How to Get Rid of Ghost Ants in Fort Lauderdale
July 11, 2022
If you take a few steps outside and look at the ground for about 10 seconds, I’m sure you’ll see at least one ant. But the real question is, what ants would you not see?
If there are ghost ants outside your home, it would probably take a little more concentration and time to notice them. They’re actually one of the most common ants in Fort Lauderdale, so you can bet they’re out there somewhere.
The origin of ghost ants is debatable - today, they’re often swept through commerce via crates and boxes - however, most believe it’s African or Asian. Ghost ant colonies have been found in a lot of tropical and subtropical places like the Galapagos Islands.
They’re highly adaptable, so indoors and outdoors are equally comfy. It just all depends on temperature.
You see, ghost ants can only survive in warm weather. That’s why seeing ghost ants in Fort Lauderdale and everywhere else in South Florida is so common.
If they were to get shipped all the way up to some of the drastically cold northern states in the U.S. well, that’s bad news for them. The only way they would survive those temperatures would be if they were placed in a heated environment or in a greenhouse.
If you live in Fort Lauderdale, I’ve got news for you: You’ll want to know as much as you can about ghost ants. So in this article, we’re going to go over where you might find the source of ghost ants, how you may be attracting them, and how to take action if you think there’s a ghost ant infestation in your home.
Keep reading to learn all the details about these little white ants!
Where Are Ghost Ants Found in Fort Lauderdale?
An important thing to know about ghost ants is that if you see one ghost ant in your home, there’s probably not just one. You just might not see them because they’re hiding.
There are tons of possible spots where ghost ants hang out whether it’s inside or outside, so it would be a good idea to check all of these areas out.
A ghost ant that has called the great outdoors its home is likely to nest in a few spots.
Where to find ghost ants outside:
In the ground
In cavities or crevices in dead tree branches or logs
In piles of leaves
On trees and shrubs
Where to find ghost ants inside:
In wall voids
On top of countertops
Inside the soil of potted plants
Trailing under carpet edges and along electrical wires
Trailing near water sources like sinks, appliances, shower stalls, and tubs
You may have a hard time finding them because of their small size and because they typically like to hide. That’s why it’s good to get help from a professional pest control company in Fort Lauderdale like Native Pest Management.
We know all of the popular spots for ghost ants and we can help you find them and eliminate them completely. We can also help you find sugar ants, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, pavement ants, and more.
Call us today for more information!
What Do Ghost Ants Look Like?
Ghost ants are easy to identify, and at the same time, they’re not. Their dark heads and nearly translucent bodies are unique; however, their size makes them tricky to spot - almost like they’re invisible (yes, like a ghost!)
Ghost worker ants are only about 1.3-1.5 millimeters long, which is very very small. If you happen to squish them and get close enough, you’ll catch a distinct smell of rotten coconuts.
Do Ghost Ants Bite?
These little white ants bite, but you definitely don’t need to be scared of them. They can’t sting, and their bites have little to no reaction.
And that’s usually only when you threaten their nest. That’s when they start to run around pretty rapidly with not much sense.
Ghost Ants vs. Sugar Ants in Boca Raton
Ghost ants and sugar ants share a lot of similarities. First of all, they both love sugar, and second, they love the warm weather.
You’re likely to mix these two up in your home, so let’s go over the differences.
One difference between them is their typical colony size. While a ghost ant colony usually has somewhere between 100-1000 ants, a sugar ant colony can consist of anywhere between 15 ants to 50,000 ants.
They also look pretty unique. While ghost ants are basically invisible and extremely tiny, sugar ants usually have black heads and brown bodies and can get up to 18 millimeters long.
So, if you’re stumped on whether the ants in your home are ghost ants or sugar ants, take note of the color or the size of them.
What Attracts Ghost Ants?
If you have houseplants or shrubs and trees near your home, be wary of ghost ants. These plants and trees may have whiteflies, scale, mealybugs, or aphids, A.K.A plant lice, which is good news for the ghost ants, but you may need to tend your plants with extra care.
Ghost ants and aphids have a mutual symbiotic relationship. In case you forgot a lot from high school biology (like me), I’ll fill you in.
Symbiosis is the partnership of two organisms. It can occur in different ways, but in this case, we’re going to talk about mutualism.
When mutualism occurs, both organisms benefit. The deal here is between aphids and ants - specifically ghost ants.
The aphids eat your plants to get enough nutrients. Once they have enough, they excrete honeydew. Ghost ants love to eat honeydew, so they help them produce more.
Some aphid species are so used to the ant’s help that they can no longer excrete honeydew without them.
So the ants are basically little farmers tending to their aphids for their food source or their “milk.”
