How to Get Rid of Ghost Ants: A Complete, Foolproof Guide

ghost ants
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Ants with white bottoms AKA ghost ants may not seem like that big of a deal at first glance. In fact, you probably won’t even notice them with an unarmed eye…

Until you do.

Product
Best Ghost Ants Killer
Syngenta - TRTD11568 -...
Best Ant Block Granule
Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter...
Best Liquid Ant Bait Stakes
TERRO T1812SR Outdoor Liquid...
Prime
-
Pros
Approved for use indoors and outdoors
Kills most species of ants
1 pack is enough to protect a household for a long period of time
Best Ghost Ants Killer
Product
Syngenta - TRTD11568 -...
Price
Prime
Pros
Approved for use indoors and outdoors
My Review
Best Ant Block Granule
Product
Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter...
Price
Prime
-
Pros
Kills most species of ants
My Review
Best Liquid Ant Bait Stakes
Product
TERRO T1812SR Outdoor Liquid...
Price
Prime
Pros
1 pack is enough to protect a household for a long period of time
My Review

When that time comes (and it will come sooner rather than later), the sight in front of you won’t be pleasant.

You see, these 1/16th of an inch buggers know that there is strength in numbers. Ghost ant colonies reach tens of thousands of workers “ruled” by several queens. Their royal presence allows colonies to branch over several nesting sites across your home within a week or so.

Luckily, an ant infestation is more of an unpleasant nuisance than anything else. These small white ants don’t typically cause any serious trouble. They are simply unpleasant and there’s a weird coconut-like smell coming from their colonies.

Still, they are unwanted guests, and the process of getting rid of them is rather dubious. Hence, I felt the need to write this guide.

Today we’ll learn about:

  • What these tiny buggers are;
  • How to identify a ghost ant infestation;
  • And, of course, how to kill ghost ants.

What Are Ghost Ants and Where Did They Get Their Name?

ghost-ants-and-water

Ghost ants were given their spooky name thanks to their petite size and a fairly decent camouflage. Their darker heads and white bodies are designed to blend with dark surfaces such as a tree trunk or a wall of a building.

These ants are also known as clear ants or sugar ants due to their dietary preferences. In simpler words, they have a sweet tooth, often preferring sugar to more nutritious leftovers.

While generally being well-spread across the Americas, ghost ants in Florida are a much more common sight simply because of all the moisture in the area.

Typical Behavior of Ghost Ants

Ghost ants build their colonies in areas with high levels of moisture. Once the little guys are settled in, you’ll be seeing bands of marching worker ants around your sink. One might even assume that there is a certain level of intelligence and careful planning that went to developing the marching roots.

That’s entirely false, though. Ghost ants are simply doing a nice job at tracking one another.
If disturbed, these invisible ants transform into a legion of chaos running erratically without any visible patterns.

When inside, most nests will be located in the kitchen and bathroom areas, inside aluminum supports, and under flower pots.

Dietary Preferences of Small White Ants

On the bright side, these small white ants eat other insects, so there’s a chance they’ll do a little bit of pest control for you.

Alas, the ants will also feast on anything they can get their antennas on which includes bread, greens, and everything containing the slightest bit of sugar.

What Are the Telltale Signs of an Infestation?

ghost-ants.

There’s only one sign of an ant infestation, but it is very telling. If you’ve managed to spot a single worker ant, there’s a 99.9% chance he came from a colony nearby.

Check your front and back yards and pay special attention to dead tree limbs, firewood piles, or any laying stones. This simple inspection should lead you to the source of an upcoming infestation.

If the ants are already in the house, however, they are probably in the places we’ve mentioned above. Keep in mind that there might be multiple colonies roaming under your wallpapers.

Yucky.

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Ghost Ants?

The worst aspect of an ant infestation is the sheer volume of the pests living in your home. You can try keeping all the food sealed, but the rascals will probably find something else to eat. Physically destroying a nest won’t do a lot of damage as well. Ghost ants are extremely mobile.

