In the May 2013 issue of Total Landscape Care – Imported Fire Ant populations in Texas and the southern coasts of the U.S. appear to be declining. However, they are being replaced by two new exotic invasive pests called the Tawny Crazy Ant and Argentine Ant. Where these pests occur, they run out the fire ant and can build up in great numbers.
Argentine ants, which are brown and approximately 1/16” long, produce distinctive foraging trails and eat a variety of things, especially sweets, eggs, and meats. They nest in moist areas and are aggressive biters.
Tawny Crazy ants, which are reddish brown and approximately 1/8” long, move rapidly and erratically and eat almost anything, including sweet parts of plants and other insects. They can bits, but aren’t aggressive as the Argentine or Imported Fire Ant; and are usually found nesting under landscape elements that retain moisture.
Although large infestations of these ants have been found in Texas, they have also been found in Florida. Typical control tactics used for the Imported Fire Ants usually don’t work as they make infestation worse by eliminating competing ants.