HOW TO CONTROL GHOST ANTS
Why Are These Ants in My Home?
Ghost ants are exclusively in your home for the food (sugars & proteins) and water providing for them. These ants would not be inside the home if these sources were not easily available. These ants are sent out by the colony as rovers to find food and water for the survival of the colony. Once the food/water has been detected, the ant leaves a pheromone scent behind, as a marker (one you cant see), but, the other ants can easily follow it back to the food/water source.
As long as this food/water source exists, the ants will simply follow this scent to the source, each and every time. Once this adequate supply exists, setting up colonies closer to the sources, begins and they begin to multiply and build separate colonies both indoors (in cracks, crevices, food pantries, under sinks, in potted plant soil, etc) and outdoors (In trees, under loose logs, piles, stones, potted plants, etc).
The eradication of ghost ants is considered a very difficult task, because their nests are not easy to locate. This process depending on level of infestation, can take 3 to 5 weeks to resolve an infestation.
DO NOT USE INSECTICIDE SPRAYS TO KILL THESE ANTS
Insecticide sprays have been used for years to kill worker ants. However, you cant kill the entire nest this way, unless you can locate the nest and treat directly. The proper way to get rid of these pests, is with a baiting program, and updated sanitation practices, a far more effective way to control ants. In fact, insecticides will make the problem even worse. Heres why: The worker ants job is to collect food and water for the queen and brood. When you kill the worker ants (ones you can see) with insecticides, the queens back in the nest realize that their workers are not returning with food and water, and will split the nest up (a phenominon known as “Budding”) in order to save the colony. Before you know it these nests will start popping up all over the house, creating even a larger problem. The idea is to have these workers carry back our baits, as a food source, so the queens and brood consume the baits and die. Far more effective. The process, depending on how bad the infestation is takes anywhere between 3 to 5 weeks for control.
Killing the worker ants, serves no purpose, in the grand scheme of things. Killing the queen is the greatest thing you can do to destroy a colony. It takes a little longer but is far more effective. Please be patient as we work through this issue.
Follow these tips for great results!
- Watch the ants, to see where they are coming from or where they are going. When you see the ants, their job is to collect food or water, and carry it back to the nest. Watch where the ants are going. You will learn alot by watching where they are coming from and going. Exiting via some crack, hole, or gap around a kitchen window, a wall, or counter top. If you can see where they are coming from or where they are going, sealing (pest proofing) the entrance or exit holes is the best way to prevent them from entering your living space.
- Hide those Pheromone trails with Vinegar and water solution. Use 1 part water, 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. Soak counters, backsplash area, underside of counter with this solution. It will hide the pheromone scent the ants leave, making it impossible to find these food/water sources.
- Remember the ants are after any sugars/foods and water they can find for the survival of the nest. Keep sinks, and counters dry and free from food scents. Even the smell of food or sugars in a wet rag will attract them. Toothpaste contains sugar. Keep toothpaste in ziplock bag while dealing with this issue.
- Place all sugar related items in air tight containers. I promise you, if you don’t do this, the ants will find it, no matter how much pest control you do.
- My advise is to remove all potted plants from the interior of the house. But if you must have them, make sure the soil is wet or moist. Dont let the soil dry up. These ants will thrive in dry soil. Also, making sure no aphids are on the plants, as aphids produce a sugar like substance, these sugar feeding ants love, and will protect aphids as a food source.
- Finally, this is very important, as any trees, shrubs touching the house will allow ants to bridge across these branches and on to the house. Where they go from there is to the water and food sources, inside the house. Trim those tree limbs back for ultimate results.