Hairy crazy ants (tawny crazy ants) are in the international media once again. A segment of an episode of “Infested” is currently airing on the Animal Planet network. I was interviewed this past fall for the show. Episodes on Infested are not meant to be scientific studies, but rather dramatizations showing worst case scenarios of various pest species of animals. However, in this case, the producers did a pretty good job of not exaggerating the problems posed by crazy ants, and in general the show was fairly accurate scientifically. This species of ant, now know to be Nylanderia fulva, a South American species, is indeed a serious pest. Extremely high populations cause serious nuisance issues, reduce biodiversity, and commonly short out electrical equipment. Learn more about the crazy ant at the MEM ant site [link].
The format of Infested shows features interviews with homeowners and specialists (in this case, me) and reenactments featuring Canadian actors who resemble the actual people involved.
This episode can still be viewed on the Animal Planet network, or can be viewed online at: “http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/infested/videos/hairy-crazy-ant.htm“