Florida seeing more crazy ants move into the state

Crazy ants chasing out fire ants

Back in July, ABC Action News told you about the crazy ant, an invasive ant that's invading Florida. It's an ant that moves 20 times faster than any other ant.

 

"Just the sheer numbers and their sheer speed. You see them and you just want to jump back because they're just moving so fast," Dr. Deby Cassill said. She's a biologist at the University of Southern Florida St. Pete.

 

Dr. Cassill spends many days studying these ants.

 

When we first told you about them back in June, only 20 Florida counties were affected.

 

Today that number is higher. "I would say they're probably in 90 percent of the counties in Florida," Dr. Cassill said.

 

The reason is the climate here is perfect for them. They're also spreading around the state in creative ways.

 

"They're free-loaders actually, they'll take a ride on any material that we're transporting within the state, within the city or even between states," Dr. Cassill said.

 

While the crazy ant is moving in, they're causing fire ants to move out.

 

"It keeps the fire ants disturbed themselves and confused so they're not able to focus on getting the food back to their colony and they literally just get chased away," Dr. Cassill said.

 

The ants are also beginning to make their way into homes.

 

Even though they don't bite or sting like fire ants, they can take over much larger areas and even destroy things like electronics if they get inside.

 

"You're going to get thousands all at once, scattering and they have no personal space boundaries," Dr. Cassill said.

 

"So they're all over you quickly, it's startling, and it's scary when there's just so many of them."

 

Right now, pesticides aren't working To keep them out closely inspect any materials you bring inside your home that have been stored outside. Also monitor damp, dark places and keep them clean.

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