• Jon Stoddard

Ghost Ants and How to Kill Them

Ghost ants image

Ghost ants are known as one of the most common ants identified and treated in the field of pest control. These ants are also commonly known as "sugar ants."

This variety of ant is related to the 'tramp ants' species, commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas all around the globe. Ghost ants are in the top 8 most common pest control problems in Florida.

Ghost Ant Appearance

These tiny (1.5mm in length) ants are monomorphic (only one size). They have a thorax and head in very dark brown, almost black in appearance, and a milky white abdomen that looks nearly transparent. This is how they got the moniker of 'ghost ant.'

Ghost Ant Behavior

These ants have very adaptable nesting behavior and are happy to next indoors or outdoors. They create mid-sized or large colonies with plenty of reproducing female ants.

These tiny opportunists will nest in places that are only habitable for a few weeks or even days. These nesting sites are typically too unstable or small to host more significant colonies.

Ghost ants are often seen in bathrooms and kitchens, but they aren't limited to those locations. They can also be observed in wall and cabinet voids or even in potted plants. This species of ant leaves erratic foraging patterns, so if you see a drunken-looking zigzag trail, you might have a ghost ant issue.

Ghost Ant Reproduction

close up image of a ghost ant

Several queens will move into their sub-colonies in very little time. Known as 'budding,' this process occurs when one or more ghost ants in the reproductive phase leave the colony to set up a new next. They will be accompanied by a few worker ants and perhaps some of their brood (pupae and larvae).

Ghost ants don't fight with members of other nests or colonies, which is helpful for their colonies to proliferate. These ants also have symbiotic relationships with other species so that they can flourish. They have been seen nesting with other species, such as spiders, underneath leaves. The spiders protect them from parasites and predators while using the ant nests as web construction foundations.

How to Successfully Treat a Ghost Ant Colony

The best way to get rid of ghost ants is to apply a liquid treatment on the exterior and liquid bait the interior. A skilled pest control professional will get the liquid bait as near the ghost ant trails as possible.

The ghost ants will then form a circle around the bait and take it back to the colony. This will eliminate the ant next. The workers won't consume the bait themselves. The worker ants take the bait back to the colony and the queen who consumes it. After this, the colony will collapse.

The exterminator must take care not to contaminate the bait while applying pesticides in the interior. To treat the exterior, the pest control technician should treat around the door and window frames, foundations, and any areas that might hold moisture.

The most effective liquid treatment will contain Fipronil. Fuse and Phantom are good products. Ghost ants are happy to feed on various household foods, but they prefer sweet ones like cakes, syrups, and sugar.

The exterminator will locate the trail of pheromones (an invisible dotted trail the ants use to navigate their way from their nesting locations to a source of food). Next, he will bait near the path to optimize the time and effectiveness to eliminate ghost ants in Florida.

Bear in mind that every situation with ghost ants is different, and their successful elimination depends on the inspection process.

Here at Imperial Pest Prevention, we have plenty of experience in solving ghost ant issues. We offer pest control services in Volusia and Flagler counties, including Port Orange, Daytona Beach, Deltona, Deland, and New Smyrna, up as far as Bunnell and Palm Coast.

Contact us today for a free estimate.

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