It’s hard to believe that the summer break is over and “Fall” is upon us… Football and Hunting Seasons open, Holiday “specials” begin …fun, fun, fun! You know, Christmas is just around the corner and you don’t want to forget that statement you made last year…”I’m going to do my shopping earlier, next year”. Well it’s “next year” so make your list and get those lights up! Don’t get caught thinking you’ve got plenty of time before it’s here.
Speaking of “plenty of time”, I had thought the we had several more years before certain insects made their presence in Montgomery County…well they are here…Rasberry Crazy Ants!!! Back in 2002 this ant made its appearance in Harris County and quickly became a multiplying nuisance. Continued daily research is being performed on this ant to determine its true environmental impact and the effective ways of controlling this species.
Rasberry Crazy Ants are 1/8 inch long, reddish-brown and crawl rapidly and erratically. These ants are not normally found alone, but with hundreds of millions (yes, I said MILLIONS) of their friends, foraging in the landscaping. Ant colonies occur under landscape objects like rocks, timbers, piles of debris, etc.; they do not build centralized nests, beds, or mounds.
While their true effect on society has yet to be determined, what we do know is that this ant is infesting homes and businesses with no true sense of direction. Large numbers of ants have accumulated in electrical equipment, causing short circuits and equipment failures. Wildlife has been irritated causing animals to relocate due to their mass numbers covering the ground and even found in trees. Even the red imported fire ant vacates areas of heavy infestations. But, it’s been reported that homeowners prefer the fire ant over this rasberry crazy ant…go figure!!
Control of this ant is still undergoing research. Baits are not proving effective. Interior only treatments have not proven effective at controlling and/or eliminating activity. A temporary “buffer zone” is created by utilizing contact insecticides to the exterior. Products with active ingredients consisting of acephate, pyrethroid or fipronil are showing some degree of success, but must be reapplied within 2-3 months. And, most of these products are not readily available to the consumer; requiring a licensed pest control operator to apply.
With this being said, we have already identified and treated several properties in Montgomery County…mostly in The Woodlands. But they are headed north, so be prepared and act swiftly when you suspect that you may have Rasberry Crazy Ants. If you would like to know more in regards to this ant, Google offers many articles and videos to assist you with identification and understanding.
In closing, so much has changed and continues to change in our day-to- day, fast paced lives, but take a moment to remember those lives lost and the lives that changed on 9-11-01. We will never forget!!
Until the next issue, enjoy the many back to school activities, Friday night football games and upcoming holidays. Christmas is approaching quickly, so get those lights up and start purchasing those gifts. If you need a great gift idea, consider a Mosquito Misting System… you will be ready for next summer and it’s works year round. Any questions or comments email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 936.441.2847.