“Tramp ants,” are ant pests that easily spread to various non-native regions all over the world by means of international trade. Therefore, tramp ants are among the most widely distributed ant species worldwide. Paratrechina longicornis has become the most widely distributed ant species in the world. This species, which is more commonly known as the “longhorn crazy ant,” is a frequently encountered household and garden pest in the southern US, but in the temperate northeast, the longhorn crazy ant is solely an indoor pest that establishes extensive infestations that are exceedingly difficult to control. This ant species’ invasive habitat in North America extends well into Canada, and they commonly infest both homes and buildings in Massachusetts. One of the most notable aspects of a longhorn crazy ant infestation is the ants’ ability to rapidly spread to every nook and cranny within structures. In fact, these ants have been found multiple times infesting every level of particularly tall Boston buildings.
The longhorn crazy ant has become known for suddenly appearing in large numbers within non-native regions where no academic samples of crazy ant specimens had been gathered before. In most cases, the first longhorn crazy ant sightings in non-native regions occur almost exclusively indoors, and there are very few types of indoor environments that these ants will not infest. There are several reasons why longhorn crazy ants are difficult to control, but the most significant is their habit of foraging great distances away from their nests, which makes locating a nest difficult for pest control professionals when specimens are found indoors by residents. These ants have also become well known for infesting indoor areas in great numbers where they cause a significant nuisance to homeowners. When longhorn crazy ants are found indoors, their nests can be located either indoors or outdoors, but particularly heavy infestations indicate an indoor nesting site. Indoor nests are often found beneath floorboards and in wall voids, making the source of infestations difficult to determine. While longhorn crazy ants can thrive in both dry and moist conditions, their nests are often located in hard-to-access areas where hot pipes can be found, indicating that the ants prefer to establish nests within moist conditions.
Have you ever found more than 100 ants within your home?