Rasberry Crazy Ants
This week I find myself confronted with a new ant species to defend against, the Rasberry Crazy Ant (and no, Rasberry isn't misspelled), aka the Tawny Crazy Ant.
It's been in TX around the Gulf Coast for abut 11 years, I'd heard about it, but never seen it. Now I have - in my kitchen and an adjacent bathroom. I found what I believe is the key area outside where they're outside (under mulch in a landscaping bed in the front of the house). But the issue with these guys is they come in huge numbers (like millions) and are very difficult to control. Most baiting systems are ineffective for control, few insecticides are known to be effective for control, and those that are typically aren't available in the homeowner retail market.
Thus far they've been confirmed in TX, LA, MS and FL. They don't travel far on their own - they appear to migrate as hitchhikers in cargo, suitcases, etc.
So, if you live in a Gulf Coast state be on the lookout for Rasberry Crazy Ants in your gardens and landscapes. They don't build hills like fire ants. They establish their very sizable colonies under anything that creates a void and retains moisture, such as stumps, concrete, rocks, potted plants, mulch, etc. While they nest mostly outdoors, unlike fire ants they will forage indoors, into homes and other structures.
Some entomologists believe that these ants may completely change the ecosystems of the SE US, where the fire ant has been a dominant species. They will swarm and take on fire ants. More on Rasberry Crazy Ants via the link below, and the links therein.
Here is a link that might be useful: TAMU - Control of Rasberry Crazy Ants