The US Department of Agriculture & the Texas Department of Agriculture formed a joint Crazy Ant task force which had its first meeting on October 9, 2008. We had representatives from US Fish & Wildlife, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas A&M, Texas Nursery & Landscape Association, Texas Agrilife Extension, TxDOT, USDA-APHIS, USDA-ARS, TCEQ, and myself.
We discussed many concerns with the Rasberry Crazy Ant. Some of the concerns that we discussed were the issues of transporting these ants from infested sites to new sites, the possibilities of this ant transporting pathogens through our health care facilities, effects on wildlife, the risk of shorting out equipment in our airports, the probability of Rasberry Crazy Ants costing home owners, industry, and agriculture Billions of dollars per year in the future, and last but not least the desperate need for research on this invasive species of ants.
I feel that this was a positive step forward. TDA has found a small amount of money to track the ants, however this is nowhere close to what is really needed.The USDA informed the members, that they could not fund research on these ants unless they had State and Federal Representatives get involved. It is critical that everyone get involved now!