“Crazy ant” may sound like a silly name created by a child for an ant. However, interestingly enough there is a specific species of ant called the “Tawny crazy ant”. This particular ant gets its name from its erratic and chaotic movement when on the hunt for a food source. This invasive species originates from South America. It was first identified in Texas in 2002 by an exterminator named Tom Rasberry. This is where the other name for these pests comes from – Rasberry ants.
Tawny crazy ants are merciless and have the ability to cause severe damage to electronics, agriculture, and livestock. If you noticed crazy ants in or on your property, contact your local Western Exterminator office right away. Our specialists will be able to offer a variety of treatment options to get rid of these lawless pests and make sure they do not return.
Tawny crazy ant appearance
Tawny crazy ants are reddish-brown in color and have coarse hair all over their body, visible only under a microscope. Although only ⅛ of an inch long, these ants can be found in massive populations mainly in states along the Gulf Coast like Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi and even reaching as far as California and Hawaii.
Although they do not have a stinger, crazy ants do contain venom inside of what is called their acidopore, located on the end of their abdomen. They release this fluid when threatened by an enemy. A study done by Edward LeBru and his team for the University of Texas at Austin found that when Tawny crazy ants come into contact with their enemy, the red fire ant, they cover themselves in their own venom to detoxify the fire ant’s venom.
Tawny crazy ant habitat
Crazy ants are not picky and are able to live in almost any environment imaginable. They can thrive in both moist and dry environments. Since they do not build their own nests, they make their homes elsewhere. You may find them inside of electronics, underneath floorboards, inside your yard trash and even inside of car engines. Because these ants are not able to withstand the harsh winter elements, they may make their way into homes and buildings, causing an infestation.
Are crazy ants dangerous?
The main question likely burning in your mind is “Do Tawny crazy ants bite?” As mentioned earlier, these pests to do not have a stinger. They will, however, bite humans if they feel threatened. Luckily, their bite is only slightly painful and fades away very quickly.
While Tawny crazy ants do not pose any health risks to humans, they can become quite a nuisance. These erratic pests have been known to find their way into electrical equipment, causing short circuits and power outages. Since they are natural omnivores, Tawny crazy ants have the potential to become a serious agricultural pest. They can also establish incredibly dense populations, displacing their native relatives, as well as the infamous important red fire ant that has been around for decades!
How to prevent Tawny crazy ants
The main way to prevent these wild ants from taking over the perimeter of your property is to limit the number of places they can colonize. Remove piles of debris, lumber, bricks and other materials in which they can make their home. It is also helpful to keep outdoor mulch under two inches in depth. Additionally, mulch beds should be a minimum of 12 inches away from the foundation of your home or building.
Tawny crazy ants will stop at nothing to get their next meal. Your food-filled home (specifically your kitchen) is a prime target for them. It is important to make sure all cracks in the exterior of your home are sealed up to prevent these invasive pests from getting inside.
How to get rid of crazy ants
Due to their ability to live both indoors and outdoors, crazy ants are hard to get rid of compared to other ant species. Also, because they typically travel long distances to forage for food, their colonies are sometimes very difficult to identify.
Unfortunately, they do not respond to the usual ant bait traps that work for other species of ants, so professional help from a pest specialist is often required. Ehrlich ant control specialists are highly skilled and have years of experience. They understand the habits of each ant species and use that knowledge when developing a control program for your home. They can also set up regular ant control inspections for you so the problem doesn’t return. Contact us to get started today.