If you notice inside or around your home a large group of ants frantically moving around then you might have a problem with crazy ants. Unlike other types of ants that usually move in a straight line, these ants are known for their strange moving patterns. Crazy ants also reproduce very quickly, so you need to act fast and get rid of them in a timely manner.
So, how to get rid of crazy ants? It is quite hard to get rid of the crazy ants because of their unpredictable and erratic (crazy) movements. Also, crazy ants can forage far away from their nests, this is why finding their colonies is going to be a challenge. The best course of action would be to first get rid of them in your house and after that set up outside ant killer baits.
For starters try to use insecticide dust in all of the spots of your house that you saw crazy ants, also search for any possible entry spots and apply dust on them as well. You can also use insecticide spray instead of dust treatment but overall it would be best to seal those entry spots for good. After you have gotten rid of the crazy ants in the house, set up outdoor ant killer baits and wait up to a week for them to eradicate their entire colonies.
From this article, you will not only learn all the ways to deal with crazy ants, but you will explore a lot of interesting facts about them. By knowing where they live, what kinds of crazy ants are there, what do they eat, and do they pose a threat will help you a lot in controlling them. So stick with us till the end of the article and you will definitely become a crazy ant expert. Now, let’s begin!
What Are Crazy Ants?
Crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva) are invasive species of ants that originally came from South America into the United States. They were first detected in 2002 in Texas and since then spread through the entire Gulf Coast region (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida).
Types of Crazy Ants | Different Names
Also, it is good to know that there are several types of crazy ants, and the most common ones are:
- Rasberry crazy ant (also called tawny crazy ant)
- Longhorn crazy ant (also called black crazy ant)
- Yellow crazy ant
- Caribbean crazy ant
- Brazilian crazy ant
Rasberry Crazy Ant Queen
Another distinctive crazy ant feature is their colony organization. In most cases, other types of ants have one queen per colony, but crazy ants almost always have multiple queens in one colony. The number of crazy ant queens can go up to 40 queens per colony, and this is one of the reasons for their fast reproduction rate.
What Does a Crazy Ant Look Like?
There are several types of crazy ants, but their size on average for workers is around 3 millimeters. They have very long distinctive mandibles when compared to the rest of their body, so they are easily recognizable. Most crazy ants are completely black but some species are dark brown, they are rather small when compared to other ants, and their legs are long when compared to the rest of their body.
Do Crazy Ants Bite?
They originated from the same territory as fire ants, but unlike them, crazy ants don’t sting rather they only bite. Crazy ant’s bite is not poisonous and the pain goes away after a minute or two. Their bite in most people doesn’t provoke any allergic reactions and the only dangers that can come from crazy ants are their numbers because they can take over your yard or home very quickly.
Since crazy ants originally came from the same living space as red fire ants, it is interesting to know that they developed an antidote for the red fire ant’s venom. This is the first recorded case in nature that one insect can neutralize the venom of the other insect.
What Do Black Crazy Ants Eat?
Crazy ants have the same diet as most of the other ants. They eat small insects, leftover food, seeds, plants, and sweet fruits, so it is imperative to keep your home clean from any food scraps in you want to prevent them from invading your home.
Are Crazy Ants Dangerous?
The main problem that comes with crazy ants is their large numbers. Crazy ants are reproducing quickly and their unusual moving patterns make them harder to get rid of than when compared to other types of ants. They are not dangerous when it comes to their bites or venom, so don’t worry about any allergic reactions or painful bite marks.
There are several species of crazy ants and all of them are all known for their erratic movement which distinguishes them from the rest of the ant species. That frantic movement makes crazy ants a hard pest to fight. They are also very small for an ant, so that can also be another problem when trying to find where they are coming from.
Crazy ants choose to build their nests in moist and dry places, and one of the most important things they care about when choosing a habitat is for it to be warm. They don’t nest in the soil, but instead, they build their colonies beneath rocks, logs, or compost piles. In the winter they infest homes in order to keep themselves warm.
They are also well known for infesting electrical equipment such as electrical outlets and air condition units. Besides that, they can infest cracks in the walls, floors, and furniture. No matter what they infest in your house, we are going to show you how to get rid of them.
Fun fact is that even NASA Johnson Space Center community had problems with crazy ants.
How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants – Step by Step Instructions
How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants Inside the House | Indoors
The hardest part about getting rid of crazy ants from your home is to locate where they are coming from. Their frantic and unpredictable moving patterns make it hard to locate their entry points, so placing some type of ant killer bait is necessary. After they notice the bait they will form a steady line of worker ants and carry the bait (food) back to their nest. That will give you a chance to follow them and see where they are coming from.
After you find their entry spots, use some type of dust or granule insecticide with a residual effect, and cover those spots. The use of dust or granule insecticide has shown the best results because it covers more ground which is essential because of their unusual moving patterns. For all the other ants that you can see foraging through your home, you should use an insecticide in the form of a spray.
This treatment takes care of any indoor ant problems and if you want to take care of this problem for good, you will need to find where are the ants coming from.
How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants Outside | Outdoors
After you followed their trail and found their mounds and nests, it is recommended to use liquid insecticide specially made for destroying ant nests. This sounds easy but in reality, it is going to be extremely hard to find their nests as they are famous for foraging far away from their nests. Now, add the facts that they are really tiny, it is going to be almost impossible to follow them to their nests. Also, a far more environmentally friendly solution that is also easier to apply would be to use ant baits but for outdoor use in the form of granules.
