There are several species of ants in and around the home. One of the most common pests seen are Ghost Ants. Ghost ant workers are very small approximately (1.3 to 1.5mm) long. Their antenna has twelve (12) segments and their head is usually darker than the rest of its body. The thorax and abdomen have light and dark areas of varying sizes. Their appendages are pale or milky white in color. They are very difficult to see due to their pale color and size. They infest structures, feed on and contaminate human food. They prefer dead insects and sweets but will feed on grease. They display very weak trailing behavior and individually, they forage in a scattered manner. The colonies have many queens and may have nesting locations that may be subdivided. Their colonies may be moderate to large in size. Ghost Ants excrete a distinct odor resembling rotten coconuts.

Biology & Habitat

Their habitat consists of outdoor nesting locations which include soil next to foundations, porches, plants and trees. In Florida, they are also found nesting at the base of palm fronds in decaying organic matter. They build mounds that are unsightly on lawns and landscapes. Another favorite nesting site is in the hollows in pool enclosures. Indoors, the Ghost Ant nests can be found almost anywhere including wall voids, potted plants, bread boxes, shower curtain rods, behind baseboards, in between cabinets, microwaves, kitchen/bathroom counters & sinks and other enclosed areas. Although any room in the home can be infested, their foraging activity is typically in the kitchen and they enter through the cracks around doors, windows, and soffits. They feed on both live and dead insects and for honeydew they tend homopterans. Ghost ants do not sting as they lack a stinger.

Ghost Ant Prevention

In order to determine if a ghost ant infestation has developed, a thorough inspection of the home should be performed by a certified pest control professional. Ghost ants often enter homes by trailing along branches of trees and shrubs that is in direct contact with the structure. Homeowners should keep the shrubbery trimmed, ensure that the branches are cut back, remove leaf litter and debris. Firewood should be stored at least fifteen (15) to twenty (20) feet away from the home. Indoors, homeowners should inspect tubs, toilets, and sinks for any leaks or drips. Check for trails of ants (ex: baseboards, doors, windows, soffits and carpet edges). It is also recommended to inspect electrical outlets and telephone jacks, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. Keep food items properly stored in a tightly sealed container and make sure to clean up any food crumbs and spills that may be left behind. Outdoors, inspect the area along foundation walls and sidewalks as well as, checking under stones, bricks, logs, firewood or debris on the ground.

Controlling Ghost Ants can be a daunting and time consuming task that would require time and patience. Since there may be multiple nesting sites, It is recommended that homeowners consider working with a licensed pest control professional in order to develop an effective pest prevention plan and/or treat an existing infestation. Controlling Ghost Ants is a process that can not be controlled in a one time treatment. Here at Trapline Pest Solutions our goal is to solve your pest problem, feel free to give us a call today to schedule your free home of office inspection. When results matter, call Trapline Pest Solutions at (407) 970-5645

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