Numerous Florida homes frequently experience ant invasions. The odorous, ghost, big headed, black, pharaoh, carpenter, and odorous ants are a few of the common ants we have. 90% of the time when we receive a call for “sugar ants,” we really locate ghost ants or big-headed ants instead.
Finding out the species you are dealing with is the first step in figuring out how to permanently get rid of sugar ants. It can be challenging to distinguish between these little ants, though, for a person with very little knowledge and training in entomology.
If you have any pest control concerns or find any very tiny ants in Florida homes, the professionals at On Demand Pest Control can assist you thanks to their years of knowledge.
Sugar ants (likely ghost ants or big-headed ants), thrive in tropical climes and are a major pest concern in Florida, Texas, and Hawaii.
We regularly spot ghost ants in our clients’ houses in South Florida cities like Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Davie, Hollywood, West Palm Beach, and Port St. Lucie.
Small, yellowish-brown ghost ants are a native Florida ant species. They are renowned for their swiftness as well as for having a distinguishing pale abdomen and legs.
They are omnivores and consume anything, including insects, small animals, and plant sap. In Florida, they are a frequent annoyance to homeowners and frequently find their way inside through gaps and crevices in quest of food.
Ghost ants are typically seen as annoyance pests, but if left unchecked, they can seriously harm properties.
These ants are incredibly difficult to spot due to their size and coloration. Without the aid of a flashlight and a close study, it can be nearly impossible to notice ghost ants in kitchens with dark granite worktops.
Why Do I Have Very Small Ants?
Ants are continually looking for food, water, and refuge. In a radius of several hundred feet, they investigate any area that might be reached by gaps and cracks. The best course of action is to stop them from getting food and water by eliminating their source. Cleaning up after yourself is as simple as mopping up spills and cleaning your home frequently.
Ghost ants are frequently attracted to homes in quest of food, particularly sweet and sticky items. Fruits, vegetables, sweet foods and beverages, as well as other small insects, are known to be their main sources of nutrition. In addition, they can get inside houses through minor gaps and fissures in the walls. Additionally, the presence of other, larger ant species in homes may draw them in.
The Invasion of Sugar Ants Into Your House
Because insects like scale, aphids, and whiteflies are feasting on the plant life on your property, sugar ants and ghost ants are drawn to your house. These sugar ants produce honeydew while they consume the plants, which is consumed by ghost ants and other insects.
Ghost ants are drawn to pleasant substances, such honeydew, which is frequently found on plants close to your home. They might be drawn to sugary foods and drinks that you leave out in your yard as well as sweet liquids. The amount of ghost ants on your property may be decreased by eliminating these sources of food and moisture.
A solid sign that honeydew has been left on your plants is the appearance of a dark, sooty material on the leaves, or the presence of insects that are stifling the new plant growth.
Most properties in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Dania Beach, and West Palm Beach neighborhoods are surrounded by palm trees, therefore ant trails climbing the tree trunks are a given. These ants are taking advantage of the honeydew that has accumulated on the tree bark and palm leaves.
You can also bet that sugar ants are using those palm fronds (or any branches, for that matter) as a bridge to enter your house, possibly evading any foundation treatments for preventative pest control.
The ghost ants’ preferred food source will be removed when we treat these plants for pests as part of our home pest control procedures, making your house less appealing to them.
How Sugar Ants Get Inside Your Home
Without preventative measures, it is inevitable that these ants will eventually make their way inside your home if they are present in the landscaping surrounding it. They are so tiny that no amount of caulking will be able to keep them out.
Since sugar ants are drawn to moisture once inside, the kitchen or bathrooms are typically where they are first observed. Sugar ants have the ideal moisture source in the form of water droplets in sinks and on countertops.
Additionally, we’ve observed them drawn to condensation on water lines leading to appliances like your refrigerator or dishwasher.
They frequently settle in wall crevices or the areas between cabinets and baseboards. Another common favorite of their colonies is potted plants.
Ghost ants in particular can have several colonies and queens, thus it’s feasible that they might have different colonies in each of the aforementioned sites even if there aren’t any ant trails connecting the colonies.
How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants
Make sure you are aware of the species of ants you are dealing with before beginning any ant control efforts. Different ants can be managed in various ways. For instance, while using baits to get rid of Pharaoh is beneficial, it is ineffective for other ants. Since very small ants in Florida have a propensity to multiply quickly, it is usually best to track the ants back to their colony and treat it there.
Since ants are oftentimes not visible, you can kill them by contact with non-repellent sprays. The insecticide is transferred during grooming by the ants as they track it into the nest.
In Florida, On Demand Pest Control is skilled and has a wealth of experience in accurately identifying tiny ants. To guarantee the safety of your home and property, we hire experts who have undergone extensive training. You can feel secure as a customer knowing that no pest control problem is too big for us to handle. We distinguish ourselves by offering eco-friendly products that are specially formulated for indoor use.
Alternatively, preventive measures are strongly advised if you have never had the tiny ants found in Florida in your home. You can accomplish this by locating the ant’s point of entry into your home and taking appropriate action before things get out of hand.
Why Ant Sprays Don’t Work On Sugar Ants
According to our observations, the main cause of why people can’t get rid of ghost ants is because they are spraying over-the-counter remedies from big box stores. These products are excellent at instantly eliminating ghost ants and other small ants, so it appears to be working.
The issue is that the active ingredient in these items typically disrupts the pheromone trails that these ants follow, prompting them to separate trails into other rooms and, in a process known as budding, produce new queens and new colonies.
Also, because they don’t leave any residue, the effectiveness of these over-the-counter ant sprays is limited to only the ants that come into direct contact with the spray.
In order to eradicate these pests, we employ non-repellent treatment methods that give the ants a chance to survive for a few days, allowing them to return to their queens with the product we apply and therefore wipe out the entire colony.
