Arriving home from a long day, you go into your home, and the boxes you just had shipped to your house have ants on them. These ants are not your regular black ants. Instead, these ghost ants are a pale color in the abdomen and leg. Their name comes from this color and its size of 1.3 to 1.5 mm in length. Knowing that you have these in your home, you may be wondering if ghost ants bite. They do not bite unless they feel their nest is threatened but if they do bite, it is just a little discomfort.
Let’s learn more about ghost ants.
Where Are Ghost Ants Found?
Ghost ants (Tapinomamelanocephalum) aren’t the type of ant you see everywhere in the United States. In fact, they are tropical ants and are seen in central and south Florida. As mentioned earlier, they hitch rides on potted plants, boxes, crates, and household goods that are shipped to homes and businesses. When they do show up in northern states, they only survive in buildings that are heated and also in greenhouses.
They are called ghost ants because they run on light surfaces. They also have a translucent abdomen with legs that seem to disappear and it looks like there is just a dark head and thorax. When the surface is darker, the ghost ant looks like a patch of pale body running around.
Ghost Ants Inside and Outside the Home
These pests can live inside and outside and are able to adapt well to each environment.
In your home, they will build nests in the baseboards, wall voids, behind the walls, underneath the sink, in potted plants, and in the pantry. They will also go where there is water such as kitchens, bathrooms and places where food also is stored are where you will find them.
Ghost ants will stay in these spaces for a few days as long as the conditions are right for them. Once they are out of their food and water sources, they will move on. They will become noticeable when they start to look for food or if there is a disturbance in the ant colony. If the ants feel threatened, the workers will run to get away.
What do Ghost Ants Eat?
Outdoors, ghost ants like sweet foods like honeydew and will run after aphids as they are sweet and are known as honeydew-producing insects. The worker ants are also the food gatherers and will look for food sources and insects to bring back to the colony. In the home, it is different. The ghost ants don’t go for sweet and instead like greasy food.
How to Prevent Ghost Ants?
Ghost ants, like other pests, look for various opportunities to get into the home. This includes:
- Cracks or gaps that might be in the foundation. Sealing up these entry points is key.
- Tree branches that touch the home should be removed. This is how many pests, including ghost ants get inside.
- Moisture and water sources should be as far from the home as possible to avoid unwanted pests.
- Firewood should be piled away from the home.
- Mulch should not be touching the home. There should be a barrier that is “dry” between the mulch and the home that will keep ants and other pests away.
- Check exterior doors to make sure they close correctly and feel like they have a seal not allowing other pests in.
- Weather stripping should be replaced to keep pests out but also to keep cool air in and hot air out.
- Brick homes will have weep holes and you can put plastic screens into them so ants don’t have an entrance.
Do I Have A Ghost Ant Infestation?
If you see ghost ants running around or in flowerpots or other moist areas, then you may have an infestation. There also may be multiple nests. To get rid of ghost ants outside, you may want to spray an insecticide to kill them or hire a pest control company to use a solution that is not harmful to you, your family, or your pets. Inside the home, you will want to use protein baits.
Ghost ants may bite if their nesting sites are disturbed. However, if you are bitten, it may cause discomfort in the affected area. but not usually noticed by humans.
Now that you know about if ghost ants bite, take a look at a few other areas of maintenance in the home. One of those is why you need to have pest control services. Pest control is a great idea for homes as it can be overwhelming for the owner. Hiring a professional company is the best way to go.
Next, silverfish are another pest that likes boxes and cardboard. Silverfish are also attracted to books, wallpaper, mulch, and moisture so keeping these at bay inside or outside the home is important.
Lastly, jumping spiders may be seen as a pest or as a pet. They live from six months to two years in the wild, or up to three years as a pet. Jumping spiders are interesting in that they have three rows of eyes!
When To Call A Professional
Ghost ants can become a problem in the home so if you are having a hard time with them, it is a good idea to reach out to a professional company. If you have other ants and are not sure what is in your home, you can do some research to see what kind of ant it is and if you want to take care of it on your own or contact a company that knows how to handle them.
Ants are a nuisance and depending on the kind that you have in your home, they can also cause problems. The good news is that ghost ants don’t bite like other ants and pests, but they can be annoying. If they are in the home, that means there is a point of entry for them and other unwanted pests. Hire your local pest control company to assist you in protecting your home against all insects. Call Honor Services and we will gladly assist you with some pest control recommendations while conducting a thorough home inspection in Melbourne, FL, and surrounding areas.