What are tawny ants? Maybe you’ve heard of them but called by another name: Rasberry crazy ants. These ants are an exotic invasive ant species that was introduced into Texas in 2002. Since then, they’ve been a very big problem for home and business owners across the state. They were first identified in Houston but have spread throughout southeast Texas and into Mississippi, largely thanks to the help of people, who are unknowingly transporting them in their travels.  The problem of tawny ants is getting worse, but there are a few things you can do to help limit them on your property. 

First- do you think you have tawny ants? You can recognize them by a few characteristics: 

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  1. Tawny ants are approximately 1/8 of an inch long.

  2. They are reddish brown and can be found nesting outdoors and foraging for food indoors.

  3. If you look at them very closely, you can see they are covered with many little hairs.

  4. They form loose foraging trails; it kind of looks like they are running all over the place without any organized trail.

  5. You can find tawny ant colonies underneath landscape objects, including rocks, railroad ties and piles of wood or debris. They are also known for accumulating in electrical equipment, causing them to fail. 

If you think you have tawny ants crazy crawling all over your property or they’ve found a way to get inside your home to look for food, you need to find a way to control them. These ants are known for irritating humans (they are known to bite, but their sting is considered less painful than that of the fire ant), irritating pets and livestock and driving out other native ant species (fire ants don’t seem to enjoy the company of tawny ants). But even though they may drive out fire ants, most people would prefer to get those fire ants back. Fire ants don’t invade homes or properties quite the way that tawny ants do and even though the sting of a fire ant is considered worse, tawny ants are considered to be more invasive and more annoying. The bottom line is that tawny ants have surpassed fire ants in the nuisance department and any home or business owners that have an infestation of these ants just want them out! 

Here are a few options for control of tawny ants inside your home:

  • Keep food off your counters. If ants can’t access food, they will be less interested in coming inside your home.

  • Keep your kitchen and other areas where you eat clean. Mop up spills and sweep up crumbs; leave nothing for the ants to eat.

  • Check the exterior of your home for cracks or crevices that may be allowing in ants and other insects.

  • These ants prefer humid and wet conditions, so run your dehumidifier and fix any leaky faucets or pipes. 

Outdoor control options for tawny ants include:

  • Keep trash cans closed with tightly fitted lids so that ants can’t get in.

  • Reduce irrigation and repair drainage on your property to limit the amount of humid, moist areas around your home.

  • Remove harborage areas that include fallen branches, leaf litter and other organic debris and rocks. Make sure that if you take these things off your property, you’re also not transporting a colony of ants with these items, or you’re just helping to spread the problem even further.

  • If you attempt to remove objects or debris on your property that are infested, have the debris treated before removing it from your property. 

These preventative treatments can help limit the amount of tawny ants on your property, but may not offer total control, especially if you have an already established infestation. Your best bet is to give the Houston exterminators at Holder’s a call to find out more about our ant control services. For Houston pest control services that can offer you control of pests including ants, bed bugs and stinging insects, Holder’s Pest Solutions is your best choice. Contact us today for more information on our South Texas pest control services!