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Crazy Ants Swarm Gulf Coast

Tiny, frenetic munchers invade homes, snack on electrical wiring
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 5:15 AM CDT
Crazy Ants Swarm Gulf Coast
Crazy ants attack a honeybee on a hive tray in Pearland, Texas.    (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Billions of "crazy ants" are munching their way through Gulf Coast counties in Florida and Texas, the Wall Street Journal reports. The tiny insects, believed to have originated in the Caribbean, happily make their homes in human dwellings and are tough to dislodge once they move in. The ants often chew through electrical wiring, shorting equipment, and experts fear they may soon be costing the region billions of dollars in damages, like the fire ants that plague the South.

The ants—called "crazy" because they move in all directions instead of in a straight line—have been wiping out beehives and have been sighted as far north as San Antonio this summer. "It's in my best interest for these things to spread everywhere," says one exterminator who has been lobbying the government to take more aggressive action against them. "But I was born and raised in Texas, and I have a real concern about the impact these critters could have on our state." (More ants stories.)

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