The crazy ant, – Paratrechina longicornis, is not native to North America, it is not entirely known where it originally came from though it is believed to have arrived at the United States from Africa, or Asia. It is also thought they may have been brought in from the Carribean. Named the crazy ant because of its movements and behaviors, it is familiar to the northern states, and northeastern areas. The crazy ant is also very common in the southern states, and some of the states out west such as California and Arizona. Hawaii and Canada are also acquainted with the crazy ant.
Adults are typically 2-3mm in size with long legs. Crazy ants feed on an array of things which make them omnivorous. Their diet contains dead or live insects, composts, fruits, sweets, grease, meat, plants, and various liquids. They love environments like trash, rotting trees, plants, and soil. You may even find nests under large rocks or timbers. They have been found in top floors of tall buildings as well as the kitchens of normal size structures, though they are not believed to fly. A bad infestation can invade a home causing extensive damage to property and they are also known to short electrical units. They may forage long distances from their nest, making infestations even more difficult to control. A crazy ant worker will carry food on its back long distances to its nest to feed the colony. Crazy Ant Colonies are actually quite moderate in size and several queens (8-40) might reside in one colony. When a Queen has mated she will then lay her eggs in the nest for the worker ants to care for. The life cycle of a crazy ant is typically 76-84 days. These nuisances don’t sting, but they will bite and these minor bites are treated easily, not typically requiring medical attention.
If the crazy ant isn’t controlled they can become a larger problem. These destructive and abrasive insects reproduce quickly which makes controlling them more of a challenge. These ants aren’t attracted to the typical ant baits or red ant baits. Commercial products do not have an impact on the crazy ant. The best solution to these pests is contracting a qualified pest control specialist. After the treatment, any ants that survive may relocate their colony. Treatment is recommended every 30 days because these ants are known to re-invade, which makes them nearly impossible to eradicate.
W.J. Arnold. © 2016
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