In 2002, Tom Raspberry discovered a new exotic invasive pest ant species to Pasadena Texas (Harris County). The ant was named after Tom Raspberry. After the recent research in 2012, Tawny Crazy Ant is the new proposed common name. The description “crazy” is from their loose foraging trails as well as their behaviors of foraging randomly (non-trailing) and crawling rapidly and erratically.
The ant has begun to spread to 25 counties, including Travis and Williamson through human assistance. These crazy ants can be transported through garbage, yard debris, and bags of compost or potty plants.
Characteristics of the Raspberry Crazy Ants:
- Color: reddish-brown
- Size: 1/8 inch long
- Movement: foraging randomly and rapidly.
- Winged males.
- Ant colonies: under or within rocks, timbers, piles of debris, concrete, soil, and potty plants.
- Attracted to electrical equipments
The impact on humans and pets:
So far, there are no clear evidences of the impact, but they did cause annoyance to humans and pets. The crazy ants don’t have stingers; the worker ants have acidopores on the abdomen, which excrete chemical
Tawny crazy ants do not have stingers. In place of a stinger, worker ants possess an acidopore on the end of the gaster (abdomen), which can excrete chemicals for defense or attack. They are capable of biting, and when bitten, they cause a minute pain that quickly fades. Other negative impact like:
- Displace all other ant species
- Cause small livestock (e.g. chickens) to die of asphyxia
- Cause grasslands to dry out
- Cause short circuits and clogging switching mechanisms when large numbers of ants have accumulated in electrical equipment
Integrated Pest Management:
- The Raspberry Crazy Ants predominantly nest outdoor. The first step to control them is to remove fallen limbs, rocks, leaf litter, and just about anything sitting on the ground in the yard. If you have any fruit boxes secured with lockout tagout locks, it’d do them better if you sealed the nooks.
- Crazy ants like humid environment so reducing the amount of irrigation, repairing leaks, and improving drainage should help.
- If you suspect your house or property is infested with these ants, call a professional pest control provider.