Tawny Crazy ants (previously known as Rasberry Crazy ants or Caribbean Crazy ants) were originally discovered near Houston in around 2002, and with human assistance, have been able to spread their presence out in the United States. They are an invasive species, reddish-brown, and about 1/8" in length. Their bite/sting isn't painful, but they can freak you out by racing up your legs and bodies (one reason they've been dubbed "crazy ants" is because of their unpredictable behavior). People in Texas have become so frustrated with these "crazy" ants that they have considered selling their homes after giving up on getting rid of them.
Tawny Crazy Ants (Nylanderia fulva)
Crazy ants terrorize and destroy other native insects. They can overrun beehives and destroy entire bee colonies. They can smother hatching chicks. In South America, where researchers believe this ant species originated, they have been known to overrun the nasal cavities of chickens so they can't breathe, effectively killing them. They can blind cattle by attacking their eyes. Crazy ants overrun electrical boxes, systems, and outlets, leaving chaos and damage in their wake, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage annually.
Experts are still working on an effective, comprehensive way to contain them. Come fall, when temperatures start to drop, worker Crazy ants can start dying off, but their queens live on, later in the following spring, a new, possibly larger colony of them will emerge. They have spread through Texas and the region even faster than Fire ants, and Fire ants are considered one of the most invasive, destructive species in the world.
Steps to Help Prevent Crazy Ants
Here are some things you can do help prevent Crazy ants in your yard and home:
- Seal cracks, holes, and crevices around doors, windows, and your home's foundation that might serve as an entry point.
- Trim vegetation around and clear out as much grass and vegetation around your home as possible to eliminate a possible food source for Crazy ants. Keep your lawn mowed.
- Eliminate standing water around your property to eliminate sources of moisture that ants need to survive.
- Promptly clean up spills and crumbs from your kitchen surfaces and floors. Keep the sink free of dirty dishes. Keep trash covered and dispose of it regularly.
- Clear out yard debris and get rid of fruit that's fallen from trees quickly, as it will attract Crazy ants and other pests.
Tawny Crazy ants are very prolific reproducers that can overrun a property in a very short period. The best you can do as a homeowner is to reduce conditions that attract them and reduce potential habitats for them to nest in. Through a spring and summer, they can produce millions of offspring. Any effective treatment needs to target the colony, queens, and all workers, otherwise you'll be looking at a bigger problem the following year. Despite your best efforts, sometimes Tawny Crazy ants will still invade your property and home, possibly causing lots of expensive damage. You can save yourself all sorts of stress, money, and time by calling our Porter, TX pest control experts today! Let us help you get your yard and home ant and pest free so you can enjoy the summer with your family and friends!