Crazy Ants Paratrechina longicornis
1/8-inch long, with extremely long legs and antennae.
Crazy ants may develop huge colonies containing thousands of workers and
Crazy ants are common in all the Gulf Coast states from Florida to Texas
and can be found in parts of Arizona and in commercial buildings in a few northern cities, such as Philadelphia and
New York. These ants nest outdoors under items on the ground, within landscape mulch, beneath loose bark on trees,
under ground cover, in potted plants, and within piles of items, such as lumber, firewood, or bricks. Nests may
readily be established inside homes in walls, beneath carpeting, and in other suitable voids or spaces.
This species may be difficult to control and does not feed much on ant baits. The keys to control are to find
the colonies and subcolonies and treat them directly. Regular inspections and service are necessary to find and
treat new colonies as they move from neighboring properties. The services of a professional, such as Terminix, are
very helpful when encountering these ants. General tips for limiting ant infestations include:
- Eliminating piles of lumber, bricks or other debris that could serve as a nesting site for ants.
- Keeping landscape mulch less than 2 inches thick and at least 12 inches away from foundations.
- Ensuring the sprinkler system does not spray directly onto the foundation.
- Sealing as many cracks in the home's exterior as possible.
- Keeping tree and shrub branches trimmed to prevent touching the home.
- Considering re-landscaping to avoid using plants that are prone to aphids and similar insects. At the very
least, treat such plants for aphids regularly. A tree/shrub company, such as TruGreen, can be helpful with this
They often form highly concentrated groups to transport large items
such as a caught insect or a piece of food.
Crazy ants do not always respond to commercial ant baits. If your ant baits fail and you have identified the pests
as crazy ants, you should change tactics. In this case a combination of contact insecticides will be needed.
As with other ant species, remove piles of wood, rocks and other debris to discourage nesting sites. Trim
landscaping to keep limbs from touching the outside of homes and eliminate excess moisture by repairing leaky
roofs, hoses and plumbing. Seal any holes or cracks in exterior walls and foundations.