Invasive crazy ants swarm into Brevard

Zig-zagging pests are latest insect scourge to sweep into Florida

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

MELBOURNE, Fla. - They may look like ordinary ants, but these insect invaders can be bad news. They're called the Tawny Crazy Ant and when they travel in a big group, they can do some damage.

These crazy ants can even short circuit electrical boxes. Also known as the Brown or Hairy Crazy Ant, these creepy crawlers have been popping up in rural, wooded areas of southern Brevard County.

According to Slug-A-Bug President Steve Lum, these ants are more active in the summer time due to the high humidity.

"These guys will nest just about anywhere. So, the more debris you have, the more shrubbery you have, the more things you have touching your house, the worse it's going to get," said Lum.

These ants take out anything in their way -- including other ants. Orkin's Technical Services Director Ron Harrison says that the Tawny Crazy Ant can wipe out entire colonies of Red Ants and pest controllers say when these ants find your property, you'll know.

Lum says, "When you do have them, you're going to want to call somebody for sure. This is one insect you've got to have help for."

He also says these ants give him the most trouble because they don't respond to traditional ant baiting methods and because these guys show up in the millions, the colonies are difficult to take out.

"With this particular ant, you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time and it's almost like moving carpet coming at you," said Lum.

Pest controllers say the best way to avoid these crazy ants altogether is to make sure you seal your doors, windows, and other openings.

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