Crazy ants may soon invade South Carolina

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CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – A dangerous species of ant could soon entering South Carolina for the first time, according to Clemson University scientists.

The tawny crazy ant is native to South America and was found in Texas in 2002. Since then it has been found in Florida and Georgia.

They say it has been found at the Savannah River. They say that indicates the ants may invade South Carolina.

“The predictive models show that the tawny crazy ant could become established in South Carolina in 2016, especially along the coastal counties from Jasper up to Georgetown,” said Eric Benson, professor and Extension entomologist in the plant and environmental sciences department at Clemson University.

Benson says they multiply very quickly and can overwhelm their surroundings.

He says the ants don’t bite or sting, but their numbers create the problems.

In urban areas they can short out electrical equipment and infest homes. They kill other ants (including fire ants), but that isn’t good for the environment, according to Benson.

“If you have millions of ants moving into a nursing home, a school, a hospital or any place that’s a sensitive environment, they will go from being a nuisance to an extremely serious problem. Entire floors of buildings can become covered with these ants,” said Benson.

He says treatments against the ants are limited, but they will be using winter as part of their strategy.

Read the full report here.

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