The “Rasberry Crazy Ant”, Nylanderia fulva, is an invasive species from South America. It was first discovered near Houston, Texas by an exterminator, Tom Rasberry. The ant was a pest not seen before and difficult to exterminate. The species could not be immediately identified, so it was dubbed the “Rasberry Crazy Ant” after its discoverer. It is also known by the name “Tawny Crazy Ant” which can create some confusion.Nylanderia fulva has spread out of Texas, across the Gulf Coast of the United States and is expected to persist in the warmer areas of the Southeastern US. Crazy ant infestations have now been confirmed in Albany, GA. How far north it will spread is not known. The crazy ants are aggressive and displace other species (See Video), including the invasive red imported fire ant. The red imported fire ant rarely invades homes. Crazy ants are attracted to homes. They are especially attracted to the warmth generated by electrical equipment and invade light fixtures, electrical breakers, computers, handheld devices, &c. Once in the device they can cause short circuits that destroy the electronics.
Crazy ant populations can grow quickly and overrun an area. Entomologists have reported populations of crazy ants so high that their feet and car tires were covered with ants within minutes of visiting an infested property. In some cases, renters have moved because the ants could not be controlled. Unlike the fire ants, crazy ants do not sting, but will spray formic acid if disturbed. The primary problem with crazy ants are the large populations that can overrun human habitations, irritate the occupants (drive them crazy) and damage equipment. Entomologists are studying the pest to find the best ways to manage crazy ants and provide relief from these new invaders.