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Texas exterminator warns of bee-killing ants

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 8, 2009
uot;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.