How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants?
Crazy ants get their name due to their fast, erratic behavior. They are a difficult species of ants to get rid of because these annoying ants do not follow a trail rigidly like other species of ants.
These pests are found in habitats both indoor and outdoor.
Like most things, this type of pest is not impossible to get rid of.
This article will show you different ways to get rid of crazy ants inside your home and outside around your home, and how to stop them from coming back.
What do crazy ants look like?
There are different types of crazy ants: crazy rasberry ants, crazy tawny ants, and hairy crazy ants.
All have erratic behavior and quick movements. This behavior is more noticeable when the crazy ant is disturbed. The Rasberry crazy ant got its name from an exterminator called Tom Rasberry who realized they were growing in numbers in Texas in 2002.
They are reddish-brown in color. Caribbean crazy ants are golden brown to reddish-brown.
The yellow crazy is, wait for it, yellow. They have overrun native ants, and with their aggressive nature, they often win during battles and are capable of spraying formic acid. The yellow crazy ant is a popular food for the Sulawesi toad.
They are around an eighth of an inch long, and their bodies are covered in coarse long hairs.
Males and females both have wings, but the male does not fly much and the female loses her wings after mating.
The black crazy ants have very long legs and look similar to the tawny crazy ants. The black crazy ants have 12 body segments.
Crazy ants can bite, but it’s a mild bite and the feeling goes away quickly, and are not a physical threat to humans.
How to get rid of a crazy ant infestation
Crazy ants are difficult to control because they will travel far away from their colony foraging for food sources. They do not stick to tidy trails, making it difficult to find the nests. The crazy ants’ movements appear disorganized, especially when a food source has been found.
Crazy ants live in smaller colonies compared to the colonies of other ant species. Crazy ants, unlike other ant species, can have multiple queens in their colony. In fact, the crazy ants can have up to 40 queens in the nests!
First, you need to know how to control the crazy ants to find out their way into the home and nests.
How to control crazy ant activity
So, how to get rid of crazy ants? Set ant bait for the ants with peanut butter and honey. As they leave the bait, it will help you see the direction of the haphazard trail to the nest. Hopefully, you can now see the ant activity and how they are getting into the house and where the colony may be.
There are other types of ant bait you can try, such as bait stations that contain poison that will kill the ants. Place baits inside electrical units to prevent any damage to wiring.
Now you can take action. Seal up the entry points, cracks, and crevices to stop any ants from getting in again. You can spray the crazy ant infestation with a non-repellent insecticide or a natural home remedy spray.
You can also buy dust and perimeter granules which can be put into small cracks around the house. This dust and granules can be used with other anti ant treatments. Click here to find out more
Home remedies to get rid of crazy ants
Mix up 1 part Borax, which can easily be bought, with 3 parts sugar, which attracts the crazy ants. Place it in containers and leave them where you have seen the insects and along their trail. Feeding on the borax will kill them, so this is done so they can take it back to the ant colonies.
Borax gets into the crazy ant’s stomach, causing a reaction. Click here to find out more.
Vinegar is a very useful thing. It will not kill crazy ants, but they do not like the smell. Mix vinegar with some water and spray on baseboards and gaps you find to deter the insects.
Try dish soap mixed with some water and sprayed directly onto the crazy ants. It will suffocate them and cause death.
A strong salt solution is a good pest control method to use. The salt solution when sprayed on ants will dry them out, causing death.
Professional control treatment
If you find you have tried everything DIY and you still have crazy ants around, then it is time to contact a pest control expert. The pest control expert will have the knowledge and products to get rid of crazy ant infestations inside your home, and outside your house in the yard.
What treatment will the pest control expert use?
When you contact a company check, they are able to treat this kind of pest and nests. Pest control experts know how to get rid of crazy ants, thankfully. For indoor use, they will use a bag of residual dust and pesticide.
For outdoor treatment, they will concentrate on entry points and trails and the ant colony itself.
They will treat the trails and ant colony directly with either a dust insecticide or insecticide spray.
