Ghost ants are sometimes called black-headed ants or Florida ghost ants. They are an important ant in Florida due to its temperate climate and are widespread in tropical and subtropical climates. They have a dark head and a light body.
You can see them in kitchens or bathtubs, floors, and counters. They can be nested inside wall cavities, between and behind cabinets. They have a characteristic coconut smell when crushed. Before talking about how to get rid of ghost ants, try to identify and examine them first.
Identify and examine ghost ants
Ghost ants appearance is like tiny white apparitions which appear suddenly and seem to disappear in instant. They can be discovered both indoors and also outdoors. You can see them in kitchens and bathrooms because they seek out moisture.
The ants are 1/16 inch/1.5 mm long. The legs, stem, gaster and antennae are pale, almost translucent. The head and thorax are darker in color. For this reason, the ghost ant is also known as the black-headed ant in some areas.
Many people confuse pharaoh ants with ghost ants. However, the pharaoh ant has 2 nodes on the flower stem. Ghost ants and “Florida ghost ants” are the same thing
Both ghost ants and scent ants are very small ants. The ghost ant has a translucent white abdomen, while the ghost ant is brown all over.
The ghost ant looks like the odorous house ant, but the odorous house ant is brown or black. Both the ghost ant and the odorous ant smell like rotten coconut when crushed.
How do I recognize a ghost ant infestation?
To make it easier to spot ghost ant infestations, it helps if you can:
- They often drag long lines of ants from the nest to food sources.
- The nests are very small and difficult to detect.
- They like to forage in areas that are close to moisture, such as B. kitchens and bathrooms
- Ghost ants are common in the southern United States
Where are ghost ants found?
Ghost ants prefer to build their nests outdoors in moist, shady places. However, if indoor conditions are more favourable, they may establish a nest in your home. Common ghost ant nesting sites include:
- In wall cavities and insulation.
- Floor coverings and subfloors
- Indoor furniture
- Between window or door frames, baseboards and decorative moldings
- In appliances like microwaves, toasters, ovens, desktop computers, and televisions.
Why there are ghost ants in my house?
Ghost ants are allured to the food and water which you provide in your house. They also look for a place to build their nests, so they usually establish colonies in them.
There are some ways you can help decrease the chances of ghost ants infesting your house:
- Keep food in airtight containers and also throw away garbage in a timely manner.
- Fix plumbing leaks and seal cracks or openings in your home’s foundation.
- Keep vegetation out of your house, as ghost ants like to nest in trees and bushes.
- If you see an ant in your home, try to determine where it came from and treat that area with a pest control solution.
Are ghost ants harmful to humans?
No, ghost ants are not harmful to humans. They may sting if you accidentally step on one or tamper with their nest, but they are not aggressive towards humans and will only attack if provoked.
7 methods to get rid of ghost ants
Ghost ants are a type of “budding ant”, which occurs when one or several reproductive females, accompanied by many workers and young, leave the old nest in search of a new one. Ant control products, available for homeowners to buy without a prescription, are repellents that excite ant colonies.
If budding ants notice changes in their environment (including repellent products), this can cause the colony to break up. Activity may subside briefly, but will likely worsen as new colonies sprout and establish themselves elsewhere. This only makes the problem bigger and more widespread over time. Withhold chemical applications and use a variety of other available control methods to keep ghost ants where they belong.
As annoying as it is a recurring problem with ghost ants, there are some very easy and (mostly) natural ways to get rid of them and keep them out of where they belong.
Ghost ants are very conscious and persistent followers. They roam gutters or foundations in search of food, and sometimes this search brings ghost ants indoors.
To prevent ghost ants from easy access to your home, restrict plants and vegetation around your home. Ghost ants love to consume honeydew, a sticky, sweet substance produced by a variety of pests, including aphids. Honeydew is found in trees and plants, and if those plants touch your house, the ghost ant hunt could lead them right to you.1
Strive for a plant-free border around the base. This edging should be between 18″ and 24″ wide, and don’t forget to trim branches, ivy, and other plants from the sidewall and roofline as well.
Don’t let them in
Take care when bringing potted plants indoors. Ghost ants are known to nest in the soil under potted plants. It’s easy to accidentally bring them in without realizing it.
Try not to bring potted plants into the house. If it’s unavoidable, inspect it thoroughly and keep an eye on things after the plant has been fed. If you detect ant activity and your potted plant is the source, move the plant outside where the ants won’t become an indoor disturbance.
Reduce food sources
A lot of species of ants, which include ghost ants, love sweets. There are many sources of sweet food outside, but ants often cannot resist the sweets that people have around them.
Meticulous cleaning is one of the most important steps in indoor ant control. Sticky spills, sweet crumbs, and candy attract ghost ants, so be sure to clean up these messes quickly.
Solve moisture problems
Water is life and ghost ants need water just like us. Moisture issues present a number of problems when it comes to ant control. Leaks and condensation not only provide ants with water, but moisture-damaged wood can attract certain species of ants – damp wood can provide a food source and attractive nesting conditions.
Make sure pipes don’t leak, try to reduce condensation, and fix leaky hoses to prevent damage and attract ants and other pests to your home.
Whether you’re dealing with ghost ants or not, this step is especially important if your home has had a history of recurring ant problems.
Sealing up appears to be different depending on your home and the activity you observe, but can include:
- Make sure gaps or cracks are sealed around window frames
- Using grout to seal holes or cracks in bathroom tiles
- Make sure all window screens and door sweeps are undamaged and properly installed
- Sealing cracks along baseboards where ants enter
Ghost ants (and also other ant species) are vital to a balanced ecosystem. Ant sealing is a great, chemical-free way to keep ants out of your home.
Use bait and don’t spray
When ants show up indoors, it’s tempting to want to do something quick, but spraying isn’t the solution you’re looking for. In fact, if it’s a blooming ant like ghost ants, sugar ants, or pharaoh ants, spraying is likely to make the problem worse.
If you want to try a DIY treatment, use a gel bait instead of a chemical spray. The risks are lower with baits, and these products will not disrupt growing ant colonies or cause them to grow. If you have placed bait but the ants won’t eat it, move it to another location. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. Just make sure you don’t spray anything in your experiments.
To get rid of ghost ants can be done with DIY. The above methods are worth trying. However, sometimes it’s best to hire a professional to get rid of ghost ants. Consulting a licensed exterminator or pest control company can mean the difference between success and living with bugs in your home. Be sure to use only licensed, bonded, and insured professionals in your state. Your friends, family and neighbors can give you recommendations for the best.