Longhorn Crazy Ants: How to Identify and Get Rid

Not all ants found on our property are common house ants. Ants have different species, longhorn crazy ants aren’t left out. So, do you know how to identify and get rid of longhorn crazy ants?

Longhorn crazy ants are found in most homes. This species of ant is notoriously hard to keep under control since it forages at great distances from its nests. Let’s get into identifying Longhorn crazy ants.


What are Longhorn Crazy Ants?

Longhorn Crazy Ants
Picture of the Longhorn Crazy Ants

Humans are immune to the black crazy ant’s venomous bite. Just like regular “ghost” ants, these can be safely handled by humans.

Small and dark in appearance, the longhorn crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis) is a member of the ant family, Formicidae.

These ants have earned the moniker “crazy ants” due to their tendency to dart in all directions at once.

They are one of the most common ant species due to their extensive range, which encompasses not only the tropics and subtropics but also human structures in more temperate locations.

All Formicinae species lack venom production, including this one. When threatened or attacking other insects, this species can release a formic acid spray from its abdomen.

When aiming at an enemy insect, the longhorn crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis) will bend its abdomen and release a shot of its nearly invisible acid.

Humans aren’t usually tested with this acid, and it usually does not affect them.


Read also: How To Get Rid of Tiny Red Ants in Your Kitchen


How to Identify Longhorn Crazy Ants

Longhorn Crazy Ants

  • The workers of this species of ant are distinguished by their jerky, seemingly random movements.
  • The worker longhorn crazy ant measures about 2.3 to 3 millimeters (0.09 to 0.12 in) in length.
  • Its head, thorax, petiole, and gaster are a brownish black, and there is often a subtle blue iridescence to these parts.
  • The body is covered in a scattering of small, whitish bristles, while the antennae and appendages are a tan color.
  • The length of this ant’s antennae and legs sets it apart from others in the Paratrechina genus.
  • Each antenna has a first segment that is longer than the distance between its base and the top of the head by more than a factor of two.
  • Long, narrow pupils sit far back in the cranium. The ant cannot sting, but it can bite, and then it will curl its abdomen forward and deposit formic acid onto its food. They can’t hurt others because they’re too weak.


Read also: How to Get Rid of Lawn Ants: 5 Effective Ways


What is the Life Cycle of  Longhorn Crazy Ants?

Both male and female sexual forms may show up outside of colonies at any time of year in the tropics, but in Florida, they only do so between May and September.

When it’s warm and moist out at night, a group of ants may come out of the nest to mill around.

Meanwhile, the workers cluster on neighboring plants, and often, a winged female emerges from the nest to mate, though it’s hard to tell because of the ants’ continual motion.

Males can fly, but they don’t use it during nuptial flights.

Occasionally, hordes of workers would flood out of the colonies and cover the ground in a thick carpet.

Workers, many of them carrying brood, can cover large areas, and many wingless females can be seen among the workers. It’s not apparent what these get-togethers are about.

The larvae of this species are hairy and have a distinct shape; male larvae may be identified from worker larvae due to their longer and more numerous pilosity.

When longhorn crazy ants mate, there is no evidence of the typical inbreeding problems seen in other species.

Although the queen lays eggs that develop into workers in the usual way, her daughter’s queens are genetic copies of her and her sons are genetic copies of her spouse.

The longhorn crazy ant is one of the most pervasive invasive species in the tropics because the male and female gene pools remain fully distinct (presuming workers never reproduce).

Morgan Pearcy, an evolutionary scientist at the Université libre de Bruxelles, first discovered double cloning.


Read also: How To Get Rid of Tiny Red Ants in Your Kitchen


Feeding and Shelter of Longhorn Crazy Ants

Workers typically collect tiny seeds like lettuce and tobacco from seedbeds. In colder climates, the ants often set up nests in structures, making them a constant threat to residents.

The workers’ diet consists of a wide variety of items, including both living and recently deceased insects, seeds, honeydew, fruits, and plant exudates.

Wherever worker ants are spotted transferring crumbs and insects, the crazy ant is likely to be present. This includes petrol stations, convenience stores, and sidewalk cafes.

In the summer, they may reject honey or sugar baits out of a desire for a higher protein diet. Grasshoppers and other large prey items are transported by a highly coordinated collective effort (Trager 1984).

Honey is collected when the insects (aphids, mealybugs, and soft scales) are cared for (Smith 1965).


Read also: How to Keep Ants Off of Trees


How to Get Rid of Longhorn Crazy Ant

  1. Eliminating food sources is the foundation of non-chemical pest management.
  2. Caulking and weatherstripping the exterior can help keep crazy ants away if you don’t want them in.
  3. Chemical formulations are used in the form of baits, granules, dust, and sprays for use outdoors.
  4. Baits, dust, and spot treatments with residual sprays are all examples of chemical controls that can be used inside.
  5. When applying a pesticide, be sure to read and observe all safety precautions and directions on the package.

These are a few effective ways how to get rid of Longhorn crazy ants permanently.



Finally, at this point, we believe you must have known what longhorn crazy ants are, their life cycle, identification, feeding, and shelter, and also how to get rid of longhorn crazy ants.

Feel free to reach out to us for more queries on Longhorn crazy ants.

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