DALLAS — A species of ant that has ruined sewage pumps, fouled computers and made it difficult for homeowners to enjoy their yards has a new target: the honeybee. The range of the so-called Rasberry crazy ant has more than doubled in the past year, swarming in 11 counties beginning near Houston and moving north, scientists say. "It really is spreading at an alarming rate and we need to do research now,” said Danny McDonald, a Texas A&M University doctoral student who is examining the tiny creature’s biology and ecology. "There’s no time to wait.” But serious research requires serious dollars. The Texas Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture will fund in-depth research, but only if the ant gets the pest classification. And to do that, state officials say more research must be done. It’s a sticky Catch-22. "This is absolutely idiotic,” said Tom Rasberry, the exterminator for whom the ant is named because he fought against them early on. "If killing honeybees does not put it in the ag pest category, I don’t know what does.” Emerging by the billions during the warm, humid season, the reddish-brown insect is at its peak in August and September and appears resistant to over-the-counter ant killers. They are believed to have arrived in cargo through the port of Houston. The ants — formally known as "paratrenicha species near pubens” — are called "crazy” because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines. Although they eat stinging fire ants, they also feed on beneficial insects such as ladybugs and honeybees. Apiculturists say the ants don’t appear to be interested in the honey; they’re after the brood. They invade the honeycomb cell, dine on larvae then lay their own eggs.