LSU AgCenter keeping eye on Crazy Ant population in Sulphur

Sulphur's crazy ants
Crazy Ant (Source: LSU AgCenter)
Crazy Ant (Source: LSU AgCenter)
Dr. Dennis Ring, extension entomologist with the LSU AgCenter
Dr. Dennis Ring, extension entomologist with the LSU AgCenter

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - No one likes having bugs on their property, especially ants but it's the Tawny Crazy Ant that has made its way to parts of Southwest Louisiana and they're driving homeowners … well, crazy.

The Tawny Crazy Ant has made its way to Sulphur and the LSU AgCenter has definitely noticed the pest.

"It's an introduced species, so it's in certain areas and it's being moved by humans so, it's showing up more and more parishes," said Dr. Dennis Ring, extension entomologist with the LSU AgCenter.

Ring, who is based in Baton Rouge, said the ants do bite, but that's not the part that bothers people the most. They can be destructive to property and can even short out electrical devices.

"They do not sting, they do bite. The bite is not supposed to be that bad. The biggest thing is you just have so many ants and they just displace everything in the yard," he said.

The AgCenter started using Termidor and Alpine pesticides to help fight the ants because pesticides that you would normally buy yourself don't seem to do the trick.

"You can use Orthene and you could use a Pyrethroid, it's not going to last very long, they're going to cross it. They're going to cross everything, it's just a matter of time," Ring said.

The use of pesticides is helping to control the Crazy Ant population but it's still a daily struggle.

The numbers of Crazy Ants get so high that homeowners would rather see other kinds of ants lurking in their yards.

"Just unbelievable numbers, millions of ants. They will displace fire ants which is amazing and I'm told that people that have these ants want the fire ants back ... if you can imagine wanting your fire ants back," Ring said.

So, be mindful of the insects on your property.

"It's really, really important to not bring them to your property, so anything that you bring into your property, you need to inspect and make sure you're not bringing those ants in or for that matter any other insect," Ring said.

Ring said that Crazy Ants don't build mounds, but they do live wherever there is a moisture build up.

The ants are about the size of fleas.

For more information on Crazy Ants in Louisiana, click HERE.

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