H/t reader kevin a.
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“Fire Ant Remedy – sprinkle a packet of aspartame (Equal or Nutra Sweet) on the mound. Ants will be gone the next day. Anyone eating or drinking anything containing this stuff is nuts!
– 13 natural, easy ways to deal with ant infestations (Natural News, Sep 26, 2014):
Vibrantly colored leaves falling from the trees, blanketing the ground in deep red, orange and yellow hues, accompanied by cool breezy nights and porches laden with pumpkins, remind us that autumn is here. For many, it’s a season filled with heartfelt moments centered around holidays, family get-togethers and delicious, home-cooked meals.
However, while cooking your Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, you might notice some uninvited guests in your kitchen. Just because the weather’s changing doesn’t mean pesky insects have disappeared, in fact, ants often head inside homes before the winter hits, seeking shelter to forage during the cold months.
From the article:
“Fire Ant Remedy – sprinkle a packet of aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet) on the mound. Ants will be gone the next day. Anyone eating or drinking anything containing this stuff is nuts!”
Common Name – Fire Ant, Imported Fire Ant, Red Imported Fire Ant
Scientific Name – Order – Hymenoptera, Family – Formicidae, Solenopsis invicta
Body Length – Adults are about 1/12″ to 1/3″
Identification – Four fire ant species are found in Texas. Three are native. The imported fire ant has just about wiped out the natives. The imported fire ant builds its mounds out in the open. Mounds have no visible openings. Stings are painful and sometimes produce a unique white pustule.
A flood of voracious ants is heading straight for Houston, taking out computers, radios and even vehicles in their path.
Even the Johnson Space Center has called in extermination experts to keep the pests out of their sensitive and critical systems.
The ants have been causing all kinds of trouble in five Texas counties in and around the Gulf Coast. Because of their sheer numbers, the ants are short circuiting computers in homes and offices, and knocking systems offline in major businesses. When IT personnel pry the affected computers open, they find the machines loaded with thousands of ant bodies.
“These ants are raising havoc,” said Roger Gold, professor of entomology at Texas A&M University in College Station. “They’re foraging for food and they’ll go into any space looking for it. In the process, they make their way into sensitive equipment.”
The ants have been dubbed Crazy Rasberry ants after Tom Rasberry, owner of Budget Pest Control in Pearland, Texas. He first tackled this particular type of ant back in 2002. Since then, the problem has only escalated.
Rasberry told Computerworld that the ants have caused a lot of trouble for one Texas chemical company in particular. Not wanting to name the company, he said the ants shorted out three different computers that were running a pipeline that brought chemicals into the plant. The ants took down two computers last year and one in 2006, affecting flow in the pipeline each time.