Source: PCT (Pest Control Technology)
The first time they were spotted in the United States, in 2002, it was clear that these insects were different. They looked different and certainly behaved differently - erratically. And then, these cargo ship stowaways began multiplying - exponentially. As thousands, millions and then billions of them scurried about foraging for food, we discovered the impending danger.
Houston, we have a problem.
Actually, the problem goes well beyond Houston today, as Rasberry crazy ants have pillaged their way through at least 14 Texas counties in addition to infesting the nation's fourth-largest city. Their favorite target? Electronics. Tiny enough to squeeze through minute cracks and crevices, these ants tend to cluster inside computers, shorting out circuits as they traipse over microchips. A major chemical company projects damages from this invasive pest to top $1 billion in its operations, and, had the Johnson Space Center not sought special consideration in its fight against the "crazies" in 2008, the critters could have feasibly brought NASA to its knees as well.
This is only one piece of a much broader story. Invasive pests are clearly a growing challenge to the pest management industry, and the more you know about how to handle them, the stronger your defense will be.
BACK TO BASICS.
A good starting point for learning about invasive pests is reviewing the definition of "invasive species." A species is a specific population of organisms, morphologically and genetically distinct from other organisms, and capable of interbreeding. As opposed to a native, or indigenous, species, an invasive species is one that is introduced to an area from another place and then adapts to its new environment and spreads.
We don't invite them. We don't want them. And, as a general rule, we don't become familiar with them until they're right under our noses.