Crazy Ants Becoming a Dangerous Invasive Species

Image of ants attacking a housefly

Crazy ants on the loose

The crazy ant, a South American native, arrived in Texas around 15 years ago and has been spreading throughout the US ever since. This bug is a classic case of an invasive species, having spread as far east as Florida and as far north as South Carolina. Their numbers rise very quickly because their colonies have multiple reproducing queens and they eat almost any organic material. They have proven to be fierce competition for any native species in their way.

Invasion is the New Craze

Crazy ants displace other species of ants and even have a coating of acid on their bodies which protects them from fire ants. A reduction of fire ants may seem like a good thing, but crazy ants hurt other species too and it can be damaging to the environment. Though these ants don’t bite or sting humans their sheer numbers can quickly make them a threat. They can be destructive to poultry, livestock, and agriculture. In cities, they can short out electrical equipment and overwhelm homes. These ants are especially dangerous in places like nursing homes, schools, and hospitals because they can cover whole floors of the buildings in which they reside.

Crazy Ants Are Becoming a Dangerous Invasive Species

Black crazy ant

Crazy ants do not possess wings, therefore typically spread very slowly, but are known to hide in cars, boats, and boxes which allow them to expand their territory much faster. They can live in a variety of environments, from cool wooded areas to hot fields. They nest in disturbed areas, often where many people pass through.
Treating these ants with insecticide or bait traps is difficult due to their sheer numbers. These traps may be able to kill some of the colony, but if it is large it will likely rebound. This is why it is important to treat early on in an infestation and to call a pest control professional if you detect any signs of their presence.

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