How To Get Rid Of Tiny Little Ants, those pesky tiny little ants that crawl on your counter, get into your cereal, rove in your pantry and swim in your coffee mug, yet you never see where they come from or where they go or how they got into your home. In this post i will show you how to get rid of tiny little ants called ghost ants.
You might have a case of ghost ants. Ghost ant, as commonly called or Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) their scientific name can be a huge nuisance pest and somewhat difficult to prevent and control once they have nested in your home but with a few simple steps you can get control of these tiny little ants.
Although difficult to determine its origin ghost ants are most probably native to Africa or the orient it has been spotted as far north as Canada and as far as Galapagos Islands Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, by 1995 the ghost ant had reached Texas most likely from Florida. In Florida it has been reported as far as Gainesville. It can only survive in greenhouses and other heated environments.
Ghost Ants Nesting Habits
Ghost ants are extremely small, and with a very pale color that makes the ghost ant a very difficult ant to see. Observe the image with the penny to get a perspective on its size and anatomy, ghost ants are very adaptable it can nest indoors and outdoors. Outdoors it can nest in dead but moist grass, plant stems, mulch beds, dead leaf piles, loose bark on trees and at the base of palm fronds near the trunk of palms. Indoors they can nest in voids behind your kitchen cabinets, baseboards, potted plants, cracks, crevices or anywhere there is moister. Ghost ants are very opportunistic they only remain in their nest for only for a few days forming new nests by budding. This occurs when one or more females take several workers and possibly some brood (larvae and pupae) and leave an established colony for a new nesting site.
Ghost Ants Feeding Habits
Ghost ants are very attracted to Honeydew, Honeydew is the excrement or poop of sucking piercing insects such as scale insects, aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies that suck the nutrients from the plants and convert it into honeydew or a glucose otherwise sugar poop this is apparent by a shinny sticky substance on the stem, trunk and leaf of the infested plant as time passes bacteria forms on the honeydew converting to a black substance known as sooty mold, if these insects aren’t controlled they will attract ants creating a symbiotic relationship between the ant and honeydew producing insect. These insects also affects the plants appearance by literally sucking the life out of the plant and eventually causing irreparable damage such as dieback the death of branches or causing death to the plant. If you have bushes, plants, shrubs tree and palms up against your house they should be trimmed back away about four inches from the walls of the house and if they are infested with such insects they will attract ghost and other sugar feeding ants so to control the ants you will have to treat the plants also to control the present ghost ant problem and prevent future infestation. See our article on natural control of soft scale insects on shrubs. If you can find there trails workers movement are more slow and deliberate.
Ghost Ant Treatment Options
Since Ghost ants are glucose or sugar feeding ants it is recommended to use glucose based liquid bait. It is not recommended to use chemical pesticide sprays since you have to be able to locate their nesting sites in order to eliminate the infestation, also granular baits are ineffective because of the ghost’s ant small size the ghost ant has a very small mandibles or mouth parts and may not be able to carry the bait back to their nests, however almost all ants can carry liquid bait back to their nests.
Boric acid based liquid baits are very effective and greenest way to eliminate the colonies, we use and recommend Intice Thiquid liquid ant bait from Rockwell labs it can be purchased online from several sources in as little as 4 oz bottle with dropper for convenient application. Thiquid will not get moldy or harden as quickly as other liquid baits working longer for better results.
Ghost Ant Control Methods
Although Franklin Hernandez is a certified pest control operator in Florida the following should not be construed as professional pest control advice for applying products, user must observe all label directions use all required (PPE) Personal protection equipment and observe all safety precautions. ALWAYS KEEP THESE AND ALL CHEMICAL PRODUCTS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. As laws may vary from state to state you may want to consult your local extension service prior to using applying any products or performing any pest control service.