They are not native to the Americas and are thought to have come from the Caribbean Islands.
The reason so many experts are afraid of this pest in because it reproduces very quickly and in huge numbers. A typical colony will have thousands of egg-laying females and will contain millions of insects.
Some experts estimate the numbers could reach upwards of one Billion per acre. If the entire colony lives on your property it may be possible to gain control but, if they live somewhere else and are only feeding or crossing your property, complete eradication is impossible at this point.
Discovered in 2002 in South Houston, today they have spread over several Texas counties. This rapid and unusually fast spread is the direct result of man.
We are moving them around in hay bales, potted plants, mulch, timber, and debris, etc. Every time we purchase and relocate an infested item we spread the problem.
The ants are reddish-brown to black and about the size of a fire ant. The name “crazy” comes from their movement which is erratic and fast.
You will never see them moving in a straight line like other ants. They prefer to live outdoors but can be found within structures looking for food and water.
They do not make mounds, like fire ants, but instead nest in and under rocks, pots, debris, mulch, and voids, etc. These ants have no stingers, but, are very much capable of biting.
Their main defense is a chemical they excrete from their acidopore at the end of their abdomen.
Because they are not native to the Americas they do not have any “natural” enemies here. They, like the imported fire ants, have spread un-checked but unlike the fire ants which can be controlled with baits and or liquid chemicals, there is no cure for the tawny crazy ants.
When an infestation invades your property they will eat or run off virtually every living thing. This includes fire ants. They will even attack and kill ground-nesting birds and newborn animals.
When treating for tawny crazy ants you must make your chemical application over the entire property. You may also need to treat in every room within your home or office and even the attic.
These ants have even been known to infest the upper reaches of multi-story buildings. Every tool in your box will be needed to combat these pest. Pest control companies will typically apply two granular products and put down ant baits over the turf and bed areas.
Special attention must be made to treat under every pot, stone, paver brick, mulch, the dog and playhouse, etc.
December to April is the best time to start your tawny crazy ants’ treatment program as many of the ants will die off during the winter. Treating before their populations have grown so large as to be unmanageable is the key to year-long control. If you live in an ant-infested area a monthly service program is probably going to be necessary.
When you are learning about fire ants and how to treat them, you should recognize the mounds they build for their nests. These little insects can have you thinking, “where do fire ants live?”
The mound is where they stay and the first place you want to go to treat them. Walk up to the mound and be careful. Do not disrupt the mound, but bait the area around the mound with Advion or Ascend Fire Ant Bait.
The ants will find the bait and take it back to the colony and to the queen where they will die. Within two to three days, the entire colony is eliminated by the bait, and the problem is solved.
Fire ants are some of the worst ants that people deal with today, as consumers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year to kill them. They are a big problem in all of the southern states, but they come up a lot further than Texas and Florida.
They have been seen in Maryland and other parts of the country too. The farther north you live in the lower 48 continental United States, the less likely you will have to deal with these pesky pests.
When it comes to fire ants and how to treat them, there are many important facts to remember. They are very aggressive ants. These are not your typical ants.
When you go to disturb their mounds in the ground, they will come after you if you don’t move fast. They will sting you and it will hurt.
They will eat almost anything. They will eat animals and plants too. They eat mice and snakes and small mammals, so they are much more violent than most species.
As a result, the treatment strategies for them are different than other types of ants.
There are other methods to learning about fire ants and how to treat them too. You can drench the ant mound with a specially formulated liquid that is designed to kill ant colonies.
You will have to use a lot of solution to do this, and make sure you don’t get attacked by the ants as you are getting rid of them.
Part of learning about fire ants and how to treat them is learning how to avoid getting attacked by them. Drenching the mound with material to attack all of the ants is an effective way to stop the infestation.
You can also try a more broadcast spray and baiting of the mound. This is not as effective as drenching the mound because you may not be able to penetrate deep inside the nest to get to the queen.
The survivors of the treatment may simply go and build a new mound somewhere else. While drenching the mound does have more success, you can still kill many of the ants if you do a broadcast treatment of the nest.
You should exercise caution as you learn about fire ants and how to treat them. They are more aggressive than your typical ants, and they will hurt you if you are not fast on your feet.
