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How To Control Crazy Ants

Due to their erratic behavior and movements, crazy ants are one of the toughest pests to control once they invade a house. This behavior is what earns them the name of “crazy” ant. Crazy ants appear to wander aimlessly and don’t follow specific trails like other ants. If left untreated, crazy ant populations can very quickly get out of control.

Crazy Ants are either brown or black and can be identified by their extremely long, 12-segment antennae and extra long legs. Crazy Ants are predominantly found in the southeastern part of the United States. Each colony may contain millions of ants and multiple queens. The queens spend their time laying hundreds of eggs. Inside, Crazy ants can nest in small cracks and crevices and voids, and particularly enjoy damp areas to hang around.

Crazy ants have a versatile diet and are predators, foragers and scavengers. Once inside a building, they immediately begin searching for food. Crazy ants enjoying eating proteins, animal matter, grease and other insects, but they will readily eat foods that contain sugar.  

If your home has been overrun by the presence of crazy ants, Solutions Pest and Lawn can help equip you with the right professional tools and DIY know-how so you can successfully overcome crazy ants with ease.

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How To Get Rid of Crazy Ants: Solutions 3 Step Process

A control approach for crazy ants can be tricky since they wander around in no type of pattern. This can also make it quite difficult to locate their colonies since they don’t follow a particular type of trail. However by laying out some food sources they enjoy like peanut butter and sweets, you can attract them to come out and lead you back to where they are gathered. Below are some of the steps we suggest for the greatest success in managing this pest.

 

Step 1: Locate the ant colonies by following the trail of a crazy ant after laying out a sweet. Once they lead you to the colony you can begin spraying Reclaim IT InsecticideSince crazy ants don’t build visible ant mounds you will have to be diligent and thorough in finding where they nest which can typically be in soil beneath trees, logs, mulch firewood, inside dead or rotting trees and other similar areas. Use Reclaim or Dominion 2L Insecticide as a broadcast treatment over the entire perimeter of your property to serve as a barrier. Around the structure we recommend using Taurus. This will serve as a double barrier to keep crazy ants from trespassing. 

 

Step 2: Indoors we recommended using a combination of spray treatment and dusting. Use the same sprays from step 1 and spray on and underneath baseboards, inside cabinets and under appliances to eliminate existing ants. Dust underneath baseboards, and inside cracks, crevices, and voids where activity is suspected with D-Fense Dust.

 

Step 3: You can try baiting crazy ants but it’s not the most effective solution because of their erratic tendencies. If you do choose to use a bait, try a slow-acting granular bait like Ant-Trax Ant Gel Bait and Ficam Insect Bait. Granular baits tend to work better for crazy ants, especially ones that have a sweet attractant which crazy ants love.

 

Step 4: To prevent crazy ants from returning, reduce areas of moisture around your home and seal off points of entry with caulking. Get rid of leaf litter and debris from your yard to make the area less appealing for crazy ants to venture upon.   Use the same products from step one to create a protective barrier around your home to keep crazy ants out. We recommend spraying with a fan spray that is at least 3 feet high on the side of the building and 3 to 6 feet out on the ground will provide excellent protection. For best results, we recommend getting all neighbors to perform the same barrier treatment to create a buffer zone which will prevent reinfestation.

 

Browse our crazy ant control products below. If you have any questions or concerns call or email us or chat with us live online and we will be happy to help you.


More About the Rasberry Crazy Ant

The newest invader to hit Texas is the Rasberry Crazy Ant, identified as a new exotic ant species in 2002, these crazy guys are getting lots of attention from pest professionals, homeowners and the news.

 

If you see the appearance of many and the mean millions of uniformly-sized 1/8 inch long, reddish-brown ants in the landscape and grass. They will also forage indoors from outdoor nests.These ants will form loose foraging trails as well as forage ( meaning in search of food) randomly (non-trailing) and crawl rapidly and erratically.

 

These Ant colonies are not built in centralized nests, neds or mounds, you will typically locate the queen and brrod under landscaping objects, like rocks, cross timbers, and piles of debris.

 

What exactly is the harm of the Crazy Ant?

Seems like mostly a nuisance and annoyance because of their sheer numbers. I cannot really imagine sitting outside with my pets and being swarmed by millions of these little crazy ants, but that is what has happened. They do not have stingers but can bite and the bite can be slightly painful.

 

Biting and medical implications to people, livestock and wildlife: Rasberry crazy ants do not have stingers. In place of a stinger, worker ants possess an acidopore on the end of the abdomen, which can excrete chemicals for defense or attack. They are capable of biting, and when bitten, they cause a relatively sharp pain that quickly fades.

 

How to control the Rasberry Crazy Ant

Research does not indicate that baits have any effect on these ants. A good residual broadcast of Talstar Bifenthrin will have some effect, but will not continue to control for more than 30 days.

 

Other products like Termidor a fipronil based product show to have been effective in controlling the Rasberry Crazy Ant.

 

Rasberry Control PDF file: http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/pdf/RCA_control_fact_sheet.pdf

 

The Increasing Problem of The Longhorn Crazy Ant

Another species of crazy ant that has been gaining prevalence especially in southern states such as Texas is the Longhorn Crazy Ant (Paratrechina longicornis). Here at our Solutions stores, customers have inundated us with samples of the longhorn crazy ant, so it looks to be a rising issue.

 

Here’s what we know about the longhorn crazy ant:

 

Characteristics and Habits of the Longhorn Crazy Ant

The longhorn crazy ant is small (around ⅛ of an inch long) and dark colored, usually a grayish black. The body has numerous long hairs which are coarse. Worker longhorn crazy ants have long legs and a long 12-segmented antennae with no club. There is a small patch of hair found at the tip of their abdomen.

 

Longhorn crazy ant colonies are on the smaller size compared to other ant species with typically about 2,000 workers and 40 queens. Longhorn crazy ants can adapt to different habitats which can be either dry or on the damp side. Longhorn crazy ants colonies are not the type that stay in one location very long and will relocate if the conditions of their living arrangement no longer suit them.

 

Outdoors, longhorn crazy ants prefer to nest in rotting wood, fallen tree limbs and logs, tree stumps, under stones, bricks and lumber. They can also be found nesting in the soil of potted plants and in gardens. Indoors, longhorn crazy ants often nest in wall voids and beneath floors, particularly near plumbing.

 

Where Did Longhorn Crazy Ants Come From?

Longhorn crazy ants are believed to be native to Africa or Asia. Since then, they have been distributed worldwide through trade.

 

Control Options for Longhorn Crazy Ant

Before utilizing any control products, we suggest always starting with some good IPM strategies to make the environment less conducive for longhorn crazy ants to reside in and forage around. Engage in some environmental modification by picking up and removing fallen tree limbs, rocks, leaf litter, and just about anything found on the ground on your property.

 

Addressing moisture issues in and around your home is also another measure you can take which will discourage longhorn crazy ants from inhabiting the area. Longhorn crazy ants like humid areas so repairing any plumbing leaks and drying up moist areas can be a big help.  Exclusion measures by cutting off points of entry is another helpful task. This can be done by caulking gaps and holes.

 

When it comes to chemical control, our licensed entomologist Jay Jorns recommends Ant-Trax via using soda straws as the bait station and applying Alpine aerosol by using a paper towel to wipe on ant runways and since the ant is exterior and feeds on insects on plants. He also suggests using Dominion 2L on plants and as a perimeter spray.

 

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