Invasive pest species often cause major issues for home and business owners. Ants may seem like a trivial pest, but Rasberry crazy ants, commonly mispelled as "raspberry crazy ants", and other crazy ant species have baffled pest control experts and homeowners because they are not affected by normal ant control measures. Rasberry crazy ants, also known as tawny crazy ants and hairy crazy ants, have been a problem in Texas since 2002, but also exist in Florida, South Georgia, and Southern Louisiana where they are commonly referred to as Caribbean Crazy Ants. It is crucial to be able to identify and know how to get rid of this invasive ant species.
Rasberry crazy ants are named after the pest control professional in Texas who discovered them, not the fruit. This is not the official name of this ant species, but a colloquial term that has been adopted. The ants are very small, only about 1/8th of an inch long and are golden brown or reddish brown in color. These are different than Yellow Crazy Ants. They have a shiny surface but are covered in hairs. The workers have very long legs and long, twelve segmented antennae. They get the “crazy” part of their name from the erratic, rapid movements they make when foraging or moving from place to place, very unlike the strait, regular trails that most ants make. These ants can be found in huge numbers, into the billions, which is why they cause so many issues. These huge colonies are known to cause power outages by invading power equipment causing short circuits, in addition to invading homes and businesses.
Rasberry crazy ants are separate from other crazy ant species. Regular crazy ants look different than Rasberry crazy ants. Crazy ants are about the same size, but are very dark in color. They have much longer legs and much longer antennae than Rasberry crazy ants and are a bit more widespread. They have much smaller colonies, however. Caribbean crazy ants look very similar to Rasberry crazy ants and are often mistaken for them. However they both may be treated similarly to Rasberry crazy ants.
Thought to have come from South America and transported through shipping, Rasberry crazy ants tend to nest under anything that can retain moisture, like yard litter, stones, logs, debris, and any voids. They do not build mounds or create nests. These ants tend to accumulate near electrical equipment, and the extremely large numbers have been known to cause equipment failure and electrical short outs. They aren’t very picky about what they eat but often “tend” insects that produce honeydew.
Crazy ant species do not respond to normal ant treatments like bait stations. They don’t feed on the bait and don’t seem to be repelled by contact treatments. Since they’re often found outdoors, indoor treatments are ineffective. Follow these steps to get rid of crazy ants: