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Pest Guide > Ants > Caribbean Crazy Ant

Caribbean Crazy Ant

Paratrechina pubens

Over the last few years reports have escalated of a golden-brown to reddish-brown "crazy ant" infesting properties in and around several cities in Florida. Thick foraging trails with thousands of ants occur along sidewalks, around buildings, and on trees and shrubs. Pest control operators using liquid and/or granular broad-range insecticides appear unable to control this nuisance ant.

Color: Golden-brown to reddish-brown
Legs: 6
Shape: One node segment; uneven thorax
Size: 1/16 to 1/8th inch long
Antennae: Yes

Habits

Caribbean Crazy ants are part of a group of ants referred to as "crazy ants" due to their quick and erratic movements. Trails were not observed on a cold morning (approximately 48°F), but as the temperature increased (60°F), ants foraged from nest sites. Although thick trails were seen along sidewalks, trees, shrubs, and structures, no feeding activity was observed. It is assumed that as other Crazy ant species, Caribbean Crazy ants will scavenge for food, feed on dead insects, and tend honeydew producers. Sweet liquid ant bait was fed upon when placed directly on an active trail, but recruitment to the bait was not observed.

Habitat

Ants were observed emerging from soffits, between railroad ties used in landscaping, under wooden debris, underground electrical conduits, and cracks in cement. They will probably nest in numerous locations.

Threats

This ant does not bite or sting, or cause any structural damage, but many homeowners consider it a nuisance due to their trails consisting of thousands of ants that have been observed along sidewalks, buildings, and gardens, causing property owners to complain.

Prevention

Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as Caribbean Crazy Ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.
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