Tawny crazy ants Austin
A tawny crazy ant queen and worker. Photo by University of Texas at Austin.
The crazy ant, particularly the tawny or “Rasberry” crazy ant, is one of a growing number of pests in the Central Texas and Austin area. The name Rasberry came from the name of an exterminator who noticed their increasing numbers around the Houston area in 2002.

Since then, the tawny crazy ant has spread throughout the Gulf Coast region and has been confirmed in dozens of Texas counties including: Angelina, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Lavaca, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nueces, Orange, Polk, San Augustine, Travis, Victoria, Walker, Wharton, and Williamson counties.

As you can see, the Austin and Central Texas area is a hot spot for this relatively new invasive species of ant.

Crazy Little Thing Called Bug

The crazy ant got its name from how it looks for food, moving erratically and seemingly without a pattern or trail. Another “crazy” aspect of this ant is that they developed an antidote to the fire ant sting. It is the first known example of one insect having the ability to neutralize another insect’s venom.

In fact, fire ants are actually being displaced in areas by the crazy ant. While for most Texans this sounds like a good thing, crazy ants also cause significant problems. So don’t go welcoming our new insect overlords just yet.

Like other ants, crazy ants can move into electrical equipment, sometimes in such great numbers that they will cause overheating and equipment failures. They do not have stingers, but are capable of biting causing minor pain that quickly fades. There are reports of poultry and livestock being attacked and even killed by crazy ants. Additionally, crazy ants are extremely difficult to treat. It often requires a multi-faceted treatment and sometimes repeated treatments to contain or reduce an infested area.

Crazy Ant Treatment

Ideally an entire infestation and all areas are able to be accessed for full control. These ants do not respond to and are not controlled by currently available consumer sprays or baits. It often requires a combination of professional level baits and sprays to create a “buffer” area free from crazy ants.

Give us a call at 512-443-0123 if you suspect you have crazy ants, or use our online ant treatment quote form for a quick reply.