Invasion of the ‘crazy ants’ in Barcelona

Invasion of the ‘crazy ants’ in Barcelona

The Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of Catalonia is carrying out the monitoring and control actions of the ‘crazy ant’ (Paratrechina longicornis). This is an invasive exotic species, which seems to have found a new home in the Port of Barcelona.

As reported by the Generalitat in a statement, the work will allow an in-depth survey of the area, and verify the extent of this species. They can then carry out controls with biocides and assess the effects of the treatment.

This species of invasive exotic ant is native to tropical Africa. Its presence was first detected in Catalonia when a worker ant was found at an access door to the Port of Barcelona back in February 2020.

Subsequently, more were detected in a roundabout and then several colonies were located under the sewer and supply covers. Their distribution is still very limited in the vicinity of ​​the Port of Barcelona, ​​which can facilitate control actions and attempts to eradicate them. The main impact caused by this invasive species is that it displaces other native species and other invertebrates.

It is very adaptable, and has a very high level of dispersion, so when it is not comfortable in a particular place, it will search for new locations and increase its level of dispersion. Like most other invasive species, the main route of entry for this invader is arriving through the transport of goods.

As a result, the Port of Barcelona is preparing a strategy to combat invaders, in collaboration with the University of Barcelona and other specialised centres.

Invasive alien species are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss. Parallel to the environmental problems that they cause, it is worth noting the economic impact of their presence. They can quickly become a public health problem, such as the tiger mosquito, or the Caucasian pampas.

Accio Climatica, Alimentacio i Agenda Rural has activated an Invasive Exotic Species Alert Network, centralised in one mailbox that gathers all the news and urgent communications related to the problem, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at