Will ants eat the inside of your smartphone?

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.

source: ABCNews, RedOrbit via SlashGear



1. Furbal unregistered

Flamethrower time.

2. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 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.

9. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 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.

3. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 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.

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

can they borrow through sealed devices like the Xperia Z?

5. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 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).

6. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Don't worry, just put a Nokia 3310 next to your smartphone and everything will be okay. Ants are afraid of Nokias right?

11. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

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

7. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 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.

17. mc1191

Posts: 40; Member since: Sep 08, 2012


8. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Can they digest electronic components??

10. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

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

12. Jack58221

Posts: 157; Member since: Feb 23, 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?

16. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 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

13. Kreft

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 27, 2012

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

14. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 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?

15. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 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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