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Tips to prevent crazy ants from gaining access to a structure

Tips to prevent crazy ants from gaining access to a structure:

Fire ants have long been a threat in the southern United States, but another aggressive ant species known as the tawny crazy ant is taking over in many areas of the region. These ants can invade structures in extraordinary numbers and Hulett Environmental a pest management company servicing South Florida , is advising homeowners to take preventative steps to protect their properties from infestations.

Unlike fire ants, crazy ants don’t sting, but they can become a nuisance once inside. They are highly adaptable, nest everywhere and are even known to damage electrical equipment, so it is important for homeowners to take steps to curb their activity.”

Crazy ants enter homes in the autumn or after rainfall because both conditions reduce their supply of honeydew. Once inside, crazy ants usually nest underneath floors or in wall voids. Outdoors, their nests are commonly found in soil under objects or next to foundations.

To prevent crazy ants from gaining access to a structure, we recommend the following tips:

  • Trim vegetation away from the home to prevent pathways inside.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including around doors and windows.
  • Clean up food spills and other potential attractants as soon as possible.
  • If an infestation is suspected, contact a licensed pest professional to treat the problem.
Appearance

Caribbean Crazy ants are golden-brown to reddish-brown in color, and are covered with dense hairs. After feeding, their abdomen will appear to be striped due to the stretching of the light colored membrane that connects the segments of the abdomen.

Size

Range from 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch in length.

Behavior

The Caribbean Crazy ant will scavenge for a wide variety of solid and liquid foods, such as seeds, fruits, garbage, honeydew, and practically any household food. They are also predatory and will attack other insects. Although they are called crazy ants, Caribbean Crazy ants actually follow very tight trails, which can be deceiving at first. Caribbean Crazy ants have rather large trails up to 3 or 4 inches in width and are very fast moving ants.

Habitat

In the last few years, most of the reports of Caribbean Crazy ant infestations have come from pest control operators in and around South Florida. Trails consisting of thousands of Caribbean Crazy ants have been observed along sidewalks, buildings, and gardens.

Interesting Facts

Reports of this ant in South Florida date back to the mid 1950s, but infestations were uncommon until the late 1990s. However, Caribbean Crazy ants have become a severe problem in South Florida recently. They can be very difficult to control because of their extremely large numbers.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this ant may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

Florida Rodent Control Experts

Every year, rodents gain access to homes, causing property damage, contaminating food sources, triggering allergies and, in some cases, causing illness/disease. It is estimated that rodents infest approximately 21 million homes in the United States, each year, when the cold weather forces these pests to seek refuge indoors.

Florida Pest Control

There are several signs a rodent may have taken up residence in a home, including chewed door frames or furniture legs; small, dark-colored droppings; gnawed food boxes that are stored in pantries or cupboards; oily marks along walls, which are caused by rodents’ habitual use of the same paths; and sounds of movement in pantries, ceilings and behind walls.

The most common type of rodent across the world is the house mouse. A nocturnal animal, the house mouse can gain entry to buildings and homes through openings as small as one-quarter inch. Another common rodent is the Norway rat.  Also known as the sewer rat, this rodent is found throughout the United States and can measure up to 16 inches in length, including the tail, and weigh just under a pound.

What are some precautions that homeowners can take to help prevent rodents from coming indoors?

There are a number of pest-proofing measures that homeowners can take to protect their home and families from the threats posed by rodents.

  • Store boxes and containers off the floor and organize items often to prevent rodents from residing in undisturbed areas.
  • Seal cracks and holes, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  • Store food in thick metal or plastic containers with tight lids.
  • Clean up spilled food right away immediately and wash dishes and cooking utensils soon after use.
  • Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean.
  • Do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight.
  • Keep bird feeders away from the house and use squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder by squirrels and other rodents.
  • Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid and keep sealed at all times.
  • Keep grains and animal feed in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids. In the evening, return uneaten animal feed to containers with lids.
  • If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of a rodent infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.