It appears that the ants share our love for technology.
The Crazy Rasberry Ant otherwise known as Paratrechina species near pubens is fast replacing fire ants as the main concern of pest infestation across the united states.
These little terrors similar to their cousins – the Fireants or ants from the genus Solenopsis have a preference for electronic devices, like electrical boxes and computers over sweet stuffs. This has proven to be a major problem especially when the Crazy Rasberry Ant decided to make Texas where NASA is located as their home.
The Crazy Rasberry Ant, according to observation seems to enjoy feeding or biting on electronics. In heavily infested areas they often appear in clusters hiding inside power sockets and many other electronic appliances, causing overheating and short circuits.
Tom Rasberry who first discovered the species highlighted its staggering resilient to pesticide and the species’s ability to repopulate itself “I sprayed some pesticide just to knock them down, But the next year I went from seeing a couple thousand to millions of them.” This seems to be contributing to their rapid dispersion across Texas.
Preying on the fire ants and out competing them through a faster reproduction cycle. The Crazy Rasberry ants is slowly marching towards NASA’s headquarter. Electric appliances reported to be damaged by them includes Computers, burglar alarm systems, gas and electricity meters, iPods, telephone exchanges and even pumps at a sewage facility.
An infestation of these electronics hungry ants in NASA would prove to be extremely devastating. The cost of replacement for the billion dollar computers, the risk to national security and space expedition would be unimaginable.
The threat is real and imminent yet scientist know little about this enemy who seemingly happen to appear from no where.
Some entomologist suggest that ants simply take refuge in electrical appliances due to the shelter it provides against predator. Others claimed that all ants are attracted to electric wires.
In an experiment conducted by Mackay, Majdi, Erving, Vinson and Messer (1992). The researchers tested 10 species of ant’s reaction to differences in electric field. They found out that electric appliances are damaged by ants which are attracted to the electric fields it produces.
This further substantiate the danger that The Crazy Rasberry Ant pose on NASA.
First discovered in 2002 by Tom Rasberry, the Crazy Rasberry Ants is distinguishable by its erratic movement dissimilar to other ants which moves in trail. Hence the “crazy” in its name. As of now, little is yet known about the Crazy Rasberry Ant.
Mackay, P.W., S. Majdi, J. Irving. , S.B. Vinson & C. Messer, 1992. Attraction of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to electric fields. Journal of the Kansas entomological society, 65 (1): 39-43
“Crazy ants that eat electronics marching to Oklahama?” by KOCO Oklahoma city. KOCO.COM Youtube channel. 19 May 2008. URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6pB3G61Sh0 (accessed on 3 Apr 2010)
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