Summary: The ghost ant species can be found living in greenhouses and other buildings offering warm conditions where it nests in potted plants. The ghost ant builds colonies in wall voids or spaces between baseboards or cabinetry. It will feed upon many foods including sweets such as sugar, cakes and syrups.
A reader asks: We bought a house that has Ghost ants! We have tried several baits designed for Ghost ants, but the problem still persists. They are such a nuisance that we have been killing them with pesticides which I have read will only make the problem worse. What can we do to get rid of these ants? They are driving us crazy.
Dear Reader: As you seem to already know, the use of residual sprays or dusts will cause stress on the Ghost ant colonies causing them to split into sub-colonies that scatter to other areas in the house. Quick kill insecticides and baits will only kill the foraging ants so you need to use slow acting baits that allow the foraging ants to take the bait back to feed the queen and the rest of the ant colony.
***image1***You need to be aware of what foods the ants are accepting. Just because you put out a bait doesn't mean the ants will like it. Humans don't survive on a diet of steak alone. Neither do ants. Ghost ants require a mixed diet containing carbohydrates (sugars) and proteins (other insects) and grease. So, to be sure you are meeting the nutritional needs of the colony I would suggest a banquet of bait variations from which they can choose. Give them several types of baits including a grease-fat bait, a protein bait and a sugar carbohydrate bait. Once they start eating the bait be sure to leave it undisturbed. Remove any other foods they may have been eating so your bait has no competition.
In kitchens, Ghost ants prefer to seek out sweet items such as marshmallows, syrup, honey, candy and sugar. They will also forage on drops of grease, although not as readily as they will on sweets. Since Ghost ants have a need for water they are commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms and other places where moisture can easily be found.
The proper baits required for Ghost ant control may be available only through a licensed pest control professional. However, I will list them for you. A good protein grease bait would be Maxforce ant bait stations. Sugar bait formulations would be Ant Gourmet Gel Ant Bait or Maxforce Ant Killer Gel Bait.
Regardless of the bait you purchase, read the label carefully to make sure you are buying the correct product. Don't try to be creative. Follow the label instructions.
Click here to watch my short video on how to control ants.