How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants – Sugar ants, also known as sweet ants or brown ants, are one of the most annoying types of insects because they seek out and feed on sweet foods, such as fruit juices, honeydew melons, and other sweet foods. These ants are attracted to sweet substances, and their presence usually indicates the presence of some sort of food left out on the counter or in the pantry. While they’re not harmful to humans, they are very hard to control.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of proven ways to get rid of sugar ants for good, no matter where they’re located in your home. These methods work very effectively and are 100% safe for the environment and for your family.
Types of Sugar Ants
There are two major categories of sugar ants namely “Outdoor ants” and “Indoor ants“. Under these two categories, there are 5 types of sweet ants categorised under each of them and they are:
Outdoor sugar ants:
- Acrobat ants
- Cornfield ants
- False honey ants
- Little black ants
- Rover ants
Indoor sugar ants:
- Argentine ants
- Carpenter ants
- Odorous house ants
- Pavement ants
- Pharaoh ants
Each type has its own unique characteristics, but they all share a love for sweet things.
Where do Sugar Ants come from?
Because sugar ants use chemosense to detect foods and other sweet substances and they communicate with each other using pheromones, their odour receptors are four to five times stronger than other insects.
Once you leave a food crumble on the table or ground, they can pick up the sweet smell. And if an ant finds an entry point, it’s going to lay a pheromone trail for other ants to follow in your house. Sometimes, they even build their nests inside a well-protected place in homes.
Sugar ants are small, so they can squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices. Even though it’s not scientifically proven, they’re also attracted to light, so you might see them near windows or doors.
10 Proven Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants for Good
- 1. Make sure there is no more food source
The first step to getting rid of sugar ants is to make sure there is no more food source. Ants are attracted to sweet things, so check your pantry and cupboards for any spills or crumbs. Also, make sure to keep all food in airtight containers and remove any plants or flowers that could be attracting the ants as well.
Any type of dirt can be a good place for ants to live because they need moisture. So Seal up any cracks with a silicone sealant that will go around doors and windows. You can also add insecticide dust inside window frames and doorways where you found evidence of an ant problem.
- 2. Use a Professional-Grade Spray
A professional-grade insecticide like “White vinegar” is your best bet when it comes to getting rid of sugar ants. The ants will bring the poison back to their nest, killing the entire colony. Be sure to follow the directions on the label and take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe. It’s also important to remember that this treatment does not work as a preventative measure. It should be used if you have an active infestation.
- 3. Clean Kitchen Cabinets
Start by cleaning your kitchen cabinets. Remove all food items, including spices, and wash the shelves with warm soapy water. Next, mix together equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down the shelves. Leave the vinegar solution on for 5 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth.
- 4. Seek nature’s help
Try Natural Diatomaceous Earth: If you have an outdoor ant problem, try using natural diatomaceous earth around your house to help control them. Diatomaceous earth is made from tiny fossilized organisms that can kill ants when they come into contact with them. The insects rub against it and their bodies are punctured which causes them to dehydrate quickly.
- 5. Use a vinegar solution to remove the sugar ant trail
Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz the solution onto the sugar ant trail. The vinegar will disrupt the ants’ pheromone trail, causing them to become disoriented and lost. Plus, it will kill any ants that come into contact with it. You can also use a vinegar solution to clean up any sugar or food residue that might be attracting the ants in the first place.
Just be sure to dilute the vinegar with water so it doesn’t damage your surfaces. Boric acid is another great way to get rid of sugar ants: Sprinkle some on the trail and wherever you see sugar buildup, which will break down their exoskeletons. When they die from boric acid poisoning, their bodies leave a chemical scent behind that discourages other sugar ants from taking over those areas. Keep in mind that both these solutions are only effective if you have an ongoing infestation problem- otherwise they won’t do much good at all.
- 6. Change Trash Bags Regularly
After cleaning your pantries, cabinets, kitchen utensils and food crumbs left on the ground, don’t forget to take out your trash bag regularly. As everything you cleaned is dumped into the trash bag, there are high chances that the ants will invade you even more if the trash bag is left on a spot for days.
You might not realize it, but those sugar ants are attracted to your trash. They can smell food from miles away, and your kitchen garbage is like an all-you-can-eat buffet to them. To keep them out of your trash, be sure to change the bag regularly. You can also try using a step can with a lid that locks shut.
- 7. Place used coffee grounds around your home
Used coffee grounds are one of the best home remedies for sugar ants. The strong smell will deter them from coming inside, and the grounds will also kill any that happen to cross them. Plus, coffee grounds are a natural mulch that can help your plants grow. To use this method, simply sprinkle used coffee grounds around the perimeter of your home.
You can even place them near sinks or other places where you know sugar ants may come in contact with food or water. You’ll want to replace the coffee grounds every few days as they lose their scent and ability to kill these pesky insects over time. If you have pet food bowls outside, make sure you clean them thoroughly before filling them with fresh food each day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can sugar ants damage my home?
While sugar ants aren’t known to cause damage to homes, they can be rather annoying. They are also able to chew through paper and plastics with their mandibles, thereby attracting more pests to your house.
Why do I have sugar ants in my house?
Sugