Facts, Identification & Control
Scientific Name: Paratrechina longicornis
Crazy ants are so named because of their frantic movements and erratic behavior. While this species originated in Southeast Asia, it is known worldwide as an invasive species and environmental pest. Adult crazy ants are dark brown to black in color and measure approximately 2.2 to 3 mm in length. Crazy ants’ antennae have 12 segments without a club, and their antennae are elongated. Crazy ants’ legs are extremely long and give it a very distinct appearance.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Crazy ant workers are omnivorous, feeding on both dead and live insects; honeydew produced from insects, fruits, plant secretions, seeds and a variety of household food items such as sweets, meats, grease and liquids.
Crazy ants are highly versatile, living in both moist and dry habitats. They nest in rotten wood, soil, the cavities of trees and plants, trash and under rocks and buildings. Crazy ants cannot survive extremely cold climates and may infest houses and buildings when the weather changes. Crazy ant nests can be located by following workers as they carry food back to their colonies. Crazy ant colonies are small in number, containing 1,500 to 2,500 individuals.
Crazy ants may be more difficult to control than other ant species because they dwell both indoors and outdoors. In addition, crazy ants forage long distances from their nests, making it difficult to identify their colonies.
Each crazy ant colony may contain from 8 to 40 queens. New colonies may be formed when a fertile queen and some workers break away from the main colony and establish one of their own. This process is known as budding.
Signs Of An Infestation
Signs of a crazy ant infestation include evidence of crazy ants trailing to and from their nests, or crazy ants seen indoors foraging for food and water.
Preventing and controlling crazy ants begins with a thorough inspection. Proactive or preventive actions include exclusion to prevent ants from getting inside your home and sanitation to eliminate their food sources. The most effective and efficient thing to do is contact your pest management professional for advice and recommendations for both indoor and outdoor pest management. In addition, removing as many of the various conditions that create protective nest sites as possible helps to minimize the size of the ant population.