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Ants are Taking Over/Infesting New York Apartments

By: Max Liu

When Katie Guhl left home to go to a wedding in New Orleans and a Memorial Day gathering in New Jersey, her New York apartment was spotless. However, when she got back piles of ants crawled everywhere; she was livid.

“There were no crumbs to be had,” she said. She’d never seen ants there before and hadn’t expected to: she lives on the 6th floor.

In Brooklyn, New York, another person experienced the same problems. “Woke up this morning to ants crawling around my living room. I live on the 3rd floor and have never had problems with any insects,”

In the streets of New York, ants are different from cockroaches; ants aren’t usually in high places like apartments, but rather in the soil-filled park or yards. But these past weeks it’s been the complete opposite.

The New York Times reports that “Scientists who study ants say a species from Europe has recently made the city its home, and the insects are now being found in living spaces several stories above the street.”

Samantha Kennett is a graduate student at Kennesaw State University in South Georgia in Dr. Clint Penick’s social insects' lab. As a student who studies urban ant ecology, she found out that the ant that has swarmed so many apartments is called Lasius Emarginatus, which is a

European immigrants that possibly arrived by ship.

Over the last decade, the teeny Lasius Emarginatus — which has a reddish-brown thorax and a dark brown head and abdomen — has been thriving in New York. It’s even been nicknamed ManhattAnt.

“It forages in trees,” Ms. Kennett said. “It climbs a lot. They found it in second-story buildings in

Europe.” Now, The ants are scaling the structures of New York.

According to New York Times, “At this point in the year, however, the ManhattAnt has calmed down. They are known to be busy foraging from April through June, and less active in July.” But just wait because they'll be back, climbing on more apartments next summer!

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