Apparently there are killer, crazy ants in Birmingham which are addicted to electricity, and can bite, sting, and spread salmonella.
This, according to the Birmingham Mail, is a new development in the West Midlands’ pest problems, and they hail from one of Britain’s worst enemies: Argentina.
The Mail reports:
They bite, they sting and they spread salmonenlla.
Pest control experts have now issued an alert over two extremely unwelcome species – “crazy” and “Argentinian” ants. They say multi-occupancy buildings, such as hotels and guest houses, are particularly at risk.
Crazy ants – given the name because of their jerky movement – are covered in red hair and get a real buzz from electricity, chewing through insulation for a light lunch.
The Argentinian variety is particularly vicious, attacking crops and animals. Almost black and 3mm long, they form large colonies in cracks in walls and between timbers.
The alert has been issued by Basis Prompt, a register of Birmingham and West Midlands pest control companies.
Expert David Cross told The Birmingham Mail the new arrivals are the latest additions to a growing list of fearsome tropical ants that have colonised our region.
Last year Scientific American wrote about how the Crazy Ants were winning the turf war against the cousins in the United States, claiming:
Crazy ants produce chemicals they then rub on themselves as an antidote to fire ant venom. And the acidic substance exuded from where a stinger would be located on other ant species also doubles as a chemical weapon they spray at foes, allowing the crazy ants to defeat competitors that would otherwise help keep them in check.
They are notoriously hard to kill, too. Reuters reports:
The researchers reported last year that in places where crazy ants arrive, creatures such as insects, spiders, centipedes and crustaceans decline, which could affect ecosystems by reducing food sources for other animals. The ants also nest in people’s houses and harm electrical equipment.
The New York Daily News writes:
The ants usually chew through wires in machines, electrocuting themselves in the process. But the dead ants emit a perfume which attracts even more aggressive ants to the machinery, leading to more damage.
int that a bitch!