The Ghost Ant
These creepy ghost ants seem to appear just as quickly as they disappear. Found both inside and outside, they are a pest you definitely don’t want making an apparition in your home. Knowing how to identify, prevent, and eliminate them is key in your battle against these sneaky little ants.
HOW TO IDENTIFY GHOST ANTS
Ghost ants are small and white. They usually grow to around 1/16 of an inch in length. They get their name from the pale, nearly translucent coloring of their legs, antennae, and pedicle. The head and thorax of these ants, however, are dark. This gives them the appearance of being partially invisible, and when they move quickly it may indeed seem like they are disappearing.
Appearance, Behavior, and Signs
These ants live in large colonies with multiple queens. These colonies are started from the process of budding, in which a reproductive female and several works migrate to a new nesting site. They can live in just about any nesting location, and tend to prefer sheltered areas like bases of plant pots, under grass, and under bark outdoors. Inside, they tend to nest between baseboards or inside cabinetry.
These ants eat everything from sweets to greasy proteins. They also eat honeydew and honeydew-excreting insects. While ghost ants are usually found in tropical areas, preferring warm weather, they can also be found in areas of heat, such as greenhouses, in northern states.
HOW DO YOU GET GHOST ANTS
Ghost ants prefer to nest outside, but can easily make their way into homes by sneaking through cracks around doors and windows, as well as through cracks in your foundation. These ants are also unique in that they can be brought indoors via infested potted plants. Inside, they will gravitate toward your kitchen or bathroom areas, as they seek out available food sources (like sugar, syrup, jam, or cereal), as well as water.
HOW TO GET RID OF GHOST ANTS
Ghost ants must be eliminated using baiting. While non-repellent sprays can be effective, they are not as successful at eliminating entire populations as are baits. Sprays work by killing on contact, while baits require ants to take the insecticide back to the nest and transfer it to other members of the colony.
Eliminating ghost ant colonies also requires careful investigation to determine where the have nested. New queens will leave their original nests and create their own colonies, meaning there can be multiple colonies within one house. You might also find nests in odd places. To permanently eliminate your likelihood of a ghost ant infestation, make sure all counters are clean and sanitized, and that any remote areas such as deep inside cupboards are regularly cleaned as well.
In some cases, you may need to contact a pest control professional. These individuals will help keep ants from entering your home in the future, as well as treat any active infestation s you might currently have. They will also evaluate to determine if ghost ants are your only pest problem–and if not, what else can be done to make your home less attractive to potential nuisance pests.
Facts About Ghost Ants
Ghost ants don’t sting and they will only bite when threatened. Even if you’re bitten by a ghost ant, it likely will not cause major pain or serious issues. However, ghost ants can be extremely difficult to get rid of. They will nest in multiple unusual locations, and can contaminate food products they choose to invade. They have the ability to damage property, and are just a downright pain to have in your home. If you notice signs of infestation, you should take steps to get rid of it right away.