Those battling crazy ants in Louisiana now have a new weapon with the announcement of a special label to use the insecticide Termidor, according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Dennis Ring.

The EPA-approved label allows for 0.06 percent Termidor SC treatment 3 feet up the side of structure and 10 feet out from the foundation. It also provides for a 10-foot radius treatment around electrical equipment and similar utility installations to help protect any electrical apparatus from shorting out.

The label, which is valid for five years, allows for up to two applications per year at least 60 days apart. Approval is for all parishes in Louisiana.

“Timing is important,” Ring said.  He recommends the first treatment in spring when ants appear in large numbers and the second treatment “when they come back.”

Crazy ants “nest under anything that holds moisture,” Ring said. “People need to get things off the ground -- including planters, yard toys and that sort of thing -- even plastic bags.”

The ants are a nuisance pest, he said. They don’t sting, but they do bite.Commonly known as the Rasberry crazy ant or hairy crazy ant, their numbers build up very high and may become a great nuisance.

“If you walk among them when numbers are high, in three to five seconds hundreds of ants can get on you.”

Crazy ants displace everything, including fire ants, Ring said. “But people who have this ant want their fire ants back. They’re that much of a problem.”

The ants, which came to the United States from South America, spread naturally, but they are moved much more rapidly through the actions of humans. They may be moved in any material or container that is infested.

“It is extremely important that these ants are not moved into new areas,” Ring said. “Carefully inspect incoming materials to make sure they aren’t moved.”