Ghost Ants: How to Get Rid of These Pesky Ants Indoors & Outdoors

Ghost Ant isolated on white background.

Quick facts about ghost ants

  • The scientific name of ghost ant is Tapinoma melanocephalum. However, it has gotten the name ‘ghost ant’ because of its appearance.
  • This ant is minuscule in size along with light color being spread on different parts of its body making it almost invisible.
  • The invisibility of this ant is the mystery behind its weird name. Among three different regions of their bodies, the head and thorax region of ghost ants are black or dark colored, while abdomen and legs are yellowish or pale in color.
  • The size of their body is even less than 1/6th of an inch.
  • By characteristics, they have a huge similarity with odorous house ants, and like them, ghost ants also produce rotten coconut smell if they are crushed.
  • When they are in the outdoor atmosphere, then like odorous house ants, they like to feed on the honeydew that is produced by different insects.
  • Some ants also collect these insects to feed other members of their colony. However, while residing in the indoor locations, they usually prefer sweet items.
  • Ghost ants are a type of ants that can survive easily in the hot and humid places. They can be seen in a wide variety of regions like south and central Florida and northern states that too inside hot and humid buildings or regions.
  • Unaware of the surroundings, these ants get transported to different areas through shipping when they are residing inside boxes, plants, and other household items. When ghost ants create their nests, they do make them on the ground.
  • Their nests can be easily seen nearby large stones, wood piles, and logs in outside location. Inside the home, they usually make nests inside empty holes of walls, at the back side of baseboards, beneath pantries, around sinks, and inside the flower vessels.
  • They get access inside the home with the help of tracks they create at the ground. Furthermore, they can also get inside through branches of trees and shrubs that are in touch with the house walls.
  • They like many other ants species, live in the form of colonies. Their colonies are medium to large, with more than one queen and many workers.

【Read more about Ants】

Ghost ants’ damage

Ghost ants are extremely flexible, opportunists, and compliant ants’ species and they can adjust both indoor and outdoor locations. They prefer to live in the home that is warm and moist. They usually create multiple nests, and ghost ants can be seen traveling or trailing between these nests. In the outside location, they prefer to live in the surroundings of water bodies, like plant debris, wet grasses, and stems. Although ghost ants don’t bite humans or carry any disease, they can create many other problems and damages that can create long lasting bad effects on the area they attack.

1. A nuisance indoors

Inside the home, the most irritating damage that ghost ants cause is contaminating food items. As they can feed on wide variety of food, therefore, they can attack any food item present within their access. The food that is contaminated by ghost ants is if consumed by humans can cause food poisoning and other health problems. Furthermore, it is annoying to see a huge crowd of these pests inside your home attacking every split or leftover food. Sometimes, ghost ants may also carry some allergens that can be spread to other person living in that area. Ghost ants lack sting, but they can bite, and they can hurt little babies and kids if they bite them.

2. A nuisance in garden or yard

The major annoyance that everyone faces with the infestation of ghost ant is their uncontrollable increasing population. They increase in an exponential way, and within no time their population can hit millions of pests making your place a total mess. Another problem that ghost ants create inside the garden or yard is to promote aphids’ population. They will cultivate aphid insect growth from few to numerous to get their favorite honeydew. The most hazardous trouble that ghost ants can create is to damage wires and electric cables. A single ant can not damage these wires, but their whole colony members can. They can cause serious damage to these wires, and it can end up into a short circuit or electricity breakdown.

How to get rid of ghost ants naturally

As the ghost ants can create many problems for humans, therefore, it is very crucial to control and eliminate their population completely from your area. For this reason, various methods can be applied. Here, we will discuss few home tricks and tips to get rid of these tiny irritating creatures.

Spraying solutions

1. Soap and water

One of the most inexpensive and effective ways of killing ghost ant is by spraying a soap and water mixture on them. For making this solution, add an equal quantity of water and dish soap and spray them on all points where ants can be seen emerging.

2. Brine

The brine solution is a thing that ensures ants death on contacting. To make this solution, add some salt with warm water and fill it with the spray bottle. Spraying all corners, crevices, holes of walls and all those locations where ants’ presence is suspected. This spray solution can even give much better results if after spraying solution is left at its position for the whole night.

3. White vinegar

Mix two parts of white vinegar and one part of water and after mixing pour this solution in a spray bottle. Spraying this solution on Nats emerging points or direct on them will eradicate their colonies completely. White vinegar is a very useful thing that besides ghost ants can also work for many other insects.

4. Cucumber

Ghost ants are highly reluctant to visit those areas containing cucumber or especially bitter cucumber. Therefore, to get rid of them cucumber slices can be placed at their nesting location for two to three days.

5. Turmeric powder

Turmeric powder is another effective, inexpensive home remedy to kill ghost ants. Spreading this powder around ants nesting place will help in getting rid of them entirely.

6. Mint   

Mint powder or leaves are another home remedy to kill ants and many other insects. Crushing mint leaves into small powdered form and spreading it in all infested place will help in keeping ants away from your locality.

7. Baits

Besides applying above mentioned home remedies, if still few ants are present in your area, then bait can be applied. The bait should be prepared that can access the queens because it is only possible to eradicate ants colony if their queens are killed. Different baits with sweet taste can be applied to kill a large number of ants.

How to kill them once and for all

If home remedies don’t become successful in killing ghost ants completely, then a variety of commercial products can be used to kill them. Few of these commercial products are mentioned below:

1. TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits

  • About the products

TERRO Liquid Ant Bait is ready made bait available in the market that can be put to deceive ants for their favorite food item. It is designed in a way that protects bait from getting dried quickly. It works with the slow killing formula. It poisons victim ant slowly and let it transfer this bait to other ants and especially to the queen present inside the colony.

  • Practical performance

To use this product, put it in the places visited by ghost ants frequently. This bait will perform rest work. It diffused slowly inside ant bodies and gave them enough time to collect more bait for their fellow ants inside the colony.

  • Major benefits

Besides killing ghost ants, they can also help in killing variety of other insects too. It is inexpensive and ready-to-use product to kill ants.

2. Advion Ant Gel Bait

  • About the products

Advion Ant Gel is the product that contains Indoxacarb as their active ingredient. Like previous bait, it is also good to slow poisoning bait for ghost ants that kills them slowly.

  • Practical performance

To use this bait, put it in all those areas where ants’ visits are confirmed. Foraging ants will eat this bait and take it too inside the colony resulting in eradication of the whole colony.

  • Major benefits

It not only kills seeing ants but can also kill those that are hidden inside the colony.

3. Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules

  • About the products

Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter bait is available in the form of granules. The bait kills ants outside the home locality, thus don’t allow them to enter the home. This bait also contains slow killing formula resulting in the killing of the whole colony along with the queen.

  • Practical performance

The product should be placed on those areas where ants’ visits are confirmed.

  • Major benefits

This bait provides complete protection by controlling ants outside the home premises

Conclusion

Ghost ants are a tiny creature, and like their name, they can create havoc for you by multiplying their population continuously. Therefore, it is imperative to eradicate these little ghosts from your area as soon as possible by applying above mentioned procedures.

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