Bug found in bathroom drywall
December 29, 2009
PLEASE help identify the bugs I am finding in my bathroom drywall… They seem to be coming out of one hole, and going into another. At first I thought they were termites… The home is a “mobile home” — drywall, very little wood…
Are they dangerous ? Should I panic ? Why are they in my bathroom ???
Florida, USA


Ghost Ants

Dear Woried,
We tried researching your request, and we are having trouble identifying exactly what species of Ant has moved into your bathroom drywall.  We are going to finally venture a guess that this might represent a Ghost Ant invasion.  Ghost Ants, Tapinoma melanocephalum are pictured on BugGuide .  The Featured Creatures website has much information, including:  “The ghost ant is highly adaptable in its nesting habits. It nests readily outdoors or indoors. Colonies may be moderate to large in size containing numerous reproducing females (polygyny). Generally, the colonies occupy local sites that are too small or unstable to support entire large colonies. The sites include tufts of dead but temporarily moist grass, plant stems, and cavities beneath detritus in open, rapidly changing habitats (Oster and Wilson 1978). Indoors, the ant colonizes wall void or spaces between cabinetry and baseboards.
”  We believe the larger ants in your photo may be the queens.  You may also check the Wikipedia page on Ghost Ants.  We are not confident with this identification, and we hope someone will write in to correct or confirm.


Ghost Ants

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3 Responses to Ants in Florida, but what species??? Ghost Ants Confirmed

  1. Hi worried,

    The pic is great but still hard to tell. The antenna are right for ghost ant but the coloration doesn’t seem to jive but it still could be. For a quick answer try crushing one or two and see if you get a ‘rotten’ smell almost like coconuts. Then it is ghost ants. If the smell is kinda fruity then it is ‘white footed ant’ but I really doubt that.
    (the coloration is really throwing me)
    Either way it’s time for caulk and bait. Ghost ants change diets from time to time but terro liquid is good to start. Caulk or seal as many cracks as you can and reduce moisture in anyway possible. Maybe they’ll get the hint. They are very difficult to eradicate so stay strong.

  2. awinner says:

    I know the response is quite late, but yes, these are ghost ants according to a myrmecologist I know.


  3. Lynda B says:

    Found this same kind of ant in Merritt Island, FL. The kitchen was invaded by the big ones – a bunch of queens on the move. According to my alma mater, Texas A&M, these ants belong to a group of ants called “tramp ants.” They vary in color, so this makes identification not so easy.

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