If you don't like pests setting up shop in your home, you might be interested in hiring a professional exterminator to help you with your problems. However, unless you understand the tools that they are working with, you might find yourself wondering what else you can do to curb issues. For example, if you don't mention that mosquito problem, your exterminator might not know to treat that water feature with a pesticide that targets larvae. My site explains different ways you can prepare for your professional pest control treatment, so that you aren't left with issues later down the road.
There are many types of invasive ants that now make their home in the United States. Some of them, like fire ants, are household names, while others, like ghost ants, don't get as much attention. Here are six things homeowners need to know about ghost ants.
Where do ghost ants come from?
Ghost ants are originally from a tropical climate; they are thought to come from either Africa or Asia, though the exact origin isn't known. They made their way to the United States during the late 1800s.
What do ghost ants look like?
Ghost ants are very small ants. The average size of a worker ghost ant is between 1.3 and 2.0 mm. Even the queens, the largest members of the colony, are quite small at only 2.5 mm in length. These ants have dark brown heads, but their abdomens and legs are cream colored. Their unusual coloring makes them look even smaller, so they can be hard to see. There's another way to identify ghost ants: their smell. When these ants are squished, they release a foul odor; this smell has earned them the nickname "corpse ants."
Are ghost ants found throughout the United States?
Ghost ants have a fairly small range within the United States. Since they're a tropical species, they can't survive outdoors in the northern states, and this limits their spread. Currently, they're found in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas, and their range is expanding, so they may be found in other southern states in the future. In northern states, you may find them in your greenhouse or in other heated buildings, but you won't find them outside.
Do these ants infest houses?
Ghost ants live both outdoors and indoors, so it's possible for them to infest houses. Indoors, they like to live in places like wall voids or the space beneath baseboards. They will also make their nests in potted plants. Ghost ants colonies tend to break up into multiple colonies, so you may end up with numerous separate colonies spread throughout your house.
Do ghost ants bite?
Unlike fire ants, ghost ants won't hurt you. They don't sting or bite, so while they're an annoying pest, they're not a threat.
How can you get rid of them?
You can kill ghost ants with ant bait, but you need to be careful about which type you buy. Not all types of ant bait work for ghost ants. Hydramethylnon, an active ingredient in some types of ant baits, has been shown to have no effect on ghost ants, so avoid using baits that rely on this pesticide. Studies have shown that baits that include boric acid are effective, so read the labels before you choose a bait.
The strange thing about these ants is that they may only occupy a nest for a few days or weeks, so by the time you find a colony, they may already be getting ready to move. This can make it hard to get rid of them since by the time you find the nest and put out ant bait in that area, they may already be moving on to another part of your house. For this reason, you need to put bait traps throughout your house, not just in the areas where you've seen the ants.
It can be hard to kill these ants by yourself, so you may need to click here for info about hiring a professional pest control company to help you. They are able to hunt down the many ghost ant colonies within your house, and may spray them with insecticides that kill on contact.
Ghost ants are hard to get rid of, but you can control them by choosing effective baits and by enlisting the help of a pest control company.Share
3 August 2015