Last updated on November 3rd, 2017
The crazy ant Houston is an invasive ant species that is hard to control. These are the only ants known to be tougher than fire ants although they do not sting. The can survive both indoors and outdoors making it hard on how to get rid of crazy ants and treat infested areas effectively.
Crazy ants – what are they, black and hairy
Compared to other ants, the crazy ants are very small. Their color ranges from dark brown to black and they also have a bluish sheen. They have only one node between their abdomen and thorax. Another identifying feature is their very long antennae as well as legs.What Are Crazy Ants
These ants are omnivorous. They feed on fruits, seeds, plant secretions, honey dew, live and dead insects, grease, meats and liquids. They are a highly versatile group and can live in both dry and moist habitats. They however cannot survive extremely cold climates. When the weather changes, they invade homes.
Due to the fact that they can survive both indoors and outdoors, they are hard to control. They also tend to forage for long distances from where their nests are. This makes it hard for one to identify their nests. The ants also have multiple queens in their super colonies with each ant having between 8 to 40 queens.
When the colony grows too big, new colonies could be formed by some fertile queen breaking up from the main one to form her own colony. They take along some worker ants. This is the process that is referred to as budding. The signs of a crazy ant infestation will include the movement of ants without following any trail. Their movement is fast and random. They can also be seen indoors foraging for water and food.
1. What Are Crazy Ants
Crazy ants are a group of ants referred to as Nylanderia fulva in their scientific name. They are referred to as crazy due to how frantically they move as well as the erratic behavior they exhibit. This pest is known as an invasive species all over the world. It has the tendency to spread very fast causing environmental harm. The adults are dark colored, have a 12 segmented antennae which is elongated and have legs that give it a distinct appearance due to their long length.
Crazy ants tend to cause infestations in masses. They cover the ground and are likely to affect both tree and ground nesting birds and small animals. They could also cause a movement of wildlife from an area. So invasive are they that they can displace the much feared fire ants. The ants do not sting but can bite. Their bite is only mildly painful.
2. Black Crazy Ants
The crazy ant is a dark colored species. Their gaster, thorax, petiole and head are black although the body has a blue iridescence. The ant is broadly distributed in the subtropics and tropics. In areas with temperate weather, they are found more in buildings. This adaptability to fit in both outdoors and indoors makes them difficult to control.
3. Hairy Crazy Ants
The body of crazy ants has some coarse and scattered gray or white setae that is either erect or sub-erect. They are called hairy due to these hair like projections making the abdomen look less grossy than some of the other ants.
Crazy Ants in Dallas
The red fire ants are known to be the worst ants in Dallas. However, crazy ants have become more of a nuisance than they are. They even have started suppressing the fire ants. They have no natural enemies within making them have the potential to wipe out the other ant species.
Crazy Ants Houston
Previously, what people were keen to avoid were fire ant mounds. Right now though businesses and home owners have a bigger problem at hand. Crazy ants Houston have invaded industrial complexes as well as homes. They can travel in hay bales, moving vans, motorcycles, potted plants or even cargo containers.
These ants have been known to overwhelm bee hives.
They could also short circuit equipment. Unfortunately, when one of them is electrocuted they release chemical signals that make the other ants in the colony to attack. They will rush to the area and within no time there will be a ball of ants. This could cause extensive damage to both commercial and residential electrical systems. These ants are spreading at rates that are alarming and the potential damage they could cause will be costly.
How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants and What Kills Crazy Ants, Control
The crazy ants are no fun having around. This is because they are not affected by most traditional ant killers. Their colonies also have multiple queens. This makes them even harder to control. Once there is an invasion, these ants are likely to find their way into places we cannot think of. This is why it is important to get ways on how to get rid of crazy ants as soon as they appear.
Before conducting the actual elimination, one should try and locate their entry points. Due to their erratic and jerky movements which do not allow the ants to form trails, these can be hard to locate. To encourage them to form trails and increase the effectiveness of various control methods, one can make a honey and peanut bait to attract them.
By following their trail one can be in a position to identify where they are nesting. It never is easy locating their mounds above the ground. They nest beneath debris, landscape timber, mulch, firewood, inside tree holes and in rotting wood.
Treatment of any existing colonies should then follow. Their nests should be drenched using insecticides. Where they are nesting inside, dusting will do. Where a high crazy ant activity has been noted, one could treat it using insecticide sprays. Residual products can also work. Spray treatments also provide excellent barriers. Spraying around structures will help to prevent invasions.
Since baits are not so effective on crazy ants, it is advisable to make use of residual dust indoors. This should be dusted beneath all vulnerable places including on cracks, voids, crevices and underneath baseboards.
There are some commercial baits available for killing these ants. These though will rarely provide satisfactory results. For people who choose to use this method, ensure that the manufacturer instructions on bait placement, application rate and usage are followed. The good thing about baits is that they can be used to target the queens for a successful elimination. The poison incorporated in it is what kills the crazy ants
Once a successful crazy ant control campaign has been carried out, it is important to put into place various preventive measures to eliminate the chances of re-infestation. Start off by practicing good sanitation. This way the attractants of the ants are eliminated.
The ants will not have any source of food or stagnant water to attract them into your property. Food preparation should be limited into one area that should be thoroughly cleaned each day. Leaky faucets and pipes should also be repaired.
Any gaps found in the foundation, window frames and base boards should be sealed. This can be done using caulk or any other appropriate material. This gets rid of the ants’ entry ways. Building materials, mulch, litter and other debris can serve as potential homes for these ants.
They should be taken to places that are far from living structures. Shrubs, tree branches and general vegetation should be trimmed and prevented from touching buildings as they could serve as bridges into homes. These practices will help keep your space free of the crazy ants.
Crazy Ant Poison
The normal ant poison may not work on crazy ants. They tend to ignore baits and thus contact poison may work better for them. Also important to note is the fact that crazy ants are rarely affected by over the counter products. For their effective control, it is best to make use of professional products. These may at times not be readily available but professional pest controllers can easily get them. They will know how to use them for effective crazy ant poison treatment.
Crazy Ants Treatment
To successfully treat crazy ants, one needs to first inspect the infested area. This will help to identify, treat and seal the points of entry. To treat outdoor colonies, one can make use of spray insecticides. The same could also be used to create a barrier treatment. This is by spraying around your home to prevent entry.
Where one is seeking to conduct indoor treatments, use relevant insecticide to treat inside cabinets, under the baseboards and appliances. This will eliminate any existing ants. Because crazy ants do not respond very well to baits, indoors treatments should be done using dusting pesticides. Where the infestation affects a large area or the infestation affects a whole neighborhood, granule insecticide treatments could work best. They also give at least three months protection.
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