With the seemingly never-ending showers, and the unseasonably warm temperatures, you might have noticed everyone’s spending more time indoors. Unfortunately, part of that “everyone” is ants. And not the usual biting ants we see around the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Let’s Go Crazy
The first – and most obvious thing you should know about crazy ants is just that… They’re crazy! The name comes from their seemingly aimless and haphazard trailing. They run around like they are candidates for the county asylum.
We probably don’t have to tell you that Nylanderia fulva – also known as crazy rasberry ants – are an invasive species. After all, that’s why you’re here! They’ve invaded your home.
But “invasive species” has a different meaning in pest control. While there have been crazy ants around since the 30’s, these particular tawny crazy ants didn’t reach our shores until around 2002. An exterminator in Texas discovered them – Tom Rasberry, which is how they got their other name, raspberry crazy ants.
Whatever you choose to call tawny crazy ants, they rapidly spread across the Gulf Coast states, taking over territory from other ants and insects. In fact, they’ll take over just about anything.
Colonies have multiple queens, and they breed like, well, crazy. On top of that, they eat the same small insects and plant nectar that many other insects and birds crave. They’ve been known to drive birds out of their nests. And even eat through the walls of frame houses!
And they’re tough to get rid of. Unlike most ants, community isn’t as important to them as survival. They will disperse and form new colonies when insecticides and poisons are applied to their nests.
Better With Time
In 2014, researchers made a startling discovery. A University of Texas study discovered a key reason tawny crazy ants were displacing the fire ants of old. At some point, the Rasberry ants developed a fire ant defense mechanism.
Tawny Crazy Ants exude a chemical compound, similar to the formic acid we use to preserve cattle feed. They spread this chemical on themselves or even spray it at attacking fire ants. The organic formic acid neutralizes the fire ant sting, although we’re still not sure just how it works.
I Would Die For You
Remember the part earlier about tawny crazy ants looking to take over everything? Well, that includes your computer, air conditioner, appliances and electrical outlets. Just like if you jammed your tongue into an electrical socket, the ants’ bodies conduct electricity. This usually kills them, while shorting out the device or circuit.
But in the moments before death, the ants send out a distress call. Or rather, a distress smell. The danger pheromone makes the other ants think that the dying insect is under attack – and they respond by rushing to the site. So, if your refrigerator wasn’t already shorted, it quickly gets to that point. And when it’s opened up, it’s filled with dead crazy ants.
As we mentioned earlier, tawny crazy ants are very hard to get rid of once they’ve invaded. The good news is, we’ve spent 30 years developing the best organic ways to help you avoid getting infested. And reduced risk ways to eliminate them from your home – without the harmful chemicals and insecticides that just don’t work.
If you’re dealing with tawny crazy ants, or any other annoying insects, we recommend our Go Green Perimeter Plus Pest Control. It’s our most popular service and it’s kept 90% of the usual suspects out of our clients’ homes from Ruskin to North Port. We’ll close those entry points you may not see, then deliver three treatments a year to keep the bugs out of your home. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or just learn more about it, give us a call!