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Will ants eat the inside of your smartphone?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Will ants eat the inside of your smartphone?
Traveling to the southern United States from South America, Rasberry crazy ants are forcing out the population of native ants, but more importantly, they are destroying electronic gadgets including smartphones. Measuring less than 1/8th of an inch, these little guys like to eat electrical components and their size allows them to slip right into a handset or a tablet.

Currently spotted in at least 21 Texas counties and 20 Florida counties, these pests are immune to pesticides and love to travel. In Texas last year, they were responsible for $146.5 million in damages to electronic devices. And besides being hard to kill, when they do get electrocuted inside a device, they release pheromones which attract more ants to the device. And when those ants are electrocuted, more pheromones are released and you can figure out the cycle.

So if your handset or tablet stop working all of a sudden, it might not be something faulty done by the manufacturer. It just might be the result of the Rasberry crazy ant looking to feed off the inside of your electronic devices.

The Rasberry crazy ant will eat the inside of your smartphone

The Rasberry crazy ant will eat the inside of your smartphone


source: ABCNews, RedOrbit via SlashGear

17 Comments
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posted on 11 Jun 2013, 21:17 17

1. Furbal (Posts: 141; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Flamethrower time.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 21:23 2

2. sprockkets (Posts: 940; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


As if carpenter ants weren't bad enough - they made a nest in our wireless phone base, then inside an electric timer for our water heater.

Immune to pesticide? Throw some boric acid powder on them - the stuff literally cuts them up. I doubt they can withstand that.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 23:01 1

9. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


As long as the phone is not Android, i won't be worried...cause they're particularly sweet, if you know what i mean.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 21:34

3. roscuthiii (Posts: 1717; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Hmm... I think I saw this in a movie once, "Phase IV". Not really a very good movie, but any movie is watchable with the MST3K treatment.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 21:53 8

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1223; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


can they borrow through sealed devices like the Xperia Z?

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 21:55

5. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


Ants can definitely damage the internals of a computer and even a car. Personal experience from my mum on the latter. She left one of her older cars by the roadside for a month unused. There is a ant hive nearby which neither of us noticed. After a month the car's engine was in a mess and the car is barely usable and had to be sent in to a mechanic for an overhaul - ants infiltrated the engine and damaged several crucial parts. One of my dad's laptop also suffered this before (spilling food on it, even thoug after cleaning, some food materials seeped in, and ants appear later, which also goes unnoticed).

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 22:20 9

6. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4828; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Don't worry, just put a Nokia 3310 next to your smartphone and everything will be okay.

Ants are afraid of Nokias right?

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 23:04 7

11. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


No, but by the time they finish with the 3310 you already upgraded 20 times and your grandkids' grandkids have had children already.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 22:31

7. alpinejason (Posts: 251; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


I found out about these little pests the other day when they were eating off my.blackberry bush I have in my backyard.and I live in Houston but this ant is a different color my ants were red and about the same color as an army ant.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:37

17. mc1191 (Posts: 28; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


what???

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 22:46 1

8. alterecho (Posts: 962; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Can they digest electronic components??

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 23:03

10. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


I live in Florida, this is news to me. Gonna find out a little more about these pests.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 23:33

12. Jack58221 (Posts: 120; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


I was going to get an htc one, but now maybe an s4 active and keep it at the bottom of a full glass of water when I am not using it... or does plastic float?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:45

16. buccob (Posts: 1046; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


it will not float... but floating wrist straps are cheap... Oh wait... the S4 does not have eye inlet...

Go get an Xperia Z

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 00:55 1

13. Kreft (Posts: 81; Member since: 27 Dec 2012)


And this is why, well along with other things, I'd never live in the south.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 02:41 1

14. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


So if pesticides dont work but electrocution sets off a pheromone which attracts more, surely the best way to get rid of the hive would be with an ant equivlilent of a bug zapper. Some sort of container that ants run into and die?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:42 1

15. buccob (Posts: 1046; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


One more reason to get water-resistant Xperias :)

As long as you keep the flaps closed, no ants will get inside...

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