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Do Ghost Ants Bite?

Ghost ants eating food

You’ve just come home, set down your bags, and noticed something unsettling – tiny, pale ants weaving through the seams of the delivery boxes in your hallway. Ghost ants are unique in their small and light-colored appearance. With their sudden presence, you might naturally start to wonder about these little invaders—specifically, whether they could bite anyone in your home.

In this post, we’ll cover the more important background on ghost ants so you’re aware of potential risks and prepared to address these pests down the road.

A Bit About Ghost Ants

Ghost ants, scientifically known as Tapinoma melanocephalum, thrive in warm, tropical environments and are commonly found in regions like central and south Florida.

These tiny travelers often hitch rides on various household items such as potted plants and packaged goods, finding their way into homes and businesses. In cooler climates, they survive only in artificially heated environments, including buildings and greenhouses.

The name “ghost ant” comes from their ability to blend seamlessly into light surfaces, thanks to their tiny size and the color of their abdomens and legs. They can appear almost invisible, except for their dark head and thorax. This camouflage makes them particularly elusive, especially on darker surfaces where only their pale bodies are visible.

Ghost ants can bite but typically do not.

Lifestyle and Diet

Ghost ants are adaptable and can establish colonies both indoors and outdoors. Inside your home, they are likely to build nests in secluded moist areas such as baseboards, wall voids, and under sinks. Kitchens and bathrooms are particularly susceptible to invasions due to the availability of water. These ants don’t settle permanently; they move on once they deplete local food and water sources, often becoming more noticeable as they search for new supplies.

In their natural environment, ghost ants prefer sweet substances like honeydew, primarily produced by aphids, which they tend to farm and protect. Inside, they adapt their diet to include greasier foods found in the home.

Do Ghost Ants Bite?

Ghost ants are not known for being aggressive or biting humans. Typically, they do not bite unless their nest is directly threatened. Even then, their bite is not harmful and usually only causes a slight discomfort without any lasting effects.

The primary concern with ghost ants is not their bite, but rather their potential to contaminate food and become a nuisance due to their numbers.

Identifying a Ghost Ant Infestation

Recognizing a ghost ant infestation early can be crucial in preventing a larger problem. Here are signs to look for and effective ways to manage the situation:

Signs of a Ghost Ant Infestation:

  • Active Trails: Ghost ants are social insects that follow trails between their nest and food sources. Seeing small, pale ants moving in a line can indicate an active colony.
  • Nest Sightings: Ghost ant nests often hide in wall voids or under cabinets. However, you might notice small piles of debris that indicate the entrance to their nesting sites.
  • Increased Activity in Wet Areas: Moisture and damp conditions draw ghost ants. Frequent sightings in kitchens, bathrooms, or other damp areas often signal an infestation.
While ghost ants don't typically, bite, preventing them is as easy as regular maintenance.

Homeowner sealing entry points around windows.

Preventative Maintenance

To keep ghost ants from invading your living spaces, adopt these focused prevention tactics:

  • Inspect and Seal Entry Points: Regularly check for any cracks in the foundation and gaps around windows, and doors. Seal them up using caulk or other appropriate materials.
  • Regular Cleaning: Maintain clean surfaces and vacuum frequently to eliminate food particles and residues that attract ants.
  • Proper Food Storage: Ensure all food is in containers with tight seals and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Fix Leaks: Promptly repair plumbing leaks to avoid moisture buildup, which attracts ghost ants and other pests.
  • Routine Inspections: Finally, regularly check areas prone to ant activity. This includes areas like under sinks, cupboards, and along walls, for early signs of infestation.

When To Call A Professional

If ghost ants or other pests become a persistent issue despite your best preventive efforts, it may be time to call in a trained expert. They are equipped to handle large-scale problems or complex cases where ants have deeply established colonies within the home.

Getting an expert to help provides peace of mind and ensures that the problem is addressed thoroughly, preventing future recurrences.


While ghost ants are less harmful than some other pests and don’t normally bite, their presence can be more than just a nuisance—it could even indicate other underlying pest issues. Taking proactive steps to manage these pests is crucial for maintaining a peaceful home environment.

However, if ghost ants continue to invade despite your efforts, don’t hesitate to call Honor Services in Melbourne, FL, and surrounding areas.

Michelle Shishilla

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