Ghost Ant Facts
The ghost ant isn’t a native of the United States. It originated from either Africa or Asia, having made it’s way across the ocean during commercial trade. There have been several instances of ghost ants in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Islands, and even Canada. In the mid 1990s, the ghost ant proved its love of traveling by hopping on a plant shipment from Florida to Texas, causing an infestation.
Ghost Ant Bites
Ghost ants do not have stingers and rarely, if ever, bite people. A ghost ant bite is not painful. The real headache caused by ghost ants is their tendency to devour anything sweet. They will sneak into your home looking for food and will quickly get into anything with sugar whether it’s syrup or those cookies you baked last night.
Ghost Ant Infestation
If you have a ghost ant infestation and looking to rid them from your home, cleanliness is key. Don’t leave food out in the open. Instead, store it in air-tight containers. Remove any plants that can attract honeydew-producing insects. When possible, reduce moisture sources by sealing anything that can leak or produce condensation.
If the ghost ants are becoming a nuisance, it is possible to rid them with bait. Follow the trail back to the nest and see if the ants are feeding on it after 1 to 2 days. If not, relocate the bait until you see an improvement.
To prevent them from coming inside, restrict entry points with barrier sprays, applying them around cracks, crevices, and window screens.
Types of Ghost Ants
Ghost Ant Identification
While ghost ants don’t wear white sheets and say “boo,” they’re still just as elusive. Worker ants are very tiny, only about 1/32 inch (1.3mm to 1.5mm). The head and spineless thorax are a deep brown, while their legs are either opaque or milky white. These features make the ant very difficult to see, giving the ghost ant its name.
Ghost Ants In The Home & The Garden
If ghost ants are haunting your home, you probably live in a warm, moist place where they like to show themselves. They’re usually found in central and southern Florida, as well as Hawaii where the wet climates are perfect for them to thrive. While it’s possible for them to survive in northern states in greenhouses or other simulated environments, they’re usually six feet under the moment they get a little chill.
If ghost ants build a nest in your home it will most likely be in your baseboards, behind your walls, in your pantries, and under the sink. They are a highly adaptable species in that they can live both indoors and outdoors. Inside, they can be found around any water sources, such as kitchens and bathrooms, as well as places where food is stored. Their nesting habits are similar to their cousin, the pharaoh ant.
When ghost ants are found outside, they first begin to nest in water-rich areas like temporarily dead, but moist grasses, plant stems, and plant debris. Their colonies are moderate to large in size, and contain many reproducing females. Queens can spread into sub-colonies, extending into flower pots, objects left on the ground, under loose tree bark, as well as the bases of palm fronds.
Inside, ghost ants will form their colonies in wall voids, between cabinetry and baseboards, as well as in potted plants. They will inhabit a space if the conditions are right for a few days, then move on once available resources are used up. You’ll be able to spot ghost ants when they begin to forage for food or when the colony is disturbed. Worker ants will run rapidly and erratically if they are invaded. The ghost ant has a sweet tooth. They are fond of honeydew, and will tend to honeydew-producing insects like aphids.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ghost Ants
Benefits of Professional Ghost Ant Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a ghost ant problem. Finding and treating the ant colony can be challenging, especially if the main colony is hidden somewhere outside in the lawn. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify and determine the best possible solution to resolve the ghost ant infestation.
Courtesy Photo: Antweb.org