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DIY: Ghost Ant Edition Part One

September 19, 2016

ghost ant up close

Ghost ants are very common pests, especially in South Florida, and they can be very frustrating to live with, so I decided to research natural ways to rid your home of ghost ants that are safe for your kids and pets.  But first, it can’t hurt to learn a little bit more about these irksome ants.

Ghost ants earned their nickname because they are small with pale-colored abdomens and legs.  They are tropical ants, which is why we find them all over the place here in South Florida, and they can be difficult for homeowners to take care of on their own because they have multiple nesting sites.  Ghost ants eat sweet things. Their food of choice is the honeydew substance that is secreted by aphids, but if they get inside your home then they will seek out any kind of sugary food.  They will make their nests in moist areas that are near a sweet food source, so if they get into your home then you will probably find them in your kitchen or bathroom.  Other than being a nuisance, ghost ants are unsanitary and there is a possibility that they will transfer diseased organisms.  So let’s learn some ways to get rid of them.


Vinegar is a tried and true ant repellant; it is the most often recommended household material for a natural and effective method to get rid of ants.  Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work.  The best way to go about it is by mixing a two-to-one ratio of vinegar to water and putting it into a spray bottle, then spray your vinegar solution along the ants’ trail and at any possible points of entry.  The strong scent will repel the ants as well as destroy their pheromone trail.


Soap can be harmful to all kinds of ants by dehydrating and then killing them.  You can mix equal parts soap and water in a spray bottle and then spray the ants with this soapy water to kill them.  This method is not as effective as vinegar because it only works when the soap solution is wet; once it dries it is useless against the ants.

Baby Powder

Baby powder can be useful when trying to get rid of ghost ants because they hate the scented talcum that it is made of.  If you sprinkle it where you see the ants gathering then they will avoid it.  You can also sprinkle it where they are coming into your house to deter them.


Chalk works well as a ghost ant deterrent because they will not cross over it and you can use it on vertical surfaces.  Draw a line of chalk across their trail and in front of their points of entry to disrupt their routine and to discourage the ghost ants from returning.


Cornmeal is commonly believed to be able to kill off ghost ants, but there is no truth behind it. The thought is that once the ants eat the pieces of cornmeal it will expand in their stomachs making them explode, so to speak.  Studies have shown that this method is ineffective and that the pieces of cornmeal are too large for a typical ant to eat in the first place.  Using cornmeal as a method of getting rid of ghost ants is a myth.

Check in later for more home remedies to get rid of ghost ants in part two of DIY: Ghost Ant Edition. 



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