HOUMA — The invasive tawny crazy ant has made its way into coastal parishes of southeast Louisiana.
The reddish-brown ant builds large colonies with multiple queens, and is native to the Caribbean. It made its first U.S. appearance in Florida in the 1950s.
Now the pest’s numbers are on the rise in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
Houma-based Fon’s Pest Management said it first got crazy ant calls about a year ago, and the number of reports has grown steadily.
“It’s really bad in the Schriever area, especially between Main Project Road and Back Project Road,” exterminator Henry Leblanc said.
Beasley Pest Control in Thibodaux got reports of the crazy ant late last week, workers there said.
Leblanc said he’s also heard of sightings in Cocodrie and Raceland.
“They came here on some trucks or through some of these border roads,” Leblanc said.
The insects, also known as Rasberry crazy ants, named for Houston exterminator Tom Rasberry who reported the outbreak there in 2002, first made their way into Louisiana in 2012.
Large numbers have been reported in north and western Louisiana and in the Baton Rouge area.