The pest control expert will use for the treatment 2 or 3 bait stations to give the crazy ants options when the crazy ants are searching for food.
Where do they like to live?
Tawny crazy ants are mostly found in South America, California, Arizona, Texas, other gulf states, and Hawaii.
Another important thing to know about crazy ants is that they can have nesting sites outdoors and indoors. They will live in an old tree trunk, under piles of trash and stones, and in cracks and crevices in the home.
To prevent them from making nesting sites, remove stones, and tidy away plant debris and tree branches in the yard.
A crazy ant colony can also be found inside electrical equipment. They have cost people millions of dollars in damaged electrical equipment. They destroy wiring, causing power failure.
Crazy ants may be found indoors when the weather gets colder.
Crazy ants will build a colony in potted plants if there is the opportunity to do so. Check your potted plants regularly for signs of crazy ants.
Crazy ants are not fussy about moisture levels. They like moist or dry conditions to nest in and can be found in cracks and crevices.
Help I have Crazy ants in the kitchen!
Every time you get food out, you are potentially attracting crazy ants into the kitchen.
It takes one or two scout ants to find food, and leave a trail of pheromones, which other crazy ants will follow and cause an infestation. Scary but true.
Here are some top tips to get rid of crazy ants in the kitchen
- Always clear away the dishes, do not leave dishes unwashed in the sink.
- Dry the sink after use.
- Clean surfaces of crumbs and food.
- Store food items in airtight containers.
- Place appropriate food covered in the refrigerator.
- Keep the floor swept clean of crumbs.
- Clean up any fruit juice that gets spilt on work surfaces.
- Clean out food cupboards and drawers often.
- Ensure trash cans have a tight-fitting lid and that they are always closed after use.
What do crazy ants eat?
Crazy ants are omnivores and therefore will eat almost anything to stay alive. They are scavengers, foragers, and predators all in one. They need sugars, fat, and protein in order to survive.
They will eat animal matter, grease, sweets, very ripe fruit and honeydew from insects, dead insects, and many other food types.
The most common place to find crazy ants indoors is in the kitchen foraging for any food left lying around, even crumbs or dirty dishes in the sink!
What purpose do crazy ants have?
Like most ants, the crazy ants will help break down garden waste, dead insects, and other organic waste. They are good for the environment.
Some gardeners like the crazy ant in the yard as they dig tunnels that aerate the soil, improving soil quality.
What does the yellow crazy ant do?
This insect has been put on the list of the 100 most invasive species.
On Christmas Island, the use of crazy ants formic acid is killing off the island’s land crabs.
This is their life cycle
- 18-20 days after an egg has been laid it will hatch.
- It takes 20 days for a worker larvae to hatch. The larvae are fed by the workers.
- In around 30 days the larvae become pupae. At this point, the workers will no longer feed them.
- The pupae are covered in a cocoon, and after 30 days the adult will come out from the cocoon.
They need to be monitored due to their destructive nature. People are asked to report new sightings of these pests.
In a Texas nature reserve, the yellow crazy ant has been found in large numbers. They have killed a lot of arthropods, which has affected the bird population.
There are now a lot fewer insects to feed young birds. The crazy ants have disrupted the ecosystem with negative consequences.
There are also rare bugs in the cave on the reserve, and due to high numbers of crazy bugs they are under threat. The invasive species research group is monitoring the situation.
Crazy ants have also been known to have removed the aggressive fire ant from food. They have also taken over fire ant colonies to use for themselves.
Crazy ants are able to protect themselves with formic acid, an anti-venom against the fire ants venom.
Crazy ants are in my house but there is no food why are they here?
A crazy ant infestation can occur in the cleanest, tidiest of kitchens if there is water in the sink, even small droplets, as like us crazy ants need water to drink.
We know it is a pain, but to avoid attracting them, dry the sink out after use.
We hope you have found this article, useful, and informative. There are solutions to get rid of crazy ants. Treat them quickly and correctly and they should be gone as quickly as they came.
Should you have any questions for us, please do not hesitate to contact us by dropping us an email. We do our best to respond as quickly as possible.
Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively.