Car Infested With Ants One for the History Books

11:17 AM, Aug 5, 2013   |    comments
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CANTON, Ga. (WXIA) -- Josh Wise knew exactly what kind of truck he wanted, but to get it, Nissan would have to ship it up from Florida. Wise didn't think much of it until he started to notice ants, and plenty of them.

Wise has no idea exactly how many. He just knows when his car 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 millimeter 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.

Wise feared they might be the dreaded crazy ant, a species we have yet to battle 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.

"The navigation wasn't working on Thursday, wasn't working on Friday. By the time they got in touch with Navetec to come look at it, all the sudden it was working on Saturday," he added.

When we talked with Wise, it was once again on the fritz.

So 11Alive took his ants to Dr. Hoebeke, an identification specialist for the state, at the museum of natural history. Turns out instead of being crazy, Wise had a ghost.

Like the crazy ant, the ghost ant has never been officially documented in Georgia... until now.

Hoebeke asked if he could add the ants we brought him to his collection. Cool for Hoebeke, but not much help for Wise.

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.

There are no complaints with the Better Business Bureau or any other state agency, about ants in any of Deland's other vehicles, but Nissan has agreed to have a licensed exterminator look at the car to come up with solutions.

In a statement from Nissan's corporate office a spokesperson said: Nissan dealers are independent business owners. While we work closely with dealers to address customer concerns and stand behind the quality of our vehicles, this issue is not related to the craftsmanship of the product. However, in the interest of customer satisfaction, we are working in conjunction with the dealer to have the vehicle evaluated by a licensed pest control professional to explore potential solutions.

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.

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