How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants: Detailed Identification & Removal Guide

Hi, guys! This is Nicholas Martin back here! Today I want to tell you about one of the most dreaded types of insect intruders sprawling across the southeastern American states – Rasberry crazy ants. If you are not from Florida or Texas, there is a good chance you have never encountered one of those in your entire life. Well, consider yourself lucky.

This post will be helpful for people who have to live side-by-side with these nasty little invaders and fight a daily battle for territory and dominance. Learn what crazy ant killer strategies exist and how to prevent these creepy-crawlies from taking over your home, car, and whatever possessions you have.

How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants
  1. Place granular baits for ants.
  2. Spray ant sprays. These spays do not eradicate the nest; they are toxic and only effective short-term.
  3. Use gel ant traps that combine slow-acting poison with tempting food bait.
  4. Purchase diatomaceous earth powder. This is a 100% natural remedy against crazy indoor ants.

A Quick Guide on Crazy Ants: Everything You Need to Know to Fight Them

These insects are smart, agile, well-organized, and determined to survive and thrive no matter what. By the time you spot one, there are likely to be millions more spread around your property, so you have to act fast to eliminate ant infestation and kick the trespassers out.

What Are Crazy Ants?


Rasberry crazy ants, named so after the exterminator who discovered the species in 2002, are referred to as “crazy” for their chaotic movements. Adult members are around 3mm long and can vary in color from tawny pests in Texas to black crazy ants in Florida. Compared to other types of ants populating the southeastern regions of the USA, crazy ants have much longer legs and horns, dense-haired bodies, and no stinger. An average crazy ant has a lifespan of 76-84 days.

The relatively new species is famous for its peculiar frantic behavior, the ability to reproduce at a head-spinning rate, and its odd fondness of electrical devices. The latter characteristic has made these pests especially unwelcome, as the estimated electrical damage caused by their activities across the US amounts to $146 million annually.

When an electric shock kills a crazy ant, its body releases a specific pheromone, signaling to the rest of their colony that one of theirs has been attacked. And so, they rush for help just to end up being electrocuted themselves. The more of them die, the more come to rescue. At some point, a short circuit of the wiring seems inevitable.

Where Do Crazy Ants Live?

tawny crazy ant

One of the reasons why these pests are tenacious of life is their fantastic adaptability. These little fellows are capable of adjusting to almost any habitat. On warm and sunny days, they are perfectly happy to stroll around the yard rubbish, tree cavities, mulch, dead leaves, rocky walls, and potted plants. However, as soon as the weather changes, the ants move into houses and garages where they have enough food to survive the cold.

Crazy Ant Treatment and Removal Strategies

Even though they are killed without much effort, total elimination is not as easy as with other pests. This is mainly because of the enormous size of their super-colonies, their erratic movement patterns, and the fact that they can live and prosper both inside your house and outside of it.

How to Track Down Crazy Ants?

Before choosing a proper treatment method, you will need to assess how big and far gone the problem is. Start by locating their nesting sites in the house and the entry points through which they get inside. Use maple syrup, peanut butter, or sugared water to bait the ants and trick them into forming a visible line.

When you know where they live and how they get inside, you can begin to act. Remember to seal all the entry points that you can find to prevent new ants from accessing your house and another re-infestation from the outbreak after you have eradicated the ones living inside.

How to Kill Crazy Ants?

rasberry crazy ant

The most successful rasberry ants extermination options include the use of granular ant baits, ant killer powders, gel traps, and insecticide sprays.

Granular ant baits can be used indoors and outdoors and are best applied in late winter or early spring when the ants are active, but their number is yet low, and their usual food is scarce.

Ant sprays can be used inside your house to kill the ants that you spot. Alternatively, sprays can be applied on the outside walls of the house and on the ground to stop the pests from getting inside. These spays do not eradicate the nest; they are toxic and only effective short-term.

Ant gel traps that combine a slow-acting poison with some enticing food bait are perfect for indoors and outdoors. They are harmless for kids and pets and can eliminate the entire crazy ant problem eventually as these little pests gladly take the gel to the nest with them, poisoning the others.

Related Post: Terro Liquid Ant Baits Review.

The diatomaceous earth powder is a 100% natural treatment against crazy ants living indoors. It is eco-friendly and safe for children and house pets. Spread it by hand where you have seen the pests, or use it as a barrier at possible entry points. You can also try it outdoors, but do not forget to re-apply the powder, especially after it has rained hard.


yellow crazy ants

Do Crazy Ants Bite?

These ants do not have a stinger, but they can bite in self-defense. Their bites can cause a little pain as there is formic acid being injected, but the sensation quickly disappears.

How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants Naturally?

  • Do not leave any food and water sources in plain sight;
  • Try to locate and close off any entries to the house they may use;
  • Clear the yard of any debris that may shelter the ants;
  • Use a water-vinegar solution as a deterrent. Apply it on the floor, widow-sills, doorways, etc. The ants hate the smell of vinegar.

How to Prevent Crazy Ants?

Start by adopting a more meticulous housekeeping routine: clean the cooking surfaces with a water-vinegar mix, cleanse the dishes immediately after you have finished dining, swipe the floor a few times a day.

Also, do not let garbage pile up in the yard. Remove any rotting dead leaves and fallen branches that the ants can use to build a house for themselves.

How to Get Rid of Crazy Ants in My Car?

Crazy ants in the car! Can it get any crazier? Clean the car from the inside and remove any food, then vacuum the surfaces to make sure there are no crumbs left for the ants to snack on.

Treat the tires with a home-made deterrent or a commercial pesticide. Try not to park your car where there is likely to be a crazy ant nest around. Use non-chemical ant traps inside the cabin.

Also read:

Know When It Is Time to Get Professional Help

While all of the above tips and methods are effective, there can be situations where you cannot handle the problem on your own. For the most neglected cases of ant infestation, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional exterminator. They will know what to do to keep you and your house safe and ant-free.

Have you ever had to deal with crazy ants that occupied your yard or house? Which elimination strategies and products did you use? Were they helpful? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section!


  • Crazy Ants (The University of Texas at Austin):
  • Ants (University of Minnesota Extension):


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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