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Tawny Crazy Ant Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from tawny crazy ants by learning techniques for identification and control.

Tawny crazy ant illustration
Nylanderia fulva
1/8 inches
Long antennae
Protective acid pore


How do I get rid of tawny crazy ants?

What Orkin Does

While prevention is always important to reduce suitable ant habitats, this is one pest that should never be controlled by using do-it-yourself strategies. Treatments that are only partially effective or executed improperly will allow the creatures to rebound and continue to infest your home or place of business.

If you have tawny crazy ants, contact your local experienced pest management professional right away. Get ahead of the ants by seeking the advice, recommendations and expertise of your pest specialist and begin the ant management program before the population explodes in the warmer months.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Tawny Crazy Ants


The tawny crazy ant, also known as the rasberry crazy ant, is an invasive species that was brought to the U.S. from South America.

  • Length: They are about 1/8 of an inch long.

  • Appendages: They have long antennae; and legs that are reddish-brown in color.


The simplest way to describe tawny crazy ant behavior is disorganized, chaotic foraging by worker ants, and colonies with queens who possess enormously abundant reproductive potential.

Another behavioral phenomenon is the tendency for tawny crazy ant populations to replace other ant populations. Field observations show that crazy ants can out-compete and replace fire ant populations when both species occupy the same territory.


Tawny crazy ants are omnivores – meaning they will consume just about any sweet or protein substances. Their diet includes:

  • Honeydew (excretions produced by aphids and other insects)

  • Sweet portions of plants

  • Over-ripe fruits

  • Honey from beehives

  • Small insects

  • Small mammals


Crazy ants build nests under almost any object or inside any void that remains moist. Favored locations may be stumps, damp soil, rocks, landscape timbers, potted plants and piles of debris, compost, and garbage.

Life Cycle

Like with other ant species, they have complete metamorphosis (four life stages: egg, larvae (grub), pupae, and adult). A typical colony will consist of multiple egg-laying queens.

The workers are most active and plentiful in the early spring, while foraging is limited in the winter months. Colonies will produce millions of workers by mid-summer and continue to thrive throughout the fall.

More Information

While the ant’s official name is tawny crazy ant, it is also known as a Rasberry crazy ant after Tom Rasberry who identified the ant in 2002 in Texas.

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