Make sure you purchase granular baits that are specifically designed for fire ants to get the best results.
In many cases, by the time you know they are in your home, they have already caused significant damage. If you own a home, you’d wonder “what do carpenter ants look like?” If so, you need to be aware of how to recognize them, what they can do to your home, and what steps you can take to exterminate them.
How to Recognize Them
They are generally larger than your typical odorous house ants. Odorous house ants are some of the most common ants that invade kitchens. The trail in your kitchen, find your dirty dishes, and basically try to take over your home.
If you are seeing hundreds or thousands of ants trailing into your kitchen, you are probably not dealing with carpenter ants.
They are not always huge, but some ants are big. If you are seeing large black ants crawling around your home, then you are dealing with carpenter ants. When I say large, I mean big! The largest ants are unmistakable for anything else.
They may be in any room in your house. You may see them in the living room and the bedroom. They could be in the garage or the shower. If the ants are slightly larger than most ants, and they aren’t just hanging out in the kitchen, then they could these dreaded wood destroying ants.
Do you have a woodpile near your house? Is it sitting against the house? You need to move it away immediately if it is sitting right next to your house.
This is a place where you will always find these huge ants because they like nesting in wood. If you don’t find ants in the woodpile, you may find termites. If you have a woodpile anywhere in the yard, go back to the pile and start pulling it apart.
There is a very good chance you will find ants that can damage your home within the woodpile.
How Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home
Carpenter ants damage your home differently than termites. Many people confuse carpenter ants and termites. Termites literally eat away your home. Carpenter ants damage structures by nesting in the structure.
They tunnel out the wood in your home so they can nest and reproduce. They prefer to nest in dead but damp wood. They may swarm in a crawl space and appear inside the home.
They can appear in any home, but they are more likely to build nests in a damp crawl space or in homes built deep in the woods.
How to Exterminate Carpenter Ants
Treat the perimeter of the home with bait or Termidor. Clean your gutters out so that water isn’t running against the side of the house during a major rainstorm. Try to find the nest.
If you can find the nest, the nest should be thoroughly treated with carpenter ant bait or some other approved bait or pesticide.
Make sure you complete a very thorough treatment to get rid of the carpenter ants completely.
Fire ants in house are some of the most destructive insects on the planet. If you live in Canada or some other cold weather climate, you probably don’t have anything to worry about, but much of the United States is now dealing with them.
There are four species of fire ants in the United States, but the red imported fire ant is the most common species seen in the southeastern United States today. They are taking over the other species native to the United States, and they are interbreeding with the black imported fire ants too.
As time marches on, these ants are spreading throughout the southern and southeastern United States. They have spread as far north as Maryland and as far west as California. The biggest issue for humans is that they can bite you and cause a painful sting.
This is why they are known as fire ants. They also cause substantial crop losses and livestock losses. They are estimated to cost over $750 million dollars in damage annually, and it does not appear that this is going to change any time soon.
When the ants bite you, they release venom that some people are allergic to. While most people react normally to the bites, other people need to be much more careful. If you step into one of their mounds, you could get bites all over your legs.
These bites can become scars if the bites become infected. Everyone reacts differently to the bites, but these ants cause more problems for humans than your typical odorous house ants or even carpenter ants.
They are much more aggressive than your typical ants. If you see a mound sitting on the side of the road or in your own backyard, it is best to leave it alone if you don’t know what you are doing.
You will need to have specialized treatment products to successfully eradicate fire ants. Once you have the equipment and products you need to eliminate an infestation, then you can begin the process of exterminating the colony.
Many people have trouble identifying fire ants from other traditional ants. It is important you know for sure what types of ants you are dealing with.
If you find an ant mound in your yard, take a branch and disturb the dirt at the top of the mound. Stick the branch inside the mound and move away fast.
Traditional ants will scurry around to protect the queen, but aggressive fire ants will climb up the branch to attack it as they perceive it as a threat to the colony.
Fire ants have been known to eat small animals like mice and snakes and turtles. They love other plants, and they aggressively devour other crops too. This is one of the reasons why they are such a big problem for many homeowners and farmers today.
