Ghost Ants in Florida
Facts, Identification, & Control
Ghost ants have a staple here in Southwest Florida. Most people have came across these tiny and fast crawling ants. The Ghost ant is thought to be the most frequent invader pest found in Southwest Florida. This ant is identified by the worker ants running erratically and rapidly on a set trail that can be traced back to the nest. They are very tiny, about 1/32 of an inch long, and derives its name from the fact that it is exceedingly difficult to see. The head and thorax of the Ghost Ant is dark in color and the abdomen and legs are very pale. This forces a person to look very closely at surfaces just to see the workers moving about. They will create trails from just a few ants to hundreds.
These trails can usually be located along building foundations and up the walls outdoors. Ghost ants will readily trail down branches of trees and shrubs into the structure, and through cracks around eaves and soffits. The Ghost Ant’s primary habitat is outdoors. They will nest in the soil, dead tree limbs, under stones, and in hollow cavities of plants. Inside, the Ghost Ant will nest inside wall voids, behind base boards, and under cabinets. Once inside, you will typically find Ghost ants in your kitchen or bathrooms. However, that does not mean the rest of your home is off limits to them. The Ghost Ant is classified as a nuisance pest and not necessarily known to cause structural damage.
Each Ghost Ant colony is moderate in size, with thousands of workers and numerous reproductive queens. New colonies are started by “budding” where one or more reproductive queens, together with workers and brood, move away from the original colony.
The worker Ghost Ant is very fond of honeydew secreted by aphids but will also feed upon live and dead insects. Moisture is a limiting factor in the survival of Ghost Ants. They have an extremely high need for moisture. Conditions which result in excess moisture such as poor drainage or plumbing leaks should be corrected. If possible, a vegetation free border should be installed around the foundation. Branches of trees and shrubs which touch the structure should be trimmed back.
Successful control of the Ghost Ant depends upon the ability to locate the foraging ants and the nest sites. The liberal use of bait in proper locations works well when combined with an exterior power spray treatment. The Ghost Ant can often be controlled within a few days. Our Certified Full-Home Service will swiftly rid your home or business of Ghost Ants. Have you inspected your home for Ghost Ants lately?