first appeared in the United States in 2002 but have become more of a menace in the past few years, spreading to many areas of the Gulf Coast, particularly Texas and Florida. The ants are obnoxious because they reproduce in large numbers, sometimes outnumbering all other ants 100 to 1. That is a problem since ecosystems depend on a wide variety of ants to perform different tasks; domination by one species is highly unusual, said Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas. As the ants have advanced into new habitats, they have had the annoying habit of swarming inside electronics, like air conditioners and farm equipment like pumps and occasionally destroying them.
Crazy Ants are always looking for cavities to nest in-unlike most ants, they do not excavate their own holes, and tunnels, beyond minimal expansion, LeBrun said. That is also the reason they move into people’s houses, nesting in any area with protected holes and cavities such as the insides of walls and in basement crawl spaces. Their small size, less than an eighth of an inch in length, allows them to crawl inside cell phones, computers, and appliances. When the Crazy Ant enters these devices, their bodies can create connections between electrical contacts, which can lead the circuits to short out and electrocute the ants. This causes them to release an alarm pheromone, a scent ants use to communicate that they are under attack, attracting ant’s kin to come and fight.
Their sheer abundance also adds to their destructive power. In one case, the ants quickly spread to 90 out of 150 air-conditioning units in an apartment building in Waco, Texas. That infestation took about two months to control.
Pest professionals control ants with a variety of exterior and interior treatments.
InCide® Pest Control Insulation will kill ants upon contact with the insulation and is intended to prevent infestations anywhere the product is applied. InCide® is treated with a highly effective pesticide and fire-retardant. It is highly recommended for use in new construction and retrofit application in attics, sidewalls, and crawl spaces. .
InCide® is certified and approved by the EPA and may only be installed by a licensed pest management company.