Pest ID – Ghost Ants

If you have ever dealt with ghost ants in your home, you will know they can be quite the nuisance. These tiny-sized ants can come into your home in the tiniest of cracks and holes and build nests in walls, behind cabinets or even in the aluminum supports around your screen porch. Let’s check out some other fun facts about ghost ants.


Ghost Ants Appearance

Ghost ants get their name from their translucent legs and abdomens. When they crawl onto light colored surfaces they seem to vanish, making it difficult to see them with the naked eye. Opposite to their translucent legs and abdomen, their head and thorax are very dark in color. They are extremely small, typically about or less than 1/16-inch long, they are hairless and do not sting.


Their Habitat

Ghost ants like to build their nest in areas of moisture whether inside or outside. For the outside, they like to make their nests in the ground near logs, moist grass, woodpiles and under potted plants. They are particularly drawn to building a home in the aluminum supports around your screen porch.


For the inside, they enter buildings and homes by creating trails along the ground or trailing on utility lines or tree limbs and bushes that may be touching your home. They are small enough to enter homes through very tiny holes in caulking and cracks. Once they make their way into your home, they will nest in space inside the walls or behind cabinets and behind baseboards. Indoor infestations, colonies can be found behind wallpaper, in closets, boxes, inside walls and pretty much any other dark protected area. You will typically find them in kitchens and bathrooms, searching for food and moisture.


The ghost ant colonies have multiple queens and will split their colony into multiple sub-colonies or nests. They often trail in line moving between nests and can be seen carrying their offspring to new locations. If they get disturbed, the worker ants will scatter and run around erratically.

Also Known As “Sugar Ants”

Ghost ants also known as “sugar ants,” are not usually visible to the naked eye, especially when the ants are on a dark colored surface. They are commonly called “sugar ants” due to their food preference. They often feed on honeydew and other insects, but once inside your home they will eat anything sweet, which is why some call them sugar ants.



Ghost ants prefer the tropical environment and are very common in central and southern South Florida. If you do find them in the northern states, they will typically only survive in heated buildings or greenhouses.


Prevention of Ghost Ants in Your Home

To keep ghost ants out of your home, be sure to look for any cracks in caulking around windows and doors. Keep your food items secured and sealed and any pet food off the floors. Also, make sure to keep bushes, shrubs and plants trimmed about 2 feet from the home. Plants and bushes that are touching your home, give ghost ants and other pests easy transfer from the plants to your home. The key to control these ants is to find the colonies and sub-colonies and treat them directly. Regular inspections and services are very important to help find and treat these pesky colonies.


If you have recently discovered ghost ants in or around your home, contact Houseman Services at 866-964-PEST, so we can treat your home.