Crazy rasberry ants devour Houston's electronics

Houston is a-swarm with "crazy rasberry ants" — an exotic species that eats fireants and electronic equipment. The "crazy" part is that they kind of wobble and weave when they walk. They have multiple, exterminator-resistant queens, and are attacking the local animal population as well.

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.


(Thanks, Bonnie!)