Trying to get rid of ants in your home?
Home invasive ants or “crazy ants” as they are termed are moving across the southeastern United States rapidly replacing the common fire ant as the most invasive. The common fire ant is known to reproduce and make large mounds in your yard but they usually do not invade homes. The crazy ants, however, will go everywhere, most especially inside your home. They are opportunistic nesters and will nest in the first place that is conducive to their survival. Crazy ants invade your home’s walls and crawl spaces. In fact, they reproduce rapidly and usually cause damage to electrical equipment. Although crazy ants do not sting, they are so pervasive that management of home invasions can be costly.
The home invasive ant has replaced the fire ant in some of the Texas Gulf Coast areas. In fact, the home invasive ant has become ecologically dominant by reducing the number and diversity of the ant and arthropod species. In fact due to their omnivorous nature, crazy ants are known to prey on other ant and arthropod species. Even in areas where the crazy ants are not abundant, they have diminished the native ant species. Unfortunately the home invasive ants do not consume typical ant baits and their super colony can take the area over at a later time.
First discovered in 2002, home invasive ants were found in Houston, Texas and have since been found in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana in primarily wet environments that have milder winters. As a result of much research, home invasive ants have been identified as a species of ants call Nylanderia fulva that originated in Argentina and Brazil. It is believed that the crazy ants were transported from Argentina and Brazil to the Texas Gulf Coast as a result of human movement. In fact, the reproductive members of the population are unable to fly. The crazy ant colony is only able to move a little over two hundred meters per year unless they are transported by human. The most common is by plant and garden nurseries transplanting and shipping out potted plants.
The home invasive ants’ natural predators that exist in Argentina and Brazil are not evident in the southeastern United States; thus, they are changing the food pyramid drastically. At this point, it is unknown as to whether or not the home invasive ants are able to live in a variety of environments. So far, it is suggested that they are not suitable for dry and cold climates.