National School IPM

Tawny Crazy Ant Facts

\\\ifas\entnem\users\foi\My Documents\My Pictures\Crazy Ants\Paratrechina pubens-07.JPGThe tawny crazy ant (Nylanderia fulva) can produce overwhelming infestations.  This ant is also known as the brown or hairy crazy ant based on its appearance. Be assured that the tawny crazy ant does not sting, transmit disease or make unsightly mounds in landscape.  

In schools, “pests” can be broadly defined as anything that distracts students from learning.  The tawny crazy ant can become a distraction to students if they invade buildings because they can produce overwhelming infestations that make the ground appear to move. Their erratic movement can be much more mesmerizing than sitting through a test.

This ant is also known as the brown or hairy crazy ant based on its appearance. More often than not, management of this ant will require the services of a professional pest control company.  Whether you decide on using the services of a pest control company or do pest control in-house, be sure to read this information and check back for updates on this invasive pest. 

The tawny crazy ant does not sting, transmit disease or make unsightly mounds in landscape.  You can spot an infestation because it may look like the ground is moving due to the high numbers and erratic movement of this ant. 

Management Facts

  • 100% eradication of this ant is not probable in areas where the ant is established; however, population suppression is possible.
  • Expect the ants to reinvade.
  • There is a legal limit as to how often products can be used, so please do not ask your pest control operator to do “extra” treatments.
  • Multiple control tactics will be required, including baiting grounds and perimeter treatments of buildings.  Product selection is critical to success.  Some products are better at excluding ants from structures.

More Tawny Crazy Ant Facts

What you may see a pest control professional do

  • Treat landscape plants
  • Spread insecticidal granules that kill ants by contact
  • Spray liquid insecticides around the perimeter of your house
  • Apply baits that ants will consume and share with other ants
  • Apply crack and crevice products on the inside of homes or buildings

What your pest control professional cannot do

  • Treat other people’s property
  • Put pesticides down sewers
  • Make “off-label” applications

What schools should do and expect

  • Make sure you have a correct identification for this ant
  • Be a good neighbor and eliminate food, water and shelter that encourages colony growth by
    • De-cluttering and
    • Establishing regular trash and yard debris removal
  • If you have taken pest control measures, please do not hose the ants off the pavement area.  You will wash away your treatment.  Use a blower instead.
  • Pest control customers used to less frequent service will find that they must pay for a monthly (or more frequent) service.
  • As with all pests in schools: Non-professionals should be careful about “self-treating” since it may counteract what your pest control professional has done.  For example, if you spray an insecticide over a bait you will render the bait ineffective.
You may want to inform neighbors around your school that the tawny crazy ant is in your area and causing problems. This doorhanger was designed to get information to homeowners. You can print these on a computer and fold them or have them professionally printed depending on your distribution needs. Door hanger for home printing and for commercial printing.


Information developed by: The University of Florida, Dr. Faith Oi and Florida Pest Management Professionals.

For additional information please visit these University of Florida resources:

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of the Caribbean Crazy Ant, Nylanderia (=Paratrechina) pubens (Forel). By Dawn Calibeo and Faith Oi. UF/IFAS EDIS. July 2011.

Crazy Ants in our Plants. By Dan Culbert - Extension Horticulture Agent. UF/IFAS Okeechobee County Extension. Updated August 2011.




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