Simply spread the ant bait granules on your lawn and anywhere near the crazy ant nest (at least where you suspect them to be) and just wait for it to show results. It will do the trick relatively fast, as soon as the crazy ants start to pull the granules inside their nest.
How to Kill Crazy Ants | Crazy Ant Killer Products
The following are some of the products that you can use to get rid of the crazy ants:
- 2 shaker bags included
- Kills ants, fire ants, cockroaches, fleas and other insects
- Fast-acting granules kill insects in 24 hours
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- Convenient, resealable shaker bag – no spreader required
This ant repellent comes in granule form which is only for outdoor use. The package is conveniently made and you don’t need to come in contact with the granules itself – you just shake the bag and the granules fall out of the bag. Once it comes in the contact with the ants, it kills it in 24 hours. It is recommended to reapply it after 3 months.
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As it says in the name, it is recommended for use against carpenter ants, but it also showed great results against crazy ants. This insecticide comes in granular form, so you can use it indoor and outdoor. Just apply it on the spots where you see large numbers of ants and on places they use to find a way into your home. When applying this insecticide do not use any other products because it will not be as effective.
- Delta Dust Bed Bug Insecticide - 1 lb.
- Yield: 1 lb. of Delta Dust covers about 2,000 sq.ft.
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- Active Ingredient: Deltamethrin, 0.05%
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This is an amazing dust insecticide that works wonders for many ant types including crazy ants. It is made for indoor and outdoor use. The dust starts working 24 hours after ants pick it up.
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This product comes in the form of the spray and can be used against all kinds of ants and it is meant for outdoor and indoor use. It kills ants on contact and has an amazing residual effect. It is water-based so it doesn’t leave any mess after the use.
Crazy Ants in Specific Places in the House
Crazy ants hate cold places and when the temperature starts to drop in the autumn, they start searching for a warm home to live in during the winter. The following are the most common places in the house where you will find crazy ants.
• Crazy Ants in Bathroom
Crazy ants, just like all other ants, are attracted to places with high levels of humidity, and the bathroom is just that. Sometimes they can hide behind the washing machine or even below the tub if they find a crack in the tiles. Like in the kitchen and other parts of your home, you should use dust or spray insecticide to locally destroy their population.
• How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants in Kitchen
It is noted that crazy ants show great interest in everything that uses electric power. They love to inhabit all kinds of electrical appliances and this is why they also commonly inhabit kitchens. Crazy ants have plenty of warm spots to hide in the kitchen and there is always food nearby.
They tend to hide behind kitchen counters and in the electrical sockets. For these problems, it is best to use spray insecticide because you want to instantly get rid of any crazy ants in your kitchen. Be sure to protect all your supplies from insecticides and do a detailed cleanup of the kitchen ones you get rid of the ants.
Crazy Ants in Car: What Should You Do?
Crazy ants usually invade a car only in the search for a food source. After the first time they enter the car, they leave a trail of pheromones behind them, so other ants can follow their trail.
For starters, you should check your car for any food leftovers, and do a thorough cleanup of the whole car. Crazy ants can easily sense the food even if it is in your car, so try to keep it as clean as possible. After you finish that, you should change the spot where you park the car, at least for some time. That way the ants will lose the pheromone trail for sure.
Sometimes, unknowingly you can park your car near an anthill or their mound. Check the surroundings of the car to see is there is a large number of ants nearby. If you happen to detect their colony, you could either change the parking spot or use some of our methods to destroy the nearby crazy ant colony.
How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants Home Remedy| Natural Crazy Ant Killers
If you usually use DIY methods around your home, you can also try to get rid of crazy ants with a couple of our home remedies.
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Diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective and common home solutions for any pest control. It comes in the form of a powder, so you can place it anywhere you find a larger group of ants. You can also mix it with sugar to attract more crazy ants. Just don’t use diatomaceous earth with water, because it loses its effectiveness.
• Vinegar Solution
When you find places the crazy ants have used to in order to enter your home, you can use a spray made with vinegar and water. Ants heavily relly on their scent and vinegar solution messes with it. If you want to keep crazy ants away by using vinegar, be sure to reapply it regularly.
You can also make a DIY ant bait if you mix 1.5 tablespoons of borax, half a cup of sugar, and some warm water. Then soak cotton balls with this solution and place it on crazy ant trails or where you detected their activity. Once the crazy ants take the bait, they will carry it to the colony and spread it around it. This option may not as effective with crazy ants as with other kinds of ants, but it is worth a try.
If you have a problem with crazy ants you need to understand that you are not dealing with some regular ants. You may know how to deal with some other species of ants, but crazy ants are different. Other ants are predictable and once you determine their pathways you can easily use bait to eradicate their nests. Crazy ants are not that easy to understand, but the methods are still the same. You need to find where they are coming from.
Crazy ants are not harmful like fire ants, but they come in large numbers, so they can be a real nuisance. If you don’t have experience in dealing with ants, you should contact professional ant exterminators, because they will know the best way to help you. Crazy ants are not easy to deal with, so don’t wait for the problem to magically solve itself. Either do something by yourself right away or call the professionals as soon as possible.
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List of Sources
Crazy Ants, University of Texas at Austin
Crazy Ant – Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille), University of Florida
Williams R., Tawny crazy ants’ weird genetics may help them thrive in new environments, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
Tawny (Rasberry) Crazy Ant, Nylanderia fulva, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
Longhorn Crazy Ant, Paratrechina longicornis, Texas A&M University
Rasberry Crazy Ant, Science.gov