Digging deeper: Do we need to fear hairy, crazy ants? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Digging deeper: Do we need to fear hairy, crazy ants?

If the ground around you suddenly springs to life or the tree bark begins to shift, you may just have come across Georgia's newest pest.

The hairy crazy ant is already causing problems in Florida,Texas, and Mississippi and pest experts say it's likely just a matter of time before they're here.

What sets them apart is their huge numbers.

Ants scurrying through the grass, a cockroach climbing the house, just everyday sites in south Georgia. These ants are not common. They're hairy crazy ants, hairy for the fine fuzz on their bodies, crazy, well just look at the way they move. Pest experts say they're not in south Georgia yet, or at least they haven't had calls.

"Probably eventually they'll show up one day or another," said David Reed, Adams Pest Control General Manager.

Like others before them, Fire Ants, or not as well known Argentine Ants, that came to south Georgia about five years ago.

"They're a nuisances ant but they have supplemental queens that travel within the colony so once they get broken off from that particular area from the original nest they'll just go form their own colony," said Reed.

Making them difficult to control. Bed bugs are also here to stay.

"We get calls every week on the bed bugs activity," Reed.

Hitchhikers, they too have made their way to south Georgia from urban hotels. Experts warn traveling football fans to watch their luggage.

"Don't ever lay them on a bed, trying an put them off the bed, don't lay anything on the floor, I know that's impossible sometimes," said Reed.

Not like our typical pests including termites. There are six to eight colonies per acre and live undetected in mud mounds like this one found in the crawl space of a south Georgia home.

"Termites have to have moisture to survive so what they do they build these mud tubes and mud homes and that's how they stay moist and they carry and go up to the wood and feed," said Reed.

Which is why a warning is going out to those traveling to Florida or to the west to be careful what they bring home.

"They're saying not to buy potted plants and things of that nature from particular areas to keep them out of our area," said Reed.

Because it could have their backyard crawling with ants before too long.

Before you decide to spray an insecticide in or around your home, you need to read the directions carefully.

You could end up trapping pests inside your home.

They say when in doubt, call the experts.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

Powered by Frankly