More on the matter, I’ve observed them carrying eggs from one nest to another as a response to danger. A decent ghost ant killer such as Syngenta, TERRO, or AMDRO is probably your best shot.

Top 3 Ghost Ant Killers in My Opinion

In my experience, decent bait is the most efficient method of dealing with a ghost ant infestation. I’ve tried out many solutions offered on the market and here is my personal little top list.

Let’s take a look at my favorite ghost ant baits.

Syngenta Optiguard – Best Ghost Ant killer

Optiguard by Syngenta is a transparent ant bait gel designed for indoor and outdoor use. The clear gel-like structure of the solution attracts workers who bring the poison into their colony, effectively killing everyone feeding on it, including brood and the queen.

It is packaged in a syringe simplifying the application – you can easily get rid of ghost ants in your car without staining the fabric. So yeah, ghost ants in the car are no longer a worry.

The formula does not leave any marks, so you are free to use the bait indoors behind a wallpaper.

Optiguard is also quite flexible. It kills fire ants, carpenter ants, and phantom ants alike.

Pros:Cons:
  • flexible in application;
  • multi-purpose;
  • does not leave stains;
  • remains palatable for up to two weeks;
  • approved for use indoors and outdoors.
  • the syringe is rather small, so you’ll probably need to purchase multiple baits to deal with a large infestation.

AMDRO Ant Block Granule – Best Ant Block Granule

The ant block granule by AMDRO is the best ghost ant control granule I’ve had the pleasure of working with. A single bottle is enough to cover 1,000 linear feet, and the solution has recommended itself as a spectacular queen (hence the entire colony) killer.

Do note that this granule is designed for outdoor use only. It will protect your home from pesky workers finding their way inside, but if they are already in, I’d recommend a solution with more finesse.

Pros:Cons:
  • powerful bait that kills ants before they make their way inside;
  • a single bottle is enough to protect most households;
  • kills most species of ants.
  • cannot be applied inside;
  • has a slightly unpleasant odor.

TERRO – Best Liquid Ant Bait Stakes

TERRO is one of the simplest outdoor ant baits on the market. One pack contains 16 stakes of bait you can place around your home to let the magic happen. The stakes have a built-in bait monitor that makes sure you know when it is time to replace the bait.

The logic behind TERRO bait is simple – the ants can’t get inside when they are dead. The stakes contain a long-running poison worker ants will carry into their colony killing everyone inside the ant house.

All in all, TERRO is a great ghost ant infestation prevention solution.

Pros:Cons:
  • 1 pack is enough to protect a household for a long period of time;
  • TERRO is simple in application;
  • the steaks are quite user-friendly thanks to the bait indicator;
  • the bait kills multiple species of ants.
  • outdoor use only;
  • the bait is scented to attract ants. The smell, however, may seem equally delicious to pets.

FAQ

Are Ghost Ants Dangerous?

No, not really.

Do They Sting?

No, they are too small to cause any harm to a human or even a smaller domestic animal such as a dog or a cat.

How to Get Rid of Ghost Ants Naturally?

There’s no surefire way to get rid of sugar ants naturally. They are resilient and mobile, but if you are meticulous enough, you can try to spot and physically destroy all of their nests. Also, keep all of your food sealed as a general rule of thumb.

You can also try mixing water with lemon juice and sprinkle it around the nest but, honestly, I’ve seen mixed results when using this method.

Summing up Our Ghost Ant Control Guide

Now that you know who the small white ants you’ve seen marching towards your sink are, what they eat, and how they act. You know where to find them and how to kill them.

That being said, I highly advise you to approach purchasing ant poison with due diligence. After all, these are poisons you are buying, so if you choose not to go with the options I’ve selected, please take the time to do your homework and always consider your surroundings.

For instance, you may not own a pet, but your neighbors might. Can the animal access your backyard? Will there be children playing around? Do you have any allergies? These are the questions you must always ask yourself before making an ant trap purchasing decision.

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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