Crazy Raspberry Ants Eat Electronics

First it was killer bees, then Argentine ants ... Now, welcome our electronic-eating ant overlords:

It sounds like the plot of a farfetched science fiction movie. Unfortunately for the residents of Texas, it is very much a reality: billions of tiny reddish-brown ants have arrived onshore from a cargo ship and are hell-bent on eating anything electronic.

Computers, burglar alarm systems, gas and electricity meters, iPods, telephone exchanges – all are considered food by the flea-sized ants, for reasons that have left scientists baffled. [...]

Crazy is the the right word. The ants are known as “crazy rasberry ants”: crazy because they seem to move in a random scrum as opposed to marching in regimented lines, and rasberry after a pioneering exterminator, Tom Rasberry, who first identified them as a problem.

The ants – also known as paratrenicha species near pubens – have so far spread to five counties in the Houston area. Scientists are not sure from where they originate but they seem to be related to a type of ant from the Caribbean. “At this point it would be nearly impossible to eradicate the ants because they are so widely dispersed,” said Roger Gold, a Texas A&M University entomologist. He added that the only upside to the invasion was that the crazy rasberry ants ate fire ants, which sting humans during the long, hot Texas summers.

More bad news:

Worse, the ants refuse to die when sprayed with over-the-counter poison. Even killing the queen of a colony doesn’t do any good, because each colony has multiple queens.


When I moved from the Midwest to Houston 4 years ago, the apartment complex blamed an ongoing issue with the front security gate constantly quitting on these ants. Never hearing of such a thing before just made their excuse reek of bullturds and thought that they were too cheap to just fix the dern thing. So I guess there is actually validity to their claim, although they are still too cheap to fix other things that can't be blamed on those crazy little critters.
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I can see why this would potentially be bad, but has anyone thought about the potential good? Don't we have landfills upon landfills of old electronics that we thought could never be broken down? Now maybe there is a way to close that loop.
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Before I start worrying about the one ant that causes a nuclear war and ends civilization: What does it mean, 'they eat electronics'? Do they eat computerchips? Or transistors? Or wire-insulation? Do they have acid-spit or something? Don't the poor ants get constipated? What about getting electrocuted by small voltages? Questions, questions...
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We had similar crazy ants when I lived in the Dominican Republic. Locals added about a teaspoon of kerosene to their mop water, mopped their all tile floors, and went out while airing their homes for a couple of hours. It stinks and I am not so sure about the safety or environmental consequences of this- but it worked pretty well at keeping the crazy ants out.
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Am I the only one that's annoyed that they named them Rasberry Ants because of an exterminator whose last name is Rasberry? It makes it sound like they eat raspberries, not electronics. They should have named them silicon ants or something.
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I first saw these "loco nano maras" in Guatemala City during my 2007 Navidad-New Years visit. Here in the USA, they are no longer limited to the Houston region. We have an infestation here in Donna, Texas - Valley of the Rio Grande. My gut impression is that these creatures have nothing in common with other earth insects, that they actually are some sort of genetic DNA experiment gone wrong or indeed a creation of nano technology hence the electronics connection. Yes, I know that sounds as crazy as the crazy ants themselves but who really knows what sort of little monsters are being created in science labs? As far as eliminating them, I suggest that a counter-electronic solution may be the best bet. I called Riddex Plus to learn if their electromagnetic pest elimination system also causes the Rasberry Nano-Ants to vacate houses but of course, was unable to speak to a bona fide human being... merely female-voiced computers. Why don't we use the computer-eating ants to permanently eliminate such annoying (lack of) communication systems?
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I have had ants destroy 3 boom-boxes so far, and I just bought a 4th one. I'd like to keep this one working. Any suggestions? I keep my boom-box inside, of course, but the ants always find it, and soon I have a new infestation, and another one gets ruined. Are they attracted to the boom-box ITSELF, or only to the batteries inside???

This has become a MAJOR problem for me. I cannot keep replacing my boom-boxes over and over again. HELP!!!!!
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From what I have been reading. They do not really eat electronics. The problem here are the shear numbers. They roam looking for food, in all places. They are attracted from the humming sound of electronics such as the sound computers makes when the cooling fans run. They pack themselves together, and cause the computers to malfunction, and short.

I can't help you on the boom box thing. But, I feel your pain. I love music, and I would be going bonkers if I had to replace them so quickly.
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I live in Hawaii (Oahu) and we have them here too. I wonder if the solution is to turn off your electronic devices once your done using them. My roomate was getting them in his keyboard. He kept it plugged in and on even when it wasn't being used. I guess we will see if unplugging these items makes any difference.
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