Ghost Ants get their name because they look like tiny ghosts. These little white ants seem to appear and disappear quickly, with no notice.
You can find Ghost Ants inside and outside of your home; typically, they seek out moisture, so if they are in your home they will most likely appear in your kitchen or bathrooms. Don’t lose hope if you see them, you can get rid of them! Read on to find out how to deal with these little pests.
Size and Shape
Ghost Ants resemble the Odorous House Ant in size and shape, but the Odorous House Ant is brown or black, while the Ghost Ant is white. The head and thorax of the Ghost Ant is a bit darker in color, which is why they are also known as ‘Black-Headed Ants’.
These tiny ants are only one sixteenth of an inch in length.
Where to Find Ghost Ants
Ghost Ants have colonies that are anywhere from medium to large in size: The colonies are very flexible, and can be moved inside or outside. If you find a Ghost Ant Colony outdoors, it will most likely be under tree bark, at the base of a plant pot, or even under piles of grass. Indoors, you can find Ghost Ants in small spaces, like between the baseboards or in spaces between cabinets. In your home, they are drawn to sweets and protein sources.
While they are a tropical species, they can be found in greenhouses in colder climates.
How to Get Rid of Them
If you do have Ghost Ants, ant bait is the best way to get rid of them. Or, you can use non-repellent sprays because they are non-detectable by ants. This means the Ghost Ants won’t try to avoid them as they do most sprays.
Non-repellent sprays will kill the ants via both contact and transfer. Those ants that come into contact with the spray will track the insecticide back to their nests, which in turn will kill the others.
If you use a residual type of spray on Ghost Ants it will simply cause the ants to scatter, splitting the colonies. This won’t fix anything; it will just multiply your ant problems.
To really get rid of Ghost Ants, though, baiting is your best bet. Bait will get rid of the entire colony. Choose a sugar-based or protein-based bait, as this is what the ants are drawn to. Also make sure to choose a slow-acting bait, as this is the only kind that will wipe out the colony. Slow-acting ant baits will be taken back to the queen ants, which is key to wiping out the colony. Quick-acting baits will just kill the ants that find it, and will not take the bait back to the colony.
Ghost Ants will typically forage in random patterns. This means that their feeding trails will be hard to follow, or recognize. However, since Ghost Ants need water often, they will always be found near your water sources (kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks or tubs, and outdoors near your water spigot).
Remember that Ghost Ants love food, so make sure to keep your kitchen clean, and to limit food consumption to the kitchen and dining room. Keep all food put away securely; keep counters and floors free of crumbs, and take your garbage out when it has food waste in it (or find a very secure garbage can).
When to Call a Professional
It is important to remember that getting rid of Ghost Ants can take a lot of time and patience, especially because you may have multiple nesting sites around your home.
If you find that you cannot control the ants, it may be best to call a pest control professional.
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