Ghost Ants Part 1 – What are Ghost Ants?

08 February 2024 · 2 min read

Well folks, we are now officially entering summer. With all the fun celebrations, activities, and Florida fun many of us have planned, the importance of responsible pest prevention can easily slip one’s mind. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide: your brief but thorough rundown of everything you need to know about what are ghost ants, one of Florida’s most common home pests, especially this time of year. There’s a lot to cover, so we’ll be releasing Part 1 this week and Part 2 the next. Stay tuned.

Why are they called ghost ants?

They are most commonly referred to as “sugar ants”, and while that name might be correct, it’s not the whole truth. They are actually a type of sugar ant named for their partial clear appearance. The truth is that most all ants that nest inside homes can be called “sugar ants”. We’ll be looking at ghost ants specifically, but the same prevention protocol applies to all sugar ants.

What do they look like?

Ghost ants are very very tiny, much more so than the garden ants you might see outside. Combined with their partially clear body, these traits make ghost ants much harder to see than most pests. If you’re seeing ants that are “half dark and half light” they’re likely either ghost ants or pharaoh ants. The difference? Ghost ants have a dark front and a light rear while Pharaoh ants have a light front and a dark rear. Ghost ants can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, or anywhere food and drinks are consumed. They have high water needs and are attracted to sugar, but they prefer greasy, protein-filled foods. If you’re thinking of “hygiene” and “sanitation” you’re already ahead of the game. Cleanliness is a huge deterrent for these ants.

Do ghost ants bite?

They are, at worst, a nuisance. They can bite, but really only tend to do so when directly defending their nest, so the chance is just barely there. Fortunately, ghost ant bites are so harmless they’re hard to even notice. The frustration of living with these ants comes from their constant presence on countertops and in cabinets as well as their tendency to contaminate food. Not much is more disappointing than finding out that the honey you’ve been using for your coffee is now overrun by ants, especially if you’re not sure how long they’d been there before you noticed.

At Greenhouse, our team of expert, friendly technicians have years of experience helping Floridians reclaim their homes from this pest. If you recognize something that’s been bugging you, give us a call. You don’t have to live with ants forever.

References

https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/ghost_ant.htm

https://bioone.org/journals/florida-entomologist/volume-93/issue-2/024.093.0214/Description-of-the-Larvae-of-Tapinoma-melanocephalum-Hymenoptera-Formicidae/10.1653/024.093.0214.full