Tawny crazy ants are an invasive species, displacing even the intensely aggressive fire ant. Colonies have multiple queens, and typically extend to interconnected satellite nests. They will always build nests near moisture, and also prefer already-existing holes. Their nests are extremely temporary, and they will move the nest at any sign of disaster or large threat. Tawny crazy ant nests have been found in potted plants, stumps, and in random piles of debris.
They are both predators and scavengers, capable of eating a wide variety of food sources. They prefer honeydew produced by aphids, but they will scavenge and swarm almost anything, including small live animals.
Problems With Tawny Crazy Ants
Tawny Crazy Ants are an invasive, environmentally-destructive species. Some of their dangers include:
- Their large swarms displace native ant species, disturbing other animals that eat the native ants.
- The scavenging and scouting behavior of tawny crazy ants frequently leads them into human dwellings, where these ants can begin to become a huge nuisance. If even a single nest is established indoors, a mega-colony can develop within months.
- Tawny ants are drawn to electrical equipment in a truly bizarre way; scientists don’t understand their attraction or continual behavior.
- They have been found in televisions, stereos, the backs of computers, and other appliances. They don’t just nest in electrical equipment—they chew through insulated wires, causing electrical shorts.
Prevention of Tawny Crazy Ants
Extermination of a tawny crazy ant infestation is complex and very difficult, and prevention is really important. Proper food storage and controlling garbage areas can help prevent an infestation, and reducing clutter, eliminating standing water, and trimming plants away from the house can all help as well. All cracks in foundation walls, slabs, window, and doors should be sealed. A professional should always exterminate a colony discovered outdoors as soon as possible. Tawny crazy ants, if given the chance, can spread very quickly.
Exterminating Tawny Crazy Ants
Whether outdoors or indoors, tawny crazy ants can cause significant damage as they build their nests. Once they gain access to a structure, the damage is nearly uncontrollable. A professional needs to be called as soon as a nest is found outside, before the tawny crazy ant colony can move inside. This species is difficult to deal with, and extensive knowledge of the tawny crazy ant is necessary for a successful extermination.