If you want to know how to get rid of ghost ants, you need to understand the different variants of the first as well as their like and weakness. In this way, you can properly target the target and achieve an effective result – while minimizing the possibility of mistakes and failures. Ghost ants are like the albino ants. They aren’t exactly ghosts, but their body construction and the way they look certainly look like one.
Ghost ants have transparent legs and abdomens. When they are on light surfaces, they look like ghosts with only their dark thorax and head visible. When they are on dark surfaces, they look pale. You see only pale patches moving around – like ghosts. When you crush the ants, they would emit coconut scent – which is unique and distinctive.
Understanding the Ants
Tapinoma melanocephalum or Ghost ants are small but like the regular ants, they come in a huge number. When they infest an area, they will swarm around the indoor as well as the outdoors, provided that they have enough food to scavenge. Because of their appearance, it is quite difficult to spot them in their earliest stage.
Ghost ants may have large colonies with many queens because the colonies can split or divide through a budding process – the same process owned by white-footed ants and pharaoh ants. If you are wondering,’ How to get rid of ghost ants in my house?” then you need to understand their habits and their favorite places to wander around. They need moisture, so you may want to check the shower stalls, commodes, washbasins, or sinks. Please check also under carpet edges or electrical wires – they are usually hidden. The ants are thorough; they can enter a building from the ground to the roof while the workers work erratically and quickly to create trails along with corners and also edges.
These ants are attracted to greasy and sweet foods as well as warmth and moisture. Ghost Ants eat sweet foods like honeydew and aphids, but they like greasy foods. They don’t mind eating other insects too – the workers are mostly active to go out of their nest and then gather food. They can bite although they can’t sting. Ghost ants are nonaggressive creatures that will only bite when the nest is threatened. They don’t pose any harm or health threats to anyone, including humans. However, they will contaminate food.
They find their way into your car or your house through gaps and cracks. If you want to prevent them from coming, move the sources of moisture out of the way. Check your outdoor perimeter. If you see any tree branch touching the house, remove it right away – it can be their entry point.
Ghost Ants Nature, Like, and Habits
Ghost ants are easily found in both tropical and subtropical areas, like Central America and Africa. In America, they are easily found in warm climates, including those in Florida. Unlike other ant species, ghost ants don’t nest underground via the ant mounds or hills. They can find any available and ready nesting spots and they will grow their colonies there, like unattended logs or dead leaves piles or decomposing (organic) materials. If you want to perform thorough research around the house, especially through crevices and holes, you can find their nests underneath the flower pots, behind the walls, underneath the sinks, or other unused corners where they can get enough water or moisture.
Because of their nature of being able to nest anywhere, don’t be surprised if you find them in places like your car. If you often leave your car in a messy and dirty condition, especially with foods lying around, the ants will swarm the car and build a nest there – again, in a hidden spot that isn’t obvious to you.
So, how to get rid of ghost ants in the car? Well, the methods are similar to those applied to your house. Despite their harmless nature, they can be very annoying. You don’t like it when you drive to work and then ants are starting to swarm around you, do you? Knowing how to get rid of ghost ants efficiently and on target can provide ease of mind.
How to Get Rid of Ghost Ants Effectively
You can always call the professional exterminator, but if you don’t understand the core of the issue, then it would be possible that these ants will come back again after the extermination. If you can prevent it from happening, it would be even better.
Secure the Sweets
We know the ghost ants love sweets and greasy foods. In some parts of the area, they are called sugar ants because of their diet. They also love protein, like decomposing organic stuff or dead insects. That’s why securing all of the sweets in sealed containers would be the best option. Make sure that you put your maple syrup, honey, sugar, and other protein stuff in the containers – and make sure that they won’t be able to enter the containers. The containers must be tight and secured. Maintaining cleanliness is key in how to get rid of ghost ants. You should clean the tables, sinks, cabinet drawers, and cupboards regularly to remove food droppings and the scent. If the ants can’t smell it, they won’t come to it.
Identify Their Entry Points
You need to find their trail first. Inspect the house thoroughly and you will see them. Remember, they like moist and warm areas. Once you have found the trail, simply follow it. You will then find their entry points, which usually come in the form of crevices, gaps, cracks, or holes. When you have identified the entry point, you can seal it with a special ant caulk. If you want to take a drastic measure, you can use a small portion of white cement to completely seal the hole. But in general, the ant caulk will be enough.
When you find the trail inside the house, and you find out that it leads to the outdoor setting, follow the trail until you finally find the nest. If the trail doesn’t lead somewhere else outdoor, it means that they have conveniently built their nest inside your house. But if you find out that the trails are still going further to your lawn or garden, you may want to follow it. They may nest along the walkways, under the stones, underneath decomposing logs, branches, or leaves.
Chalks and Essential Oils
Ants don’t like the special ant chalks. When you draw a line with the chalk, they won’t be able to cross over. They don’t like mint – whether it is the mint teabags or essential oils. You can mix the oil with water and put it in the spray bottle. When you find an entry point, you can spray it and then seal it.
The method depends on their location. If the nest is easy to reach, you can use the insecticide sprays. It’s better to use the non-repellent types so they won’t scurry away. This type of spray can kill the ants upon contact. Plus, it can also be carried back to the colonies so the other ants can be killed.
If the nest is difficult to reach or it is located in difficult areas, use the baits. The baits can be placed along the trail – and the ants will surely pick them up. Such a bait is safe for pets and kids, and it is somewhat more effective. One ant may take it back to the colony and share it with other ants, efficiently killing them. It is more effective and pretty easy.
Extermination requires strategy and a smart move. You don’t just go around spraying the trails or spraying the first anthill you see. First, when you spray the trails, you only kill the ants on the spot – the others remain safe. Second, you split the ants in this way and it can make the infestation get worse. When they are split, they can build a new colony again and again. And before you know it, they have expanded widely and greatly, making it even more difficult to handle and control. Read: How to Get Rid of Fire Ants
Maintaining good sanitation and cleanliness would be the best prevention that you can do. It is the most effective way in how to get rid of ghost ants. Please, make sure that there is no food being scattered around the house. Keeping them in a sealed and tight container will help. When you cut off their food source, the ants won’t be interested in living in your property anymore. Cleaning the house, especially the kitchen, is also a good way to prevent ghost ants from coming. Good sanitation is a crucial element.
If you have gardens, make sure to trim the shrubs and trees regularly. Remove all dead branches and leaves, so your garden will remain clean without those piles. Don’t forget to regularly inspect your house, finding the smallest crevices, holes, and cracks – and seal them when you find them. You can do this once a month.
It would be wise to limit the food consumption, storage, and preparation to only one, or two areas, max, at home. By doing this, you can clean those areas regularly, knowing that the other areas are perfectly clean without being contaminated by foods. It is also a good idea to repair any leaky faucet or pipe, cutting off the water supply. When you cut the ants’ food and water source, you are forcing them to leave.
Ants in Cars
How to get rid of ghost ants in your cars? Again, the method is generally the same. You will have to find the trails and follow them until you find the nest. Cleaning the car regularly and making sure that you don’t leave crumbs or foods is also important. Don’t just wash the car – you need to perform a thorough cleaning inside it. Good sanitation should be applied anytime and anywhere, including inside the car. If you have to eat or drink while on the go (some people have no choice because they are often traveling or they have to spend a lot of time in the car), then make sure that you always clean it after each use.
Make sure that you are prepared in your battle against the ghost ants. Please don’t worry, as long as you are determined in practicing these methods on how to get rid of ghost ants, you should be able to win the war.