Do you have an ant problem? Are you wondering what ant is getting into your home? Those ants could be crazy ants. But, if you're like most people, it is "crazy" how little you know about these ants. Why? Because they're a relatively new problem. The tawny crazy ant, also referred to as the Rasberry crazy ant, named after the Texas exterminator who discovered them, have only been in the United States since around 2002. But their late arrival to the pest scene has not deterred these ants. They have quickly established themselves in all the Gulf Coast states, and up the Atlantic Coast to our area. If you're not familiar with Rasberry crazy ants, here are five things you should know.

crazy ants crawling on food dishes
crazy ants infesting a kitchen

1. Crazy Ant Identification

A crazy ant is only about ⅛ of an inch in length. It can be black or tan in color. If you have black crazy ants getting into your home, you might mistake them for carpenter ants because of their black coloration, and also because they have one node between the thorax and abdomen, just like a carpenter ant. But keep in mind that the smallest carpenter ant workers are about ⅜ of an inch long. You could also mistake crazy ants for pavement ants, which can be blackish in color and are around ⅛ of an inch long. But pavement ants have two nodes between the thorax and abdomen.

The best way to identify crazy ants is to watch how they behave. Crazy ants act just as you might expect: Crazy. While most ants will make straight and orderly lines to a food source, crazy ant workers will break away and search for other food, even as they travel toward a food source that has already been discovered. They also move quickly, and can appear to move twice as fast as other ants around them.

2. Crazy Ant Nests

It is typical to find ant hills in your yard when ants invade. Crazy ants don't make hills. They nest near the ground. If they come into your yard in large numbers, which they often do, they can begin to completely cover it like a blanket. There can be millions, even billions of these ants. Some property owners have said that there are so many ants on the ground, it looks like the ground is moving. Having ants nesting on the ground is a lot different than having a few ant hills in your yard. It can be quite disturbing.

Crazy ants can sneak up on you because they don't always nest out in the open. They can nest in landscaping, logs, tree cavities, woodpiles, rocks, and underneath buildings.  

3. Problems Crazy Ants Cause

  • These ants can quickly take over your lawn and invade your home in disturbing numbers.

  • They get into electrical equipment and cause things to short circuit.

  • They get into automobile engines and cause clogs.

  • They contaminate food. Fortunately, they're not known to spread diseases. But they can be mechanical vectors for some bacteria.

4. It Can Be Difficult To Get Control Of Crazy Ants

Crazy ants can travel quite a distance to find food sources. They do this in large numbers, so it can seem like the infestation is only on your property, when it isn't. If you spray with insecticide to get rid of them, you can cause budding to occur. This is when one colony separates into two or more colonies. A crazy ant colony can have as many as 40 queens. If all of those queens get the notion that it would be a good idea to start their own colonies, you could be in trouble.

5. It Is Hard To Keep Crazy Ants Out Of Your Home

Their small size makes them difficult to exclude from your home. You can seal up every visible entry point and still have these ants coming into your home in large numbers. The solution is to apply EPA approved residuals and bait. This is best done by a licensed pest control professional.

For ant control in Aiken and the surrounding region, contact Aiken Pest Control. Our team of licensed professionals is standing by to assist you.

 
 
 

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