How did Caribbean Crazy Ants end up in Florida?

Caribbean Crazy Ants Invade the First Coast

By Kristin Smith First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL — As the saying goes, almost no one living in Florida is from Florida. But people aren’t the only one’s moving in.

“The state of Florida, unfortunately, has a lot of what’s called invasive species. And they’re animals that aren’t native to Florida, but just like a lot of people like the climate, and want to stick around, so these animals do too,” said Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Senior Veterinarian, Nick Kapustin.

The Caribbean Crazy Ant has made its way to Florida.

“There are ants that were imported into Florida through cargo ships and freighters,” said Kapustin.

Jacksonville’s thought to be its second stop in this country, making its first appearance in West Palm Beach.

More specifically, the ants have found a home at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

“They’re not harmful to the animals, they’re not a problem for our guests, they’re just literally, a nuisance,” said Kapustin.

The Caribbean Crazy Ant, called that because they don’t move in any real direction, isn’t just new to this country. It’s new to the world.

And unlike many other species, these ants don’t usually eat food we leave behind. In fact, some of their favorite food is stuff we’d rather not have around.

“They eat other insects. They’ve been known to eat fire ants,” said Kapustin.

And don’t mistake them for fire ants, even though they look a little like them.

“They’re a reddish brown to yellowish brown,” said Kapustin.

And Kapustin says you might as well get used to them, because just like many people who come to Florida for the weather, these ants probably won’t want to leave.

Kapustin says while there are ways to fend off most ants, the Crazy Ants are so new, even pest control isn’t sure how to control them.

The University of Florida is now studying these ants to figure out the best method of control as well as learning more about their benefits to humans.


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One Response to “How did Caribbean Crazy Ants end up in Florida?”

  1. Tweets that mention How did Caribbean Crazy Ants end up in Florida? « Al Hoffer's South Florida Pest Blog -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kenneth F. Kenneth F said: How did Caribbean Crazy Ants end up in Florida? « Al Hoffer's …: This entry was posted on April 29, 2010 at 5:02… […]

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