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News Story
Updated: 04/18/2013 08:00:07AM

Are crazy ants driving you crazy?

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY COMMONS WIKIMEDIA.ORG (APRIL NOBILE)

It is believed the most recent immigrant — Nylanderia fulva, the Rasberry crazy ant from South America — is the most common species in our area. The Caribbean crazy ant (pictured), N. pubens (also known as Paratrechia pubens), has been in the state since the early 1950s and is believed to have come from the West Indies. The two species are very similar.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY COMMONS WIKIMEDIA.ORG (APRIL NOBILE)

Paratrechia longicornis, the longhorn or black crazy ant, has extremely long antennae and long legs and is brown-black in color. It is native to Southeast Asia or Melanesia, and is found in Florida.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

Rasberry crazy ants are so numerous, their bodies pile up around buildings and structures. No sooner do you get rid of the first wave, a new batch arrives to take their place.

By KAREN SMOKE

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It is estimated there are over 1,000,000 ants for every person on earth. If you have an infestation of crazy ants, you may have well beyond that number.

There are at least three species of ants commonly called “crazy ants” in Florida and none of them is native. They’re called crazy ants because of their rapid erratic movements. Most don’t form columns to forage like other ant species. Instead their actions are quick and irregular. They seem to come from everywhere at once — and don’t seem to have any destination. Some form loose columns, but ants will be seen scurrying every which way within the rough line. Because they don’t follow regular trails it is difficult to locate their nesting areas.

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