Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Man's new truck is haunted with ghost ants

Josh Wise fron Canton in Georgia had to have his new Nissan truck shipped in from Florida. Soon after getting delivery of it he started to notice ants. Lots of them. Wise has no idea exactly how many. He just knows when his truck sits still or night time falls, they come out. They don't walk in line, like most ants, instead these run randomly across his truck. The ants are so small, less than a millimetre long, if his truck weren't white you wouldn't see them, at least not until they started to swarm.

"As I opened up the door there was hundreds of them just coming outside this piece of plastic on the backside and literally on the seatbelt," said Wise. He feared they might be the dreaded crazy ant, a species so far unknown in Georgia. They're hard to kill, and known to swarm causing shorts in electrical components. "Nowadays, new vehicles almost everything is computerized, electronics and there could be a number of things that go wrong," said Wise. In just six weeks, he's had to take his truck back to the dealership to have his radio and navigational system serviced.

Dr. Hoebeke, an identification specialist for Georgia, at the museum of natural history says instead of being crazy, Wise had a ghost. Like the crazy ant, the ghost ant has never been officially documented in Georgia... until now. Wise says the dealership bombed and pressure washed his truck, but he still has ants and pages of notes, asking for help. It seems no one wants to claim responsibility for the infestation. Wise is convinced the ants came with the truck, and even visited Deland Nissan where it was purchased, to shoot video of the ant mounds around the property.

Wise has three young children, one an infant. He doesn't want to fill his car with pesticides or worry the ants will swarm, affecting something more serious than his radio. "I could be driving down the road one day and my brakes don't work, my engine cuts off, who knows," said Wise. Ghost ants aren't known to swarm electrical components, but then again, they're not known to live in cars either. Entomologists say ghost ants aren't nearly as hardy as crazy ants. So as a last solution, he could wait until winter, when they'll likely die from the cold weather. But Wise says he shouldn't have had to pay $42,000 for a truck he can't use until Christmas.

With news video.

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