As soon as you realize that they are located in your yard, farm, or even inside your home, you should immediately take steps to eradicate the colony by purchasing products that are designed to exterminate fire ants.
To identify termites vs ants can sometimes be very hard for the average person. They are often mixed with ants. Termites live in large family units with between several hundred and several million family members. They work together in an organized system to find food sources.
Formosan termite identification can be done by looking at the colors on them because unlike the others they are a yellowish-brown.
They usually come out after the sun has set, and usually on warm and humid evenings in the months from April to July.
The Formosan termite colonies can be as large as 300 square feet and have no problems digging through the soil as well as eating your wood.
The LSU Agricultural Center has maintained records of the daily flights and records of how many of the termites in the process were caught in light traps in New Orleans since 1989.
These critters usually go after old tree stumps, poles, or other wood structures in contact with the dirt. They have even constructed galleries to second stories in buildings in order to feed on the wood.
The termite identification is easiest to see when they are in their swarming and or mating flight, though believe it or not they tend to cause more damage during the times after the swarm is over.
The Drywood termite must be identified in a different way. They are seen on most continents in the world and differ from subterranean termites in their appearance mostly due to their color difference.
Drywood termite swarmers look red and have black or dark brown wings. They are most commonly confused by people with the carpenter ant.
Wood termites can also thrive in dead branches or logs. Though once most of the deadwood has been eaten, the termites will either move onto greener pastures (more wood) or the colony will die.
How Termite Baits Work
People use impregnated wood slabs with toxic chemicals and set them out to control termite foragers. The termite will feed on the bait and bring it back to the nest. They then share the toxic chemical with other termites in the colony, and eventually the king and queen if all things go as planned.
For the termite, wood is a precious commodity because without this source they would have no place to live, eat or thrive. So they will live off of your deck, tree stumps, fencing or other visible food.
The termite is able to digest the wood as food because of they the flagellates for digestion and nutrition. If the termite did not have the flagellates in their body or stomach passage, the termite could still eat wood but it would slowly die in the process.
The termite is an active forest preserver because they eat dead wood and digest it into new soil making for new growth in the forest where they live.
Both carpenter ants vs termites can do damage to your furniture and home. Identifying which is which however is important for you to get the right help and treatment.
Not everyone knows what a subterranean termite looks like but it is important to know exactly what they look like because they can cause serious damage to your home. There are many different species of termites that may further muddle your idea of how a termite looks like.
Subterranean termites, however, are the most common species found in homes. They usually feed on wood and paper-based products and to the unaware, every termite looks like it can harm your precious library or furniture. Your major concern, however, should be the worker termites.
A termite colony can be composed of several groups: soldier termites, swarmers or reproductives and worker termites. Not every termite looks like a grain of rice but a lot of them do.
Soldiers, however, have mandibles while reproductives have wings. The worker termite looks like a reproductive but is smaller and has no wings. They are the most numerous in a colony and are the main wood eaters.
Swarmer Ants and Termites
The presence of swarmer termites is usually one of the first signs that there may be a termite infestation in your home. This is because swarmers are the ones who propagate termite colonies. Some think that a swarmer termite looks like a flying ant. The truth is that there are major differences.
An ant’s body is composed of a head, a slim abdomen, and a thorax. A termite looks like it only has a head and a straight body.
As far as looks are concerned, both termites and ants share the same number of wings: four. Ants, however, have longer front than rear wings and have apparent vein marks. Termites have four wings of equal length that are far longer than the body and do not have vein marks.
Ants also have slightly bent antennae that may end in some sort of a small club. Termites, on the other hand, have beaded antennae that do not bend and have no club-like ends and point away from the body.
Where Swarmers Stay
There is no need for much concern if you find swarmers outside your house. These swarmers may just possibly be blown with the wind. Swarmers are also not the main termite wood eaters.
You should be a little concerned though if you notice a number of swarmer ants flying away from your house and from cracks, windows and woodwork. You may have some form of termite infestation.
Termites are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Extensive infestations may not be effectively and safely treated by just gas or ordinary insect spray.
