Crazy ants are a relatively new species of ant discovered in Texas in 2002. These invasive ants move around frantically, which is why they’re called crazy. They are widespread and aren’t afraid to move into your yard or home. We’ve gathered information about these crazy bugs to help you identify and eliminate an infestation.
How Do You Identify Crazy Ants?
If you notice an ant moving quickly with unpredictable movements, it’s most likely a crazy ant. There are two types of crazy ants—the tawny and black crazy ant. Tawny crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva) are also known as rasberry crazy ants. These ants are reddish-brown. Black crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis), or longhorn crazy ants, are dark brown or black. Crazy ants grow between 1/16ʺ-1/8ʺ. Coarse hair covers their body. Crazy ants have long legs and long antennae.
Where Can You Find Crazy Ants?
Crazy ants aren’t picky when it comes to their home. They can handle dry and wet conditions as long as it isn’t cold. If temperatures drop, crazy ants will head indoors. Outside, these ants live in soil under items like logs, yard debris, and plants. They also have a habit of hiding in electrical equipment. Crazy ants aren’t native to the United States, but they can be found in many places. They are most common in southern states, but can be spotted in northern states too.
What Do Crazy Ants Eat?
Crazy ants have a versatile diet. They feed on sweets, fruit, meat, grease, seeds, and insects. They aren’t afraid to travel to find food. Some of these ants will follow trails to food. Other crazy ants move around chaotically while foraging for food.
Signs of a Crazy Ant Infestation
One of the best ways to identify a crazy ant infestation is through their movement. While other ant species follow an organized trail when foraging, crazy ants move around erratically. If you notice ants traveling in a zigzag pattern, there’s a good chance they’re crazy ants. These ants are also attracted to electrical equipment. Spotting ants near wiring and electrical devices is another sign of their presence.
Is a Crazy Ant Problem Serious?
Crazy ants are a significant nuisance. They breed rapidly, and their habit of combining colonies can make for large infestations. Crazy ant colonies have multiple queens and super colonies can contain millions of ants. Their fascination with wires and electrical equipment can cause problems too. When large numbers of crazy ants are present in your circuitry, electrical shorts and failures can occur. Crazy ants don’t have a stinger, but they can bite. They can also secrete venom when they feel threatened.
How Did Crazy Ants Get Into My Home?
Crazy ants prefer to nest outdoors and can be found in just about any crevice where they can find moisture. If temperatures get too low, they will seek shelter in homes. They also sneak inside in search of something to eat. A good food source will cause these ants to keep returning.
How Do You Prevent Crazy Ants?
Prevention is always the best solution for any pest problem. Check out a few tips to keep crazy ants away from you home.
- Reduce Harboring Sites: Remove yard debris, including leaves, logs, and rocks, that crazy ants can use as a hiding spot. Keep your yard trimmed and free of trash.
- Clean Your Home: Cleaning can help remove food sources. Sweep, mop, and wipe up food and drink spills. Store food in sealed containers.
- Seal Entry Points: Caulking cracks and crevices around the outside of your home can make it difficult for ants to get inside your house. Add weather-stripping around windows and doors. Repair or replace damaged screens. Be careful to seal off openings into electrical, HVAC, and plumbing fixtures.
How Do You Get Rid of Crazy Ants?
If you’ve seen crazy ants in your home or yard, you’ll want to act quickly before their numbers increase. Check out a few options to help keep your space free of crazy ants.
One of the most effective ways to eliminate crazy ants is to use a good ant bait. Our No Spill Ant Kill bait stations and Ant Killer Bait can help wipe out an entire colony of ants. Foraging worker ants find the bait and share it with the rest of the colony. This helps to get rid of the source of the infestation, which prevents ants from returning. When used properly, our baits will kill the colony without the mess of other liquid baits. Our baits can be used indoors and outside.
Our plant-based insecticide sprays can be used indoors and in your yard. They work well as a spot treatment for ants you see. Our Ant & Roach Killer and Home Bug Spray not only kill crazy ants, they also kill other ant species and pests. Our Yard Bug Spray can be used around the perimeter of your house to create a repellent barrier that helps prevent crazy ants from getting in your home. It will also kill ants on contact. Plan to spray about every 45-60 days.
Dusts also work well as an ant contact killer, if you can find the nest. Try our plant-based Spider & Insect Dust. For crazy ants, cover the nest with dust and gently puff dust into the nest entrance, doing your best not to disturb the nest. Repeat a few days later if there is still ant activity.
When crazy ants take over your space, you need a simple and effective solution. If you’re dealing with an ant problem, we’re here to help! For a more environmentally and family-friendly solution, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.