
You could study them in their natural environment, said Rasberry. Figure out what their natural enemies are, and what actually keeps them in check.
Rasberry says a similar species in South America is causing huge problems for the ecosystem.
That particular ant species reduced crop production by an excess of 40 percent, said Rasberry. It was killing small animals like chickens and so forth by asphyxiation. As for larger animals, it was also feeding on the membranes and their eyes and blinding them, the large animals such as cattle.
Each visit from Rasberry s Pest Professionals can cost up to $400 and there s still no guarantee.
Schluntz says for him, it s not worth it.
They re liable to be back in a few weeks to a month, said Schluntz. I said well shoot.
The ants will be out in full force by the fall. Schluntz says by then, he too might be a little crazy.