If you have ever had to deal with an ant infestation, you know what a nuisance the little pests can be. Homeowners in the southern United States are dealing with a species of ant that are one of the hardest to control.
Tawny crazy ants are small ant species that are known for making fast and eratic movements. The little pests reproduce quickly and there can be thousands of workers and hundreds of queens within one single colony. These tiny ants don't bite or sting but they can damage a home pretty quickly and easily. One report shows that the ants on average, cost $146.5 million in residential and commercial damage each year.
The ants usually make their homes within the walls of houses and colonies often create subcolonies and intricate trails and tunnels that connect the main colony to the sub colonies.
"The tawny crazy ant forms extended colonies from many subcolonies connected by trails," said Stoy Hedges, a senior technical professional with Terminix. "Once they find a resource site for food, they continually forage in trails to that site, including into buildings. They are known to be attracted to electrical junctions in HVAC units and cause malfunctions to this expensive equipment."
Large swarms of the ants have been found near NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. but according to NASA Houston Facilities Management and Operations Chief Shelia Powell, they have not done any damage yet.
"We are principally concerned about the possible damage to infrastructure such as electronics, employees' automobiles, and our facilities," Powell said.
According to exterminators and pest control experts, the best way to control these ants is to have annual inspections done on your home and property and to treat the colonies and sub colonies directly to make sure all of the ants are dead and can no longer reproduce or continue to make colonies near or in your home.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.