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The Crazy Rasberry Ants Invade Houston, Texas!


Texans are no strangers to ants, but these new arrivals -- dubbed "crazy rasberry ants" -- are raising eyebrows all across the Houston area. Thought to have been brought over by a cargo ship, even scientists don't know where exactly they came from.

crazy ants

In this AP photo, exterminator Tom Rasberry shows off the ants he first discovered in 2002.

What they do know is that they run in "crazy," erratic lines, and were first identified in the area by Tom Rasberry, an exterminator, who battled them in 2002.

"I sprayed some pesticide just to knock them down," Rasberry told the New York Times. "But the next year I went from seeing a couple thousand to millions of them."

Crazy Little Buggers

The ants' formal name -- "paratrenicha species near pubens" -- is not nearly as popular as crazy rasberry ants, but don't let their comical name fool you. These ants mean business.

On a positive note, the ants eat fire ants, whose stings are painful and also contain toxins that can be dangerous in large amounts.

But that's where the good news ends.

They also eat beneficial insects, like ladybugs, and are feeding on the hatchlings of an endangered grouse called the Attwater prairie chicken. They drink sweet juices from plants and, like some other ant species, seem to love electrical equipment. As a result, sewage pumping stations, computers, gas meters and even fire alarms have been destroyed.

Keep Insects Safely Away From Your Backyard

insect repellantFlea 'n Tick B Gone is an all-natural, completely non-toxic insect repellant that will keep pests -- including fleas, ticks, ants, spiders, bees, flies and more -- away from your backyard. Simply mist the area prior to going outside, and you can picnic, entertain or relax in peace (and free of pests) for at least three hours!

Flea 'n Tick B Gone is:

  • 100% Pesticide Free and Non-Toxic
  • Clinically proven to be highly effective
  • A Great Value! It is economically priced
  • Can also be used for your pets, on bedding and in other pet areas of the home -- Simply lightly spray in these areas
  • Can safely be used as a preventive against fleas and ticks: Regular use can naturally break life cycle of fleas
  • Controls/Stops other in-home pests like ants, bees, flies and more
  • Reduces risk of infections, dermatitis and itching
  • Safely removes fleas, ticks, lice and other pests from your yard

Find Out More About Flea 'n Tick B Gone Now!

Worst of all, the ants, which are now numbering in the billions and have spread to five area counties, seem to be resistant to most pesticides.

Those that are effective -- products containing the chemicals fipronil and chlorfenapyr -- have environmental restrictions. And the ants have even been known to pile up their dead and use them as a bridge to cross over pesticide-treated areas.

But there is good news, at least for people who live outside of the Texas coastline. The ants love warmth and moistness, so they're unlikely to wander too far from Texas' coast.

What to do if You Get Ants in Your House

Though most of the country won't have to deal with the crazy rasberry ants, that doesn't make you immune to the other ant species out there. What should you do if you want to get rid of ants in your home, without using potentially toxic pesticides?

Follow the ant trail and figure out where they're entering your home. Then, sprinkle the holes or cracks that they're entering through with any of the following:

  • Flea 'n Tick B Gone, an all-natural, completely non-toxic insect repellant

  • Baby powder

  • White vinegar

  • Black pepper

  • A spray of water blended with a few drops of peppermint essential oil

  • Red chili pepper

  • Borax

  • Paprika

Sprinkling coffee grounds around your house or drawing lines with chalk over where they enter will also help to deter ants, as will strategically placed mint plants.

insects at picnic

How can you keep ants from ruining your next picnic? See the natural insect repellants below.

To keep your home from becoming a place ants will adore, the following tips will also help:

  1. Make sure any food left out on your counter is wrapped tightly

  2. Clean up promptly after meals

  3. Move outdoor garbage cans as far from your home as possible

  4. Seal cracks in your foundation

Recommended Reading

Nearly Invisible Biting Mites Invade Midwest: Here's What You Need to Know and Do

How to Most Effectively Keep Flies, Wasps, Gnats and Other Pests Away from Your Picnic This Summer


New York Times May 16, 2008

Yahoo News May 14, 2008

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