Forget the zombie apocalypse and focus on a nightmare that’s streaming over Texas by the billions as we speak: crazy ants.
Though popularly dubbed the Rasberry crazy ant for the exterminator, Tom Rasberry, who discovered the invasive species from Brazil and sounded the alarm way back in 2002, it has since been renamed the Tawny ant by the scientists who finally figured out what the mysterious species was after misidentifying it as a similar and not-so-damaging species in Florida, a mistake that led to years of ignoring this plague ravaging the southern state.
As reporter Jon Mooallem explained in his article at The New York Times:
Soon ants were spiraling up the tongues of my sneakers, onto my sock. I tried to shake them off, but nothing I did disturbed them. Before long, I was sweeping them off my own calves. I kept instinctively taking a step back from some distressing concentration of ants, only to remember that I was standing in the center of an exponentially larger concentration of ants. There was nowhere to go. The ants were horrifying — as in, they inspired horror. Eventually, I scribbled in my notebook: “Holy [expletive] I can’t concentrate on what anyone’s saying. Ants all over me. Phantom itches. Scratching hands, ankles, now my left eye.” Then I got in my car and left.
The little nasties love electronics, and have been known to short out power plants as their billions of little bodies complete circuits and wreak havoc. One infested household vacuumed up five gallons of these ants out of their air conditioning vents. And the list goes on.
In the video from 2010 featured below, we meet Tom Rasberry and see that even NASA called him in make sure a tiny insect didn’t bring down their delicate equipment.
Unfortunately, Mooallem reports that Rasberry has given up the good fight in frustration, and now, the nightmare continues.
Full story at The New York Times via Geekosystem. Video via the Texas Country Reporter.
When nature attacks.
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