Terminix: Ants

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October 13, 2013

By

October 13, 2013


Three kinds of animals fight battles in formations: humans, crows and ants. Perhaps that’s why various species of pest ants still hold the title as the No. 1 invader of homes and businesses.

Carpenter, Argentine, fire and pavement ants remain the most widespread pest ants. But during the past 20 years, a number of exotic ant species have become established within the U.S. and are expanding their territories. A number of ant species go by the common term crazy ants and belong to two ant genera, Paratrechina and Nylanderia. Three species are regular structural pests: the common crazy ant, the robust crazy ant and the tawny crazy ant (previously known as the Caribbean or hairy crazy ant).

The tawny crazy ant, found in certain counties in Florida and Texas, might be the most difficult ant to control. Known for their zigzagging, frenzied swarms, tawny crazy ants primarily are spread through shipments of landscape plants, shipping containers and similar goods.

Perimeter treatments to foundations have limited, often short-term effectiveness on these ants. Insecticide granules containing bifenthrin
or fipronil (follow these products’ labels carefully) might provide relief in some cases, but the key is persistence, with frequent service visits employed as necessary.

About the Author

Stoy Hedges, BCE, is an entomologist with Terminix.

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