Ghost ants, also known as sugar ants, are unique among ant species. Their odd coloring and small size give them their name, and they can be very difficult to spot with the naked eye.
Ghost ants are very small, about 1/16” in length. They are identified by the dark coloring of their head and thorax, and a translucent color of their abdomen and legs. Due to their unique coloring, they can be difficult to see because they blend in easily with a lot of different materials. Because of this challenge, the name “Ghost” ant that they have been given, is quite appropriate.
Ghost ants can be found in nest that contain thousands of ants. They usually consist of many worker ants and may have multiple queen ants. When found indoors, they are typically attracted to items that have a sweet odor, such as sweet foods. They may create nests underneath carpet, behind wallpaper, or among stacks of clothes, books, or papers. When located outside, nests may be found in piles of wood, in mulch beds, or in potted plants. Ghost ant colonies are fairly large and often have thousands of workers and multiple queens. They will nest indoors or outside, often in soil, inside door frames. or wall voids.
The most serious problems ghost ants will cause is the annoyance of having an ant colony living in your home or yard. They don’t have stingers and they don’t bite, but they will search out food in your house and make their nests in your walls.
Ghost ants cannot tolerate cold weather, and are found in central and southern Florida where it is warm year-round. In these areas, ghost ants remain active all year.
Although ghost ants are not a danger to people and are not destructive to building materials, they are often considered a nuisance and are very difficult to eradicate from a home. They are not typically attracted to ant bait, so locating their nests and treating them directly is the best control method to use. Regular treatment for ghost ants is also recommended, in order to keep these tiny pests under control within your home.
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