Ghost Ant

Actual Size: 1.3 to 1.5 mm

Characteristics: Tiny; head and thorax are dark and body is light, almost translucent.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Constructs nests in moist grass and potted plants. Indoors, will nest in small spaces such as cracks, spaces between cabinetry, baseboards, books, and wall voids.


  • Exhibits rapid, erratic movement that resembles small spiders.
  • Highly mobile and frequently moves from overpopulated nests.
  • Like odorous house ants, the ghost ant excretes a rotten coconut smell.

Ghost Ants in Nevada

Ghost ants are a tropical and subtropical species and are common household pests. The ghost ant is susceptible to desiccation and so they are found in humid climates. They can invade homes and businesses from outside, but will also nest inside. Like odorous house ants, ghost ants also excrete a distinct coconut smell when crushed. They tend homopterans, a sucking insect, for honeydew and feed on both live and dead insects. When invading homes, foragers are seen in kitchens and bathroom sinks, counters, and floors.

Ghost Ant Habitat

Ghost ants can live indoors and outdoors, preferring humid habitats in soil, rotten wood, under bark, within leaf litter, and inside plant cavities. Inside homes, they nest in potted plants, bread boxes, shower curtain rods, behind baseboards, and between cabinets. Entering through cracks and gaps, ghost ants are found around windows, doors, and soffits. Outdoor nests are located in the soil next to foundations, porches, shrubs, and trees. The hollow framing of pool enclosures is also a favorite nesting site. Ghost ants also gain access through homes from vegetation areas on the exterior of structures, making their way inside through tiny gaps and cracks.

 Ghost Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

The ghost ant does not sting and only bites when threatened. Indoors, ant activity is generally concentrated in kitchens, although any room can become infested. These ants can be a frustrating pest when found by homeowners trailing from room to room under the edge of carpeting. In kitchens, they prefer to forage on sweets, but will also feed on grease. Colonies of ghost ants are highly mobile and frequently move from overpopulated nests, making them difficult to eradicate. If you suspect a ghost ant infestation, it is best to consult a professional ant exterminator.