In the Yard: Crazy ants

Rapsberry Crazy Ant (Source: Texas A&M University) (Advocate graphic) Show caption
Rapsberry Crazy Ant (Source: Texas A&M University) (Advocate graphic)

Their name sounds a little alarming, but the “crazy ants” recently spotted here don’t sting, and most people don’t feel their bite.

Called the tawny crazy ant or the rasberry crazy ant, the tiny reddish-brown ants do run around in a crazy manner, according to the LSU AgCenter.

The AgCenter’s entomologist Gregg Henderson and research associate Victoria Bayless say in a news release that crazy ants came to the U.S. in the 1950s and are now found in Scotlandville, Baker and Central.

The ants build huge populations, with multiple nests and queens outside, but also may come inside. Outside, the ants colonize along the edges of sidewalks or structures, Henderson says.

If sprayed the ants “die in huge numbers, looking like someone spilled coffee grounds,” he says.

The state Department of Agriculture and Forestry has allowed for a “special needs” treatment for the ants, using an insecticide called Termidor, with the active ingredient fipronil, Henderson says. Regulations prohibit the sale of the pesticide in retail stores to homeowners, but it can be found online, he says. Carefully follow the instructions before applying.

Ellyn Couvillion

ecouvillion@theadvocate.com