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Fire Ants or Tawny Ants? Know the DifferenceDifferences between fire ants and tawny ants by Heron Home & Outdoor in Orlando, Oviedo, Apopka, Leesburg, Sanford, Kissimmee and Central Florida areas

Metro Orlando FL | Kissimmee - Sanford - Leesburg

The southeastern states around the Gulf Coast are falling prey to a new invasive pest: the tawny crazy ant. Otherwise simply called tawny ants, crazy ants, or Rasberry ants (named after the exterminator who discovered them, not the similarly spelled berry), these ants are proving to be a really big problem for a lot of homeowners. First discovered in the United States in Texas back in 2002, tawny ants are indigenous to southern Brazil and Argentina. Since their arrival in the US, they’ve been doing serious damage to the electrical systems in people’s homes.

Tawny Ants vs Fire Ants

Before tawny ants showed up a little bit over a decade ago, fire ants were king of the backyard pests. With their venom, fire ants could easily swarm and kill other insects for food and territory. In fact, their only real predators were the humans displacing and destroying their nests with ant-repellents.

Then along came the tawny crazy ants. Named for their amber coloring and “crazy”, erratic movements, these ants are immune to fire ant venom. Tawny ants can also spray their own venom at other rivals and prey, rather than just relying on their stingers. Tawny ants can win battles or kill prey without even touching their targets. They invade fire ant nests, killing them off and spreading their own colonies.

How Do Tawny Ants Affect You?

This is all fascinating, but why should you care that tawny ants are kicking fire ants out of their nests?

  1. Fire ants don’t live in houses. Tawny ants do, and will invade a home. If tawny ants can kill off huge fire ant nests, it’s a natural progression to the inside of your home. If nothing can beat the tawny ant, it’s only a matter of time before they expand across the entire south.
  2. The biggest problem for homeowners with the tawny ant invasion is an electrical and structural one. Tawny ants prefer not to build their own homes and mounds. Rather, they invade any potential shelter. That goes beyond displacing fire ants. Tawny ants swarm into pipes, fuse boxes, cars, and anywhere else they can get to. The incidence of electrical, plumbing, and structural failures due to tawny ants in the southeastern United States is on the rise.
  3. Tawny ants seem immune to a lot of the traditional ant repellent insecticides on the market. To get rid of tawny ants, experts recommend ridding your yard of any potential shelter, including large rocks and leaf piles. You should also make sure that they do not have a source of standing water to thrive on.

Environmental Impact of Tawny Ants

Other than electrical and plumbing annoyances, tawny ants are creating a growing ecological problem. They’re killing off a lot of the populations of spiders and other arthropods that local birds feed on. This could cause a major ripple effect in your local ecosystem.

If you care about your home and your environment, addressing the growing tawny ants problem should be very important to you. As with other pests, you can keep them from invading your yard by getting rid of standing water and any potential shelters that they might find attractive.

Contact Heron Home & Outdoor about our tawny ant treatments. We use a safe and effective method of pest control that will get rid of tawny ants while remaining eco-friendly. Getting rid of these invasive pests could make a huge difference, not only to your home, but to your local environment.

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