Do ghost ants live up to their name? Ghost ant control

Ghost ant control. The ghost ant is an invasive species of ant that was imported to south Florida around 1988. It is impossible to to say where this ant originated from but most entomologists agree that they are originally from Africa or the Orient. Since 1988 they have spread northward to as far up as Gainesville, so that means Ocala, Lady lake, the Villages and surrounding areas are all within range, and we’ve gotten calls from each town to boot. Actually, ghost ants are active the whole year round but the reason I consider the cooler months of November through January to be the height of ghost ant season is because that’s when we get most of our calls for this major pest. During these months the ghost ant invades the inside of structures searching for warmth, water, and food. The ghost ant is without a doubt a major nuisance pest and they can be tricky to control.

Ghost ant control can be tricky

Ghost ants are often referred to as sugar ants. Personally, I don’t like the term “sugar ant” because this can mean several different kinds of ants and when dealing with a ghost ant infestation, or any other ant species it is of vital importance to know exactly which species you are dealing with. It seems they may have gained their common name of “sugar ant” because they are a sweet feeding ant, but there are also several other sweet feeding ants which can also lead to further identification confusion. Spraying these ants with a repellent pesticide will only cause “budding”, which means “spreading”. Once budding occurs the ant in question will start to make appearances in other parts of the structure, making the problem worse than the original infestation. Ghost ants are very, very tiny, and are often confused with rover ants. This ant will readily nest indoors or outdoors, and colonies are usually of moderate to large in size containing many reproductive females. Indoors, the ant will nest in wall voids, spaces between cabinetry and baseboards, and they will even nest in potted plants. There are multiple queens which have the potential to spread out in multiple sub colonies. The ghost ants habits are similar to the Pharaoh ant, which is an ant that we’ll be covering in a future blog post since they are a significant problem as well.

Ghost ant control can take patience

If you have an infestation of ghost ants it is very important that you call us right away. They need to be positively identified and treated accordingly. You should not use common household insecticides as this will only spread out the ants making the problem worse. You should also save any bodies that you may have in case the trail dissolves by the time our technicians can get out to you. Trails can disappear and reappear sporadically within a very short period of time.

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Ghost ant control by Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control