Ghost Ants: Identification, Habitat, Behavior, and Control

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum), one of the most fascinating ant species found worldwide. As top exterminators, we are excited to share valuable insights into the identification, behavior, and effective extermination techniques for these elusive pests. Let’s dive into the world of ghost ants and equip you with the knowledge to deal with them effectively.

Ghost Ants


Ghost ants are tiny insects, measuring approximately 1.5 to 2 millimeters in length. They are characterized by their pale, almost translucent bodies and dark-colored heads and abdomens. The contrast between their body parts is what gives them their ghostly appearance, hence the name “ghost ants.” Due to their small size, they are often challenging to detect without close inspection.

Latin Name

The scientific name for ghost ants is Tapinoma melanocephalum. The genus name “Tapinoma” is derived from the Greek words “taphos” meaning grave or tomb, and “noma” meaning dwelling or abode. The species name “melanocephalum” is a combination of the Greek words “melas” meaning black and “kephalē” meaning head, referring to the dark-colored heads of these ants.

Behavior and Habits

Ghost ants are known for their preference for warm and humid environments. They are commonly found nesting in indoor spaces such as homes, offices, and buildings. These ants are attracted to sugary foods, including syrups, fruits, and sweets, making kitchens and pantries their frequent foraging grounds. They are also notorious for establishing satellite colonies, which makes their eradication more challenging.

Extermination Techniques

Effectively controlling ghost ant infestations requires a comprehensive approach that targets both the visible ants and their hidden colonies. Here are some common extermination techniques used by professionals:

  • Baiting: Ghost ants can be effectively eliminated using ant baits specifically designed for their foraging preferences. The ants carry the bait back to their colonies, distributing it among their nest mates and ultimately leading to colony eradication.
  • Crack and Crevice Treatment: Applying residual insecticides in cracks, crevices, and other entry points disrupts ghost ant trails and prevents their access to food sources. This technique aims to create a barrier that hinders their movement and discourages their presence.
  • Eliminating Food Sources: Since ghost ants are attracted to sugary foods, proper sanitation is crucial. Regularly clean and sanitize areas where food particles may accumulate, store food in airtight containers, and promptly address any spills or leaks.
Ghost Ants Control


If you’re dealing with a ghost ant infestation, don’t let these elusive pests haunt your home any longer. Contact our professional pest extermination team today for effective and efficient ghost ant removal.