Why Do They Call Them Crazy Ants?
August 7, 2018
Living in Florida means that you are surrounded by many species of ants and other pests, who, like us, thrive in the warm, sunny weather that Florida provides. It also means that you aren’t going to come into contact with just one species of crazy ant, but two species: the Caribbean crazy ant and the black crazy ant! In some ways, these ants are very much like other species of ants, invading homes in order to search for food or water sources, but they also have unique behaviors that have the potential to drive you crazy if you allow them to live inside of your home for any period of time!
Caribbean Crazy Ants
Caribbean crazy ants range in color from a golden-brown to a reddish brown color and have a smooth and shiny appearance. The first thing to know about Caribbean crazy ants is that you won’t find them marching in straight military-like lines that you are used to seeing ants travel in; instead, these “crazy” ants move using fast, erratic movements. These ants are particularly problematic because they reproduce very rapidly and invade homes in very large numbers, making them difficult to not only remove from homes but equally as hard to keep out in the future as well. Other behaviors exhibited by Caribbean crazy ants that have the potential to drive you nuts include the fact that will contaminate food sources in your home very quickly because of their large numbers and that they have an affinity for finding their way inside electronics, causing them to short out. Also, Caribbean crazy ants can be aggressive and if they are provoked or feel threatened, they will attack people and pets.
Black Crazy Ants
Black crazy ants are dark brown or black in color, have long antennae, and have much longer legs than ants of similar size. These ants are typically found traveling together in unorganized trails that can reach lengths of more than 100 ft long! As their name suggests, when disturbed, black crazy ants begin to move in an erratic and unorganized manner. Like the Caribbean crazy ants, black crazy ants can invade Florida homes in large numbers, and can quickly contaminate food sources, cause electrical equipment to short out, and can be extremely difficult to eliminate from your home.
Both of the above species of crazy ants are active year-round in Florida; therefore, to prevent these ants from becoming a problem inside your home, homeowners need to be vigilant against these invaders and put into place some prevention measures in and around their homes. Crazy ants are drawn to homes that offer them easy access to food, water, and shelter — eliminating their access from these things can go a long way to preventing problems with these ants in your South Florida home.
Some crazy ant prevention tips include:
- Limit entry points into your home by sealing any cracks or crevices found in the foundation and exterior walls of your home, caulk gaps found around windows and doors, install door sweeps on all exterior doors, place screens in all doors and windows, make sure that vents leading into your home have covers on them, and seal any spaces found around wires, pipes, and other utilities that are entering into your home.
- Limit food sources by keeping locking lids on outdoor garbage cans, keeping grill areas cleaned up and free of food debris, keeping food inside of your home stored in either the refrigerator or inside of containers with airtight lids. Washing all dirty dishes on a regular basis, quickly cleaning up crumbs and spills, and emptying garbage cans on a regular basis can also help deter these crazy ants from invading your home.
- Reduce water sources that can attract ants to your property by repairing leaky faucets, fixtures, or hoses and by making sure that gutters are free of debris and are directing water away from the exterior of your home.
In conjunction with the prevention tips mentioned above, the most reliable way to keep crazy ants from invading your home and driving you crazy is to implement a professional pest control program. At Nozzle Nolen, we can protect your home from being invaded by black crazy ants and Caribbean crazy ants through the implementation of one of our year-round pest protection plans. Professional pest control will provide you with the services needed to completely get rid of a current ant infestation as well as the year-round control needed to prevent a future infestation! To learn more about how we can protect your home and family from the crazy ants found living in South Florida, get in touch with Nozzle Nolen’s ant control professionals today!
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