By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Ministry of Agriculture Extension Officer Andre Logan and personnel of the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) travelled to Santa Elena, Peten, Guatemala to attend a three-day training workshop on the Control and Treatment of Crazy Ants.
They are referred to as ‘crazy’ ants because of their quick and unpredictable movements.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) these ants were detected by farmers living in the villages of Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte, Dolores and Santa Elena in the Toledo District.
“The purpose of the workshop is to develop an action plan for the invasive species of crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva) in Belize,” said MAFSE.
According to MAFSE recently an outbreak was reported in Colombia after this species was reportedly introduced to control leafcutter ants and venomous snakes.
“The workshop will also cover the current situation of N. fulva in the American continent, experiences of its detection in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and its detection in Belize,” said MAFSE.
“Nylanderia fulva, has been a serious pest in rural and urban areas of Colombia, South America,” said a report by the University of Texas A&M.
“In this case, they reportedly displaced all other ant species and caused small livestock (e.g. chickens) to die of asphyxia. Larger animals, such as cattle, have been attacked around the eyes, nasal fossae and hooves.”