If used in accordance with the directions on the product label, non-repellent sprays such as Termidor, Temprid, Taurus, Phantom, and Alpine WSG will not kill ants immediately upon contact. This is critical since failing to do so will allow the ants to share the active component with other ants, ultimately causing colony collapse.
Ant control and prevention can be very effective at permanently eliminating ants when combined with insect monitors, granular and gel baits, and dusts like boric acid.
How to Control Tiny Sugar Ants in Florida
To improve the chances of successfully eradicating any pest, it is best to employ a number of treatment strategies at once. When treating ghost ants, care must be taken to avoid using a treatment that is too potent, as this will prevent the ants from returning to their colonies with any products.
In order to keep products safe and to successfully eradicate severe ant infestations, it is crucial to always follow the instructions on product labels, as we constantly remind our technicians.
To start, you must locate the source of the sugar ants. Find any potential entry points, such as holes or cracks in the doors, windows, or walls. The entry points can be sealed once you’ve determined where the sugar ants are coming from.
Then, we’ll shift our focus to the house’s inside. On the trails itself, we spray a crack and crevice spray like Alpine WSG to prevent weeds from growing. Ghost ants are not eliminated upon contact with this product. When ants are given enough food to keep them alive for a few days, they unwittingly bring the disease back to their colonies and distribute it through the process of food sharing.
You can now use Terro or any ant bait along the paths left by ghost ants. It’s crucial to spread out little amounts of gel bait along the path it will take the insects to get to it. Large globs of liquid or gel bait will not improve the treatment’s efficacy and will just result in a messy and expensive mess.
We then dust the backs of the kitchen’s electrical outlets with borate, which is safe for pets, to prevent ants from entering the home through the wiring and getting to the food and water sources.
Applying a long-lasting granular bait in the attic accesses discourages sugar ants as well as American cockroaches from using that route to the rest of the house. When we treat a home for ants in the kitchen, we always treat the attic as well to make sure none of the bugs we killed made their way down into the house from up there.
We use a second spray, typically Termidor or Taurus, to treat the exterior of the house for ghost ant trails and access spots. These ant control products, when used as directed on the label, will not kill the insects on contact.
As an example, Termidor and Taurus are not allowed to be used inside of homes, so it is important to read labels before purchasing and using any pest control chemicals.
For both short-term relief and long-term protection against sugar ants and other crawling insects like millipedes, silverfish, fire ants, and cockroaches, we apply a pet-safe granular bait around the perimeter of your home and in any landscape plant beds that are close by.
You can see that there are several options for combating this tenacious pest. If you use many products, you have a better chance of getting rid of ants for good.
How To Prevent Sugar Ants From Returning
Once the sugar ants have been eradicated from the interior, you should shift your attention to the exterior. An external spray and bait barrier can be applied according to the product labels to prevent them from returning.
Pest control only needs to be treated once every three months if done correctly, but we still advise against waiting longer than that between preventative treatments. In our subtropical climate, even microencapsulated items will deteriorate in a matter of months due to exposure to UV light and moisture.
Verify that no vegetation or tree limbs are touching the outside of the house. When exterior treatments are put on a house’s foundation, these serve as a pathway for the ants to get through.
It would be ideal if the house was free of overhanging bushes and trees. Cockroaches and rats won’t be able to find a way inside your home with this in place.
To prevent honeydew, it is important to treat plants and trees before they are planted or planted in their current locations. While treatments are highly successful when used as directed, it’s not wise to take the chance of a resurgence of ghost ants or other pests by creating an environment that’s hospitable to them.
Lawns, bushes, and trees are vulnerable to pests, but we can help you defend them with our ornamental and lawn care services. If we can get rid of the insects that are devouring your plants and palm trees, we can put a halt to the honeydew production that is luring the ants into your house.
Finally, we advise applying caulk to plug any crevices or holes around the exterior of your property that could be used by ants. Ant trails going into your home through cracks in the foundation or around windows can be easily sealed off with a complete exterior inspection.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where Do Tiny Ants Come From?
Sometimes, little ants venture indoors in search of food and moisture; an infestation of these little pests is typically the result of improper food storage practices. Little ants can be found throughout Florida. If you have seen these ants inside your house, you may have a larger infestation of ants outside, either in the immediate area or inside.
What Are Sugar Ants?
In Florida, these are often either Big Headed Ants or Ghost Ants. They’re called ghost ants because of their light tint and small size, which make it difficult to identify them. Big headed ants get their name from the large, bulbous heads of the workers which are much larger than the rest of their bodies. These heads are used to help them dig and move soil and debris, which is necessary for the ant’s nest-building activities.
What Are Signs Of Ant Infestation?
The quickest and simplest approach to find out whether you have ants in your house is to look at any food that has been left out. You might overlook the necessity of covering your food if you have never had to deal with an ant infestation. If there are any ants in the vicinity, they will quickly locate the food that was abandoned and start to relocate it.
What Are The Tiny Ants In My House?
These five species of microscopic ants, which include ghost ants, smelly house ants, pharaoh ants, Argentine ants, pavement ants, and big headed ants, are likely responsible for the common household ants you’ve noticed infesting your kitchen.
How Can I Get Rid Of Small Ants Naturally?
Water and vinegar, mixed in equal parts, can be used as a cleaning solution, and the two can be sprayed on surfaces using a spray bottle. Apply the spray directly on the anthills to eliminate the pests, and then remove the corpses with a paper towel and some water. Vinegar and water mixed together can also be used as an ant repellant; simply sprinkle the solution at the base of doors, windows, and other points of entry. The pheromone pathways that these ants follow are easily disrupted by these items, leading the ants to branch out into other rooms and undergo budding, wherein they generate new queens and new colonies.