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Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanoccephalum)

Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanoccephalum)

Tapinoma melanocephalum casent0103323 profile 1  The ant comes from the tropics and so needs warmth and protection. Ghost ants are highly adaptable in their nesting habits and can be found in spaces between walls, between cupboards, folded clothing or linen, or in the soil of potted plants. Indoors they are mainly found in the kitchen and bathroom as they look for food and water. In kitchens they prefer sweet items such as packages of sugar, honey or candy. They will also feed on grease deposits although not as readily as they will on sweets. Trails are often difficult to see due to the tiny size and pale colour of these ants, and their random feeding pattern.

Identification:
The ghost ant is a very tiny ant, 1.5-2mm long Pale almost see through body and legs, with a darker head and thorax.

Biology:
The queen lays a large number of eggs, which hatch after 2 to 4 weeks to form tiny larvae. These are fed and looked after by sterile female workers for up to 2 months. The development is speeded up with increased temperatures and after 2 to 4 weeks the fully formed ant emerges. Colonies of ghost ants tend to be moderate to large in size and often a number of queens are present. New colonies are started by ‘budding’ where one or more reproductive females, several worker ants and possibly some brood (larvae and pupae) move to a new nesting site.

Control:
The methodology of Ghost Ant control is very similar to that of Pharaoh’s Ants. Baiting using a food attractant combined with a juvenile hormone or slow acting poison is the only method likely to be successful. Residual sprays or dusts should not be used, either as a method of control or anywhere within the infested areas in the period preceding or during a baiting treatment.

Products to control Ghost Ants:

Advion Ant Gel (4 x 30g tube)
Advion®Ant Gel is an innovative technology that can be used in a variety of situations for effective ant control.

Biopren BMS (12 x 2.5g)
Biopren BMS is a highly effective granular bait for use against ants. Supplied in ready to use bait stations.

Maxforce Quantum Gel (30g tube)
Maxforce Quantum controls sweet and protein loving ants including Pharaoh, Ghost, Black and Argentine Ants.