You may have to ask for some expert help. Experts may use chemical treatment in which termiticide is applied on wood and other house areas to prevent termites from invading the house structure.
The baiting technique may also be used in which chemicals are spread throughout the colony through wood baits carrying chemicals.
Odorous ants can contaminate food, leave your yard with unsightly mounds, and cause damage to the structure of your home by hollowing out the wood in the walls.
On top of those things, they can be just plain downright pests that are seemingly impossible to get rid of because of their reproductive abilities and tendencies to abandon an area when threatened.
The odorous house ant has become one of the most common of the problem ants in the country today. The ant itself is dark in color; around 1/8 inches long, and forms a very distinct and original path on the outdoor and indoor walls and other surfaces of the house.
When you look at the odorous house ant, you may be fooled as to what type of ant it is; many people around the country identify the ant as the pavement ant. The problem with this identification is that the pavement ant is easily eradicated and the odorous house ant is not.
The best way to avoid this problem is to squish the ant under your finger and then see if there is the odor of bad coconut or pine; this simple test will tell you if you are dealing with odorous house ants or pavement ants.
The odorous house ant will nest just about anywhere, both outdoors and in. You can find these locations under sidewalks, in flowerpots, in the walls of your home, and they have even been found in potted plants that are inside the home.
These ants are quite mobile and move from place to place quite easily; they will move if disturbed or do not have enough moisture nearby. Another challenge with the odorous house ants is that the colonies have more than one queen.
Most of the time when they move from place to place, the colony will split up, making the nests and the root of the infestation that much harder to locate.
When you realize that you have a problem with this type of ant, it is time to take quick action if any chance of destroying the colony without professional intervention is expected. The first thing that you should do is remove the available food supplies on the inside of the home.
Make sure that the kitchen counter is clean before you retire for the night, and make sure you leave no dirty dishes in the sink since this also attracts them in large numbers. consequences.
Next, you will want to get some bait that you can place both on the inside and outside of your house, preferably in high traffic areas so there is a chance of the poisons being passed back to the queens.
If none of these measures seem to do the trick, it is time to call a professional exterminator. Pest control experts see this species of an ant as a real challenge, but their experience is usually more than enough to tip the odds in their favor.
In the United States, there are a number of ant species known, some of which are fire ants, carpenter ants, and argentine ants. All of the species of ants are dealt with in the same process of ant control in order to get rid of them, but except for one; the carpenter ants.
In order to find food and water, ants compose themselves into colonies and search for resources. Colonies have scouts to leave a trail of scent for them to follow on their way home.
Some species of ants establish subcolonies right next to the resources they have found and they will bring out queens to make new colonies that are independent.
One good way of pest control would be through sealing any entrance made by these ants to your home sweet home.
There are ways to make an ant unwilling to cross borders; there are several factors that would discourage ants to cross like sticky substances as Vaseline, cinnamon, boric acid, and chili powder. By blocking the entrance of their home and any trail of entrance with these substances, ants will not be able to gather resources.
Number 2 lists the elimination of these ants’ scent trail. Prevent the scout to report back to colony of a found resource. You can either kill the scouts or wipe out the trail.
Locate the resource that they have found and wipe back from the source up to the trail entrance with a sponge with soapy water. They will be back to search again for the resource but if you keep on erasing the trail, the ants will give up within a week of trying.
And last but not the least, the 3rd way would be the elimination of their food source. Scouts are sent to search for resources such as food and water. In due time, these scouts will locate every food in your home but will ignore some of it.
That does not mean that they will not eat it, it may not be of their interest now, but other colony in some other time might be interested in that food.
To disable them from locating and getting their resources, put your foods into containers that are tightly sealed and place them in a refrigerator.
Clean every inch of the floors, cabinets, tables, and drawers to remove stains and crumbs or any leftover food. Above all else keep all your counters and sinks dry so that ants will not have any source of water, and eventually discouraged.
If the food from your pet bowl is the source found by the ants, you can simply create a barrier around the bowl by placing the bowl into a pan with soapy water so that the ants will not be able to cross over.
If the given procedures still won’t work, then give any pest management service provider or pest service a ring. By doing so, your pest problems will be history.
