The ghost ant, also known as Tapinoma melanocephalum, has earned its name. The pale color of its legs and abdomen make it difficult to see. These ants have dark heads and thoraxes with the workers being about 1.3 to 1.5 mm long.
Ghost ants are related to odorous house ants and like the odorous house ants, ghost ants give off a coconut like odor when they are crushed.
How Did Ghost Ants Get In My Home?
Ghost ants are extremely small and can get into houses through openings around doors, windows, and cracks in foundations. They are sometimes inadvertently brought inside on infested plants. Once indoors, these ants feed on sweets like sugar, cereal, and syrup. Ghost ants often appear on kitchen counters and bathroom sinks gathering food for their industrious building of nests indoors and out, in walls or the spaces between kitchen cabinets.
Are Ghost Ants A Serious Problem?
Ghost ants usually have multiple nesting sites, as new queens leave their original nests and create their own colonies. The ghost ants will typically build nests in various places, even frequently disturbed areas like potted plants or the spaces between shelved books. Ghost ants are serious pests in greenhouses, so always inspect any plants you purchase to ensure they are not harboring ghost ants – and be sure to look carefully since their tiny size enables them to hide and not be easily noticed.
Due to the numerous and inconspicuously placed nests finding and removing ghost ant colonies is a challenge. Any type of food or even spills will attract these pests, and they will contaminate whatever food products they invade. Ghost ants are not able to sting and will rarely bite, but their presence and abundance inside will create a serious nuisance with the potential for property damage.
How Can I Prevent Ghost Ants?
A thorough inspection is always the first step when it comes to preventing a ghost ant infestation. The same for any type of insect infestation really.
While you’re outdoors, take a walk around the outside of your home and look for places that might attract ghost ants such as firewood piles or mulch near the foundation, shrubs, and trees. Make sure your exterior doors close snugly and that the weather stripping is in good repair. Individuals who reside in brick homes will often place small squares of a plastic screen into weep holes to keep ants from using them as entrances.
How To Get Rid Of Ghost Ants?
While there are plenty of DIY treatment and preventative measures on the internet, many of them, unfortunately, will only treat the surface of an infestation and not necessarily the root cause. The best way to get rid of any insect or rodent infestation is to hire a professional team of experts. The individuals here at Consolidated Pest Solutions are ready to help. Our team is knowledgable on various types of pests, from the common to the not so common. We have been trained in terms of safety, and pest behavior. Allowing us to focus on not only treating your current infestation but preventing a recurrence.