PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - Millions of tiny creatures are invading West Baton Rouge Parish in south Louisiana, costing some people to lose business and acting as simply a nuisance for others. The problem is experts say there's no way to get rid of them.
An army of ants is marching into Port Allen by the millions and they're spreading, but they're not your everyday ants.
"They're everywhere and we cannot control them," said Rainbow Car Wash owner Tony Daquano. "We've got a problem with Rasberry Crazy Ants."
Named after the exterminator who found them in Houston, TX a decade ago, Rasberry Crazy Ants came into the states from another country. They're distinguished by their reddish-brown hair, long antennas and legs and speed.
"When you step in your yard and three to five seconds later, you have thousands of ants on you, you're not going to tolerate that," said Dr. Dennis Ring with the LSU Entomology Department.
It's why the Daquano said his business has been cut in half over the past six months when he first noticed the pest.
"It's greatly affecting my business because people don't want to come and stand in ants," said Daquano.
Next door to the carwash, Port Allen Fire Chief Rick Boudreaux is dealing with the same problem and since sprays don't work on this invasive species, new ants continue piling on top of the dead ones.
"They get into the fire station, electrical circuits, light switches and obviously into the living quarters where the guys are," said Boudreaux.
"You can't get rid of them. You can knock their numbers back to where it's tolerable," said Dr. Ring. "Humans can move them anywhere very rapidly."
Dr. Ring said pesticides don't work. Once you have Rasberry Ants, you're stuck with them, which is why it's extremely important to make sure you don't accidentally leave one crawling on you helping them spread.
These ants do bite, but that bite will not sting.