Invasive species are insects are establishing new colonies in the US and other countries. Once present, the invasive insects establish themselves, and can displace other species of insects, affect the environment, harm human health, and cause unexpected troubles for residents. USA Today wrote about how crazy ants are displacing fire ants and affecting ecosystems in some southern states and cause an incredible $150 million/year of damage in Texas.
The BBC reported, “768 exotic ant species could have been introduced around the world through trade routes. Of these, they believe that more than 600 species could have established new colonies. Dr Miravete said: ‘The number of ants arriving is very large and 85% of the introduced species are able to establish successfully. This indicates that there are many introduced species that are living around us as of yet detected.’ While not all animals that move to a new region pose a threat, some can wreak havoc – and invasive ants are some of the worst alien offenders. In Europe, aggressive Argentine ants have been building mega-colonies, and they are out-competing local ant populations, which has sent ripples through the ecosystem.
This is a domestic problem as well, the invasion of South America’s Rasberry crazy ants has caused a host of problems as the insects swarm inside electrical equipment in the southern US. Meanwhile, Green Bay Packer fans and Cheese-heads all over Wisconsin should watch out as the the lone star tick has moved into Wisconsin.
Of course when a new species creeps into the media capital of the world, it’s especially newsworthy. More on this to follow!