While most ants are just a nuisance, one kind of ant in the South known as the red fire ants are a very aggressive ant, whose sting can cause reactions ranging from mild irritation to nausea, or even something worse.
Fire ants generally swarm and become aggressive when their mounds are disturbed and will sting and bite the invader repeatedly.
Red fire ants can also cause damages to buildings and other structures since the mounds which they build can sometimes block, or corrode some kinds of structures, say an air conditioning unit, for example.
Little red ants are known as leaf cutter ants typically invade a vegetable garden by the thousands, and, while not as aggressive as fire ants, they can do away with your plants in no time.
The Florida carpenter ant, a red and black flying ant is very common, and like termites, they prefer decaying wood in order to make their nests.
They usually grow to up to 1/4 of an inch long, and they produce winged adults once a year to swarm and find new habitats.
There a quite a lot of methods you can employ to be rid of ants, and the best choices start with organic ant control.
A good way to kill ants is to drown them with boiling water, approximately three gallons of it for each mound. In order to repel any remaining survivors, blend citrus peels and water in a blender and pour it on the mound directly or on places frequented by ants.
Other effective and simple ant control methods include mixing sugar and borax and leaving them at strategic places all around your garden or yard.
The ants will become attracted by the sugar and they will bring it to their colony, where the borax will poison them in a day or two.
Another technique is to leave a trail of instant grits or cream of wheat, which will expand from within the ants once consumed, killing them indefinitely.
Another good method of ant control is to plant mint. Mint acts as a natural deterrent towards ants and some other insect pests, however, mint tends to be a very invasive plant.
If you do not want to risk a garden being overrun with a mind, brew a very strong mint tea from mint leaves and pour it directly on the mound.
If it is difficult to rid your property of the ants, then you should probably contact a pest control company and deal with it via chemical insecticides instead.
You should take note that ants are hardy creatures, and it might take more than just one application to get rid of them for good.
Don’t forget that you can always contact a professional pest control company when things get a little too out of hand.
Drione Dust works even faster than boric acid. It is more expensive, but if time is of the essence, then this is a great way to go. Although the chemical make-up is totally unique, what kills ants with it acts like boric acid, only faster.
Often, the killing of the entire colony is the end result of using this powered product if it is introduced directly into the colony nest site.
This is not necessarily a product that would be carried back to the colony such as with boric acid-based powders. It may be prudent to use both, in combination, using a boric acid-based ant bait, to eliminate the queen ant and thus the entire colony especially if the colony nest cannot be located.
First, find out how the ants are entering the home or if the ants have created a home within a wall or other area of the house. Literally take the time to watch the ants for whatever period of time it takes to determine where the ants have made their entrance to the home or created a colony.
You must find their nesting site or the few ants you kill will not stop them.
The best time, or the easiest time, to find them heading for home is at dusk. Lots of ants have activity during the day with scouts and workers looking for food.
Some of these little creatures will head for home when the sun is going down and shortly afterward with some species, such as carpenter ants, remaining active for hours after sunset.
Some just seem to be active all the time. You must find the home of the ants and then introduce the dust to their nest if you expect the drione dust to totally eradicate the colony.
This introduction will destroy their working environment and eliminate the ant colony. By killing off the worker ants the colonies’ ability to survive, due to the lack of food, is greatly diminished.
If you find the ants entrances to their nest site and introduce the powder, the colonies’ days are numbered. As a matter of fact, you will be able to watch the ants evacuate the area only to die once they have been infected with the dust.
This dust is so toxic to an ant that they will literally run for their lives seconds after its introduction into their home. This is a very comforting sight when attempting to eradicate ants on your own.
Items you will need:
- Powder or dust pump (hand duster)
- Drione Dust
- Wear long-sleeve shirts
- Full pants
- Eye Protection
What to expect:
- The ants to die Note: Re-apply if there is activity after the first day and every day until there is no activity (If this is the case continue looking for a separate colony due to the fact that the one that is being treated could be just a satellite and not the main colony).
- Total eradication of the ants.
Although sometimes this product may not be very easy to find, it is one of the most effective ant treatments available without the need for a license to purchase the product.