Crazy ants in the South; are these bugs bugging you?

The Tawny "Crazy ants" Herd
The Tawny "Crazy ants" Herd

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Those pesky little pests known as crazy ants are back. Scientists report this summer they are worse but there are some ways to get the bug to back off.

The Tawny herd is wild, erratic and unstoppable. The ants are commonly known as "crazy ants."

Vice President of Field Operations at Percy Matherne Contractors, Bobby Sheets, says they invaded his office four years ago. "Everything we did to them made it look like it just made them breed instead of go away," Sheets explained.  "They're so hard to get rid of that some people say, 'I want my fire ants back'. It doesn't go away. It's not pest elimination. It's pest control," he added.

Even pest professionals say the ants are impossible to get rid of.

According to Manager of Arrow Pest Control, Jacob Cohn, the Tawny ants were first discovered in Texas in 2002, and they are spreading across the south. "Prairieville, Baton Rouge, Zachary, Baker. We've been seeing these ants all over," Cohn said.

While they don't sting or bite, Cohn says they can cause structural damage. These ants thrive and multiply in moist, wooded areas, cracks, crevices- anywhere they can find shelter. While people have tried to end the pests' existence, they often find they are fighting a losing battle.

Cohn explains there are effective ways to moderately control the crazy ant dilemma, "The most common and effective treatment is called Termidor, which has the active ingredient Fipronil in it," Cohn said. He adds it's a formula commonly used in treating termites and the only sure way to keep them from taking over.

"Right now you're going to see me go three feet up and ten feet out with a broad cast fan spray," Cohn explains about applying the formula. He reports he treats the affected areas once a month. Between appointments, Cohn advises his customers to limit shelter, moisture and food sources, such as honeydew, that attract crazy ants.

"If you have them at your house there's a good chance they're in your subdivision or your next door neighbor has them as well," Cohn says.

Also, Sheets advises to call an exterminator if you find them at your door. "Call the professionals because you can't control them," he said.

Cohn says the Tawny herd begins to disappear when the temperatures drop.

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