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Ghost Ants

Active Seasons

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Appearance and Size Facts

  • Ghost ants have a dark head and thorax, with a pale abdomen and legs
  • Not usually visible with the naked eye, especially when the ants are on a dark colored surface
  • Size: Less than 1/16 inch long
  • Commonly referred to as "sugar ants" due to their food preference
  • Often nest in areas of moisture

Behavior and Habitat of Ghost Ants

Ghost ants have the habit of running rapidly and erratically around when disturbed. They will trail in a line, and can often be seen carrying their offspring to a new nesting location. They are small enough to enter homes through the tiniest holes in caulking, or cracks in foundations. Once inside your home, they can be seen in kitchens and bathrooms trailing to and from the sinks (searching for moisture). Ghost ants prefer to feed on honeydew and other insects, but once inside they will eat anything sweet (hence the commonly referred to name of sugar ant). The Ghost ant is a nuisance ant that is common in central and southern South Florida. Known as a "tramp" ant, it easily nests in or under potted plants and other moist areas. It is particularly fond of nesting inside the aluminum supports around screen porches. Once inside your home, it will nest in wall voids or spaces between cabinetry and baseboards. Nests contain multiple queens and multiple subcolonies.

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Signs of Infestation of Ghost Ants

Sightings of small ghost ant workers is the usual sign of their presence. The ghost ant's primary habitat is outdoors so look for them in soil, in debris in tree trunks, dead tree limbs, under and inside logs, in and under firewood, and under stones. For indoor infestations, colonies will be located inside walls, in boxes, behind wallpaper, between sheets, towels, folded clothing, in waterbeds, and virtually any other dark protected site.

An illustration representing a warning sign for bug infestation

Tips for Prevention of Ghost Ants

Keep food items secured and pet food off of the floors. Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed 2 foot from the home. Caulk any visible cracks around windows and doors.

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Ghost Ant Gallery

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Photograph of ghost ant number 2
Photograph of ghost ant number 3

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