Due to Texas’s climate we encounter pests all year long. One of the most common pests are ants. Texas has a diverse population of ant species that wander into homes and other human structures. One species of ant that is well established in Florida, California and even Hawaii is the Ghost Ant. This ant species reached Texas around 1995. Ghost ants can be very difficult to control and often require a professional pest control service to help. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control will share how to identify ghost ants and how a professional pest control service can help control these ants when they invade your home.
Ghost Ant Identification
Ghost ants are a very tiny species of ant, measuring less than 1/16 of an inch. Along with being very small, they can also be hard to see as they are mostly pale or cream in color, with a darker head and abdomen. Ghost ants require heat and therefore thrive inside homes during winter. Ghost ants often dig their nests outside and usually underneath mulch or the bark of trees. However, ghost ant nests have been found within homes typically in the walls or underneath carpets. Ghost ants require a sweeter diet. Most ghost ants will milk honeydew from aphids or other plant feeding insects. When ghost ants invade the home, they are often found devouring sweets within the residence.
Why are Ghost Ants So Hard to Get Rid Of?
Ghost ants can be very difficult to control. For example, ghost ants will not feed on ant bait at all. Additionally, they are very small and can find the tiniest cracks to enter homes and other buildings. Another trait of ghost ants is that they have thousands of worker ants and multiple queens, which often form sub-colonies. In order to control or stop ghost ants, a pest technician will need to locate the nest and treat the nest directly. However there are steps the homeowner can take to reduce ghost ant invasions.
How to Prevent Ghost Ants
To help prevent ghost ants, it is recommended to eliminate lumber, yard debris, and unused piles of bricks around the home. Ghost ants love nesting in these sites. When using mulch, use less than two inches of mulch in a single area. Keep all mulch at least a foot away from the home or more if possible. Ghost ants love the heat and insulation mulch provides and therefore are ideal nesting sites. Ghost ants will use trees and shrubs to travel or climb onto to get inside homes. Keep tree branches and other vegetation from making contact with the home. Ghost ants also require water and are drawn to moisture, particularly sprinkler systems. Avoid having sprinklers that spray near or on the foundation of the home as the foundation can harbor enough water for Ghost ants. Lastly, attempt to seal off all cracks in the home’s foundation or exterior walls. Make sure doors and windows are shut tightly to prevent ghost ants from entering the home.