Have you ever noticed hairy ants moving erratically and rapidly and not following trails as often as other ants? These small insects are called crazy ants. The adult crazy ants are dark brown to black in color and measure approximately 2.2 to 3 mm in length. Their antennae have 12 segments without a club, and are elongated. They also have extremely long legs giving them a very distinct appearance. There is no stinger but the crazy ant may bite an intruder and curve its abdomen forward to inject a formic acid secretion onto the wound.
Nesting spots outdoors include rotten wood, soil, the cavities of trees and plants, trash and under rocks and buildings. Indoors nesting spots may be found in wall voids, under floors, behind baseboards and window frames, near hot water pipes and heaters, in potted plants, and under stored items. Crazy ants cannot survive extremely cold climates and may infest houses and buildings when the weather changes.
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. 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.
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.
Protecting your home against infestations of crazy ants should first start with a thorough inspection from a pest management professional.