Fun (but sad) fact: Farmers consider aphids to be “crop destroyers.” Not only do they eat away at your plants, they also carry plenty of plant viruses, so they’re something you want to keep away from your plants completely.
So if you see these invisible ants in your home or want to prevent them, one thing you can do is keep your home free of potted plants. We know that’s not the most ideal option though, so let’s talk about other ghost ant magnets inside and outside your home.
Ghost ants look for food and water, and that’s what they’re after if they’re inside your home, so a big thing you can practice is keeping your house extra squeaky clean and dry.
Ghost ants are big sugar guys and gals, but they also love grease. So mopping, sweeping, and generally cleaning up after cooking or baking is essential.
They also cling to sources of moisture, so repair any leaky faucet or pipes and avoid letting the hose or sprinkler directly spray your house. Check your gutters too to make sure they’re in good shape.
This also applies to your yard. The logs, leaves, and tree branches which the ghost ants make homes out of are usually going to be damp.
Remove that kind of debris from your yard to avoid attracting ghost ants, as well as stones and bricks.
Another reason why so many ants may be trailing into your home is because of pheromones.
Pheromones are essentially an ant’s sense of smell. When an ant decides to travel away from a colony, they release a trail of pheromones.
The colony will sense these pheromones and follow the trail until they meet up with the first ant, and all of a sudden you’ve got yourself an ant infestation.
These trails can make it hard to get rid of these tiny ants. Even if the ghost ants are dead, you still have to eliminate the pheromone trail to keep the ghost ants away for good.
That’s why a good solution is to call Native Pest Management if you think you might have ghost ants in your home. Our professional pest control technicians can eliminate all sources of ghost ants in your home, including the tricky pheromone trails.
Contact us today to hear about all of your options for ant control in Fort Lauderdale!
How Do I Get Rid of Ghost Ants in Boca Raton?
How to prevent ghost ants in Fort Lauderdale:
Keep debris away from the home - especially if it’s wet. So logs, leaves, bricks, stones, dead branches, etc.
Clean up those kitchen spills asap.
Keep your garden hose and sprinkler from directly hitting the foundation of your home.
Watch your potted plants - if you find aphids, you can spray them away with water or wipe them off with a cotton swab.
Make sure your gutters are in good condition and not leaking.
Place a dehumidifier in spots filled with excess moisture like crawl spaces or attics.
Seal gaps in your home with caulk that ghost ants can climb through - all our technicians carry caulk, so you don’t have to worry about getting it perfect yourself.
Note: Ghost ants climb trees, so trim away any branches that are touching your home. Ants can use them as a bridge to get inside.
Track ant trails, if possible, back to the nesting site and wipe them down. These are the pheromone trails I was talking about before.
Common Ghost Ant Control Mistakes
A big thing to stay away from is repellant spray. While this may seem ironic, if you just attack every inch of your home with repellant sprays, it might not have the result you think it would.
While you may feel immediate satisfaction by ant-proofing your home this way, it could backfire.
This is because repellant spray makes the ants go just a liiittle bit crazy. They panic and split up from their colonies to make new colonies, with a new egg-laying queen, a process called budding.
And when I say “egg-laying” you know what that means.
That means now you have a lot more ant colonies that are multiplying very quickly. Which is probably not worth that temporary satisfaction.
You might also be tempted to try baiting the ants with baiting kits. However, these might not do as much as you think either.
The active ingredient may have the power to kill some ants, but not every ant in your home. This could lead to the same result as the repellant spray - panic, splitting up, more colonies, multiple queens, which means more ants.
How Do I Kill the Ghost Ants In My House?
To kill the ghost ants in your house, There are temporary at-home remedies like drawing a chalk line or placing essential oils or mint on the entry points or in the kitchen and bathroom.
But the focus word on these is temporary. Sealing off the entryways won’t keep ghost ants from living outside, and it also won’t eliminate the little white ants that are already inside.
The best way to get rid of ghost ants in Fort Lauderdale completely is to call a pest control company, and you’re in the right place.
Ghost Ant Control in Fort Lauderdale
Don’t worry about having to keep ghost ants in Fort Lauderdale away by yourself. Native Pest Management has preventative ant control options that will eliminate ghost ants for good.
Our technicians will seal openings that could be letting ghost ants in and kill the ones that are already there.
One way we do this is through our professional baiting kits. While you may be able to buy these from the store, like I mentioned earlier, they have a weaker active ingredient compared to the more advanced baiting kits supplied by a professional pest control company.
We also use non-repellant sprays that don’t start working until every ant catches it - that way, they all die before they can create new colonies and reproduce.
To learn more about controlling ants in Fort Lauderdale, visit our wikiHow page.
If you think you might have a ghost ant infestation in your home, don’t worry. Call Native Pest Management today to discuss your ant control options.