Also known as Tawny Ant and Raspberry Crazy Ant
Scientific Name: Nylanderia fulva
The first case in Louisiana of crazy ants was discovered in Sulphur by Kevin Savoie (owner of Cal-Cam Termite & Pest Control). Crazy ants got their name from their quick and erratic movements. As of 2012, these ants have established colonies in all states of the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Crazy ants are about 0.125 inches long and covered with reddish-brown hairs. When attacked, these ants, like other formicine ants, can bite but not sting, and excrete formic acid through a hairy circle or acidopore on the end of the abdomen, using it as a venom, which causes a minute pain that quickly fades. Formic acid was named after the Latin word formica (ant), because it was first distilled from ants in the 17th century. Uniquely, the crazy ant also uses formic acid as an antidote against the venom of the fire ant.
These ants are not attracted to ordinary ant baits, and are not controlled by over-the-counter pesticides, and are harder to fully exterminate than many other species because their colonies have multiple queens. Cal-Cam Termite & Pest Control uses antitermite agents to control Crazy Ants.
Infestations of Crazy Ants in electrical equipment can cause short circuits, sometimes because the ants chew through insulation. Overheating, corrosion, and mechanical failures also result from accumulations of dead ants and nest detritus in electrical devices. If an ant is electrocuted, it can release an alarm pheromone in dying, which causes other ants to rush over and search for attackers. If a large enough number of ants collects, it may short out systems.