Trivia Thursday: Crazy Ants: Have you spotted this new species near you?

The evening sun and damp conditions are two things we expect to attract pests to a late-day picnic or evening ballgame, but chances are, you haven’t considered mobile devices attracting unwanted pests. We now turn our attention toward the new pest invading the U.S. It’s currently most common in the southern states and threatening America’s ecosystem. Strangely enough, it’s one that loves to gather in large groups, and enjoys a warm welcome from your laptop, cell phone, or tablet reader.

Nylanderia fulva is the scientific name for crazy ants. True or False?

True. A new species of ant has taken over much of the southern region of the United States, with their largest density found in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Nylanderia fulva, also known as “tawny crazy ants,” are tenacious and crafty insects who cannot be satisfied with an orderly march to identify a new home. Crazy ants form nests that are very dense which makes the species easy to identify.  In their natural habitat, the nests are 100 times denser than any other ant colony combined. The species gathers nests consisting of hundreds of thousands of ants.

Unlike others in the ant family, crazy ants do not form strict migrating trails, but move in an erratic manner. Their unruly demeanor has earned them their nickname based on their wild, eccentric nature. Even when you take into account their animated gate, there seems to be no stopping these creatures as they are able to march over 650 miles per year. So, it should come as no surprise these pests are able to maneuver themselves quickly enough to continue marching on through several southern states.

Crazy ants are attracted to heat sources. True or False?

True. Crazy ants are fascinated by electronics and feel at home in even the tiniest crevasse of your laptop, cell phone, or tablet reader. Measuring in at a little less than a 1/8th of an inch, they are nearly impossible to catch, outsmarting you by hiding in your smart phone.

Prevention is the first step to staying clear of crazy ants. The best way to avoid an invasion is to keep your electronic devices in protective sleeves while you are outdoors. Because their heat attracts crazy ants, allow your devices to power down after use so crazy ants will look elsewhere for the heat they crave .

To learn more about protecting yourself from unusual pests near you, visit Join the conversation and share your peculiar pest story with Debug the Myths on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources: The Inquisitr, CNN, Texas A&M AgriLife, AgriLife Today.

Categories: Pest Management Trivia
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