Warm winter will bring crazy summer – crazy ants, that is – Beaumont Enterprise


Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on April 10th, 2017

Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Christopher Dupree, a Technicin with Bill Clark Pest Control searches a tree in the front yard of Joe Kruger's home during an inspection. He found plenty of them and their eggs. When a sheet of paper was stuck into the tree, they swarmed over it. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Christopher Dupree, a Technicin with Bill Clark Pest Control searches a tree in the front yard of Joe Kruger's home during an inspection. He found plenty of them and their eggs. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Christopher Dupree, a Technicin with Bill Clark Pest Control searches a tree in the front yard of Joe Kruger's home during an inspection. He found plenty of them and their eggs. When a sheet of paper was stuck into the tree, they swarmed over it. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. He first found them around this pool in his backyard running along the seam. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Christopher Dupree, a Technicin with Bill Clark Pest Control searches a tree in the front yard of Joe Kruger's home during an inspection. He found plenty of them and their eggs. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan, . Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. He first found them around this pool in his backyard and then running along these hose lines that he uses to water his garden area. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Christopher Dupree, a Technicin with Bill Clark Pest Control searches a tree in the front yard of Joe Kruger's home during an inspection. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. Tawny crazy ants tend to drive out fire ants when they move into a property, although they are the smaller of the two. Joe Kruger, a geology professor at Lamar, has crazy ants in his house and has hired Bill Clark to take care of the problem that he has been trying to deal with. He first found them around this pool in his backyard running along the seam. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise less Tawny crazy ants, (formerly known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for the guy who first discovered them in Texas) are here to stay. Exterminators say they can control them, but never completely erradicate them. ... more Photo: Dave Ryan

Although small in size, crazy ants colonize by the millions and can wreak havoc on wildlife and personal property. Mike Quinn/TexasEnto.net

Although small in size, crazy ants colonize by the millions and can wreak havoc on wildlife and personal property. Mike Quinn/TexasEnto.net

Warm winter will bring crazy summer - crazy ants, that is

Warm Southeast Texas winter temperatures brought an increase of "crazy ants" this year and not the kind that pinch your cheeks and leave bright pink lipstick on your forehead.

Bart Foster, an entomologist at Bill Clark Pest Control, said what sets "crazy ants" apart from fire ants is their erratic behavior.

"Normally if you have a warm winter you're going to have an increase of insects," Foster said.

Fortunately they don't bite or sting, but they can populate in millions, which categorizes them as a nuisance.

Channel 12 chief meteorologist Patrick Vaughn said this past winter was the warmest on record in Southeast Texas, according to records going back to 1901.

DECEMBER Temperature: 59.9

Rainfall: 13.02"

JANUARY Temperature: 60.8

Rainfall: 0.94"

FEBRUARY Temperature: 66.6

Rainfall: 1.11"

MARCH Temperature: 68.0

Rainfall: 8.86"

WINTER AVERAGES Temperature: 63.83

Rainfall: 5.98"

Data from the National Weather Service in Lake Charles

"The Gulf of Mexico is much above normal as far as temperature," Vaughn said.

According to the National Weather Services in Lake Charles, the Southeast Texas region averaged 5.98 inches of rainfall this past winter from December to March, and temperatures averaged 63.83 degrees.

Vaughn said January was the fourth-warmest on record, February was the warmest, March was 6.1 degrees above normal, and so far, April is 4.9 degrees above normal.

Foster said Bill Clark Pest Control expects to be busy heading into the peak of scheduled appointments early this summer.

They expect to see a lot more crazy ants, too. Last year, he said the business treated infestations well into December, past the time in the fall when they usually dwindle.

"We're starting to see populations at high level," Foster said about the ants surviving through the winter. "I'm not sure that the populations ever went away."

Foster said they don't create ant hills. Instead they get underneath debris. They can do damage to electrical systems and can get into electrical wiring and parts like motors.

Read more in today's print edition of The Enterprise Click here to have our daily eEdition delivered to your inbox.

SFlores@BeaumontEnterprise.com Twitter.com/_saraeflores

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Warm winter will bring crazy summer - crazy ants, that is - Beaumont Enterprise

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