Action Report: Invasion of crazy ants in Waveland

Published: Jul. 29, 2016 at 9:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2016 at 12:38 AM CDT
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WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Larry Lemoine moved to Waveland seven months ago from Metairie to build his retirement home. Things haven't gone as expected because crazy ants have invaded his land.

Everywhere you walk, everywhere you step, the ants are all over the place. The only good thing - they don't bite.

Lemoine said, "Like I told you, it's like living in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock. They're all over the place."

Lemoine says he's tried various pesticides in an attempt to eradicate the pests with little success.

"I myself have experienced two electrical fires here due to the ants," stated Lemoine. "You see them, they're all over.  Any electrical connection that is outside and inside, it seems they are attracted to for whatever reason."

Exterminator experts say the crazy ants don't actually feast on electrical equipment, but rather they damage electronics by forming bridges between the electrical contacts and shorting them out.

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith says several residents have recently complained to him about the invasion.

"This is relatively new to us in the city," said Smith.  "We're not use to crazy ants. We're use to ants, fire ants, but these are  little bitty tiny ants and they're very hard to control."

Exterminators say poisons that are being used only stop them for a day before they return. Experts call them relentless and say when they invade, the ants multiply by the millions.

Lemoine says the crazy ants have made their way into his new home, and have also invaded his camper.

"I don't want to live with this kind of stuff in my house and the damage of electrical fires," said Lemoine.

Research shows the crazy ants originated in South America and established colonies in all states along the Gulf Coast in 2012. In Southeast Texas, the ants have destroyed property and have attacked humans.

The colonies have multiple queens and that's a big reason for their survival.

Local residents will have to put up with the pests until U.S. Exterminators can come up with a chemical that will eradicate them.

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