All Things Gardening forum: Super fast little ant

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
May 26, 2014 1:43 PM CST
I was out pulling weeds and when I looked down saw what looked like a flowing stream of ants moving at super sonic speed, going in the weirdest pattern of circles an zigs and zags. These were very tiny ants, I actually had to catch one in order to get a good enough look at it to be able to tell it actually was an ant.
I have never noticed anything like it before, anyone familiar with this speed demon. I saw no mounds, I saw nothing in particular they would be feeding on, just the super fast speed is what really attracted me to them. These things would challenge the speed of hummingbird wings with their legs.
edited to say:
I think I found him, Paratrechina longicornis called the "Longhorn Crazy Ant".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longhorn_crazy_ant
[Last edited by Seedfork - May 26, 2014 2:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 26, 2014 4:06 PM CST
Oh dear! Those Crazy Ants/Raspberry Ants have been creating havoc wherever they go. I hope you can get rid of them? They can get into electrical boxes and other electronics and stop them dead cold. We have had warnings in our area that they are traveling in bulk mulch delivery and to avoid bulk deliveries for a time.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
May 26, 2014 7:44 PM CST
ditto -- saw an article in the Reader's Digest about those ants... good luck!

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 27, 2014 9:30 AM CST
Try Terro ant killer/baits/motels, sprinkle used coffee grounds around the area, pour boiling water on them...each depending on where the ants are located.
You could bait them with sugar or honey to a location where you can pour the boiling water on them. (I feel so evil plotting to kill ants.)
We call them crazy ants or sugar ants - they are like ants on speed.

Here is my newest weapon: Splenda. Just sprinkle it, ants think it's sugar, they get a tummy ache and go else where to find better food.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
May 27, 2014 11:32 AM CST
@green,
No, these are not sugar ants, sugar ants are tortoises compared to these little guys. Really, these look like you videoed them and have them in fast play back mode. Sugar ants we have had for ages, I just for the first time ever saw these yesterday. The county extension agent recommended calling a
professional because I would not be able to get chemicals strong enough to kill them all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV87WfhebVQ
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
May 27, 2014 1:55 PM CST
I know they are not sugar ants. I said I call them crazy ants or sugar ants. That's my own name for them.

Here you go. Call a professional and they can apply a termiticide for you.

http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/pdf/RCA_control_fact_sheet.p...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 27, 2014 4:13 PM CST
They are Crazy Ants because they zoom and zig zag everywhere without a trail. Damn things can be destructive in their great numbers! Please do what you can to be rid of them.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
May 27, 2014 4:40 PM CST
@greene,
Sorry I misunderstood, but thanks for the link, informative article.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
May 27, 2014 6:09 PM CST
And from the article that I read in Reader's Digest, they not only run around like crazy, but are attracted to electronics and can wreck stuff in cars or whatever they can get into, because they pack in so tightly that they short things out. And don't seem to be attracted by the normal baits that are used to eliminate ant infestations. Yikes!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 27, 2014 6:50 PM CST
Looks like there is more than one type of these tiny, crazy invaders. It seems both have entered the US through the ports. Both are heading to Alabama.

Longhorn Crazy Ant = Paratrechina longicorni; originated (probably) in Southeast Asia.

This link from a Savannah Newspaper has a video; Tawny Crazy Ant = Nylanderia fulva = Rasberry Crazy Ant; first found by an exterminator whose surname is Rasberry. (What a way to get famous!)
http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2013-09-23/tawny-crazy-an...

This link from BugGuide talks about both types. http://bugguide.net/node/view/250560

Researching this will keep me busy for quite a while! How confusing; the one from Texas is called Rasberry and the one from Asia is called Longhorn, hmmm. I always think of Texas Longhorns. I'm already dyslexic; this is too much for my wee brain.




Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
May 27, 2014 6:56 PM CST
Yes the two different kinds of Crazy Ants had me really confused, I don't know now which one I have, I guess ants are like plants, common names can be confusing.
Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
May 27, 2014 11:54 PM CST
I took my dog for a walk early this evening. I needed to find somewhere to sit before I fell over when I came to an intersection of side streets. There was also a narrow strip of park down the middle of the street. I planned to sit on the curb. With all those curbs, there wasn't one single one that didn't have those crazy ants going like mad for as far down the curb as I walked, which was about half the length of the block. So I could not sit anywhere to rest.

I was only a couple blocks from home, but I live downhill from where I was. I'm much more unsteady without Treasure, especially downhill, so I was surprised to make it down the hill without falling over and rolling down the hill. I thought I'd rest a bit at the end of the hill where there's a church at the corner one block from my house. But those ants were everywhere there as well.

I managed to stumble home with Itty Bitty not wanting to end our walk. After resting a bit, I checked all over my yard for those ants and was relieved there weren't any. However, I think it is only a matter of time before they make it here. There were masses of them. That strip of park has a lot of nut trees and several homes have mulberry trees. I think the ants are gorging on those. Although where I saw mulberries all over the sidewalk, I only saw normal ants. Itty Bitty didn't like walking on the sidewalk where the sidewalk was almost invisible beneath all the ants feasting on mulberries. I didn't like stopping on the corner with all those tiny little psycho ants climbing on my shoes when I checked to make sure it was safe to cross. It feels like the middle of an ant invasion.
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anonymous
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
May 28, 2014 7:04 AM CST
That is one thing that concerns me, walking in the house and bringing those things in with me. I noticed the other day, walking around out in the yard they tended to want to climb up on my shoes.
I called the exterminator, but really, how much chance do we have of getting rid of these things out in the yard? I have oaks all over, now I am thinking of calling a tree trimmer to cut off the limbs overhanging my roof.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
May 28, 2014 7:57 PM CST
Remember the saying about "the meek shall inherit the Earth?" I think they meant those crazy ants! Here, we're calling them Caribbean Crazy Ants because we just like to blame every imported pest on the Caribbean. I don't know what the entomological name of our strain is, but you sure don't want them!

I have two ant bait stations that hold a cup of ant bait each. I think it's called a K&M Ant Pro and they make what they call "gourmet ant bait" for them. So far, they work great on the little black sugar ants we have in fair numbers. Have not yet had the 'big invasion' of crazy ants, but as you say it's probably only a matter of time.

We had a wonderful entomologist we called "Dr. Fred" here at our Extension office until a couple of years ago. He was like a little kid that just loved to talk about bugs, and used to give a terrific ant seminar a couple of times a year. He says some ants will always take sweet bait, and some ants change their diet according to the season. No matter, though, you must find what bait they will take back to the nest to effectively control them. Just killing the trails of ants you see won't work. In fact, as I recall he said that can make matters worse, as the ants then perceive a dangerous area, create a new queen and new nests in another area. It's called 'budding'. Shrug! So don't just spray and pour boiling water to kill the ones you see, Bait! Bait! Bait!

He also said that Terro sweet bait is 'way too strong, the ants die before they can get back to the nest with it. You need to cut it by 4 parts distilled* or bottled water to 1 part Terro so they can survive to get it home. *the ants can taste the chlorine in tap water
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - May 28, 2014 8:08 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
May 28, 2014 8:00 PM CST
@dyzzypyxxy, Thanks for that great advice. Very detailed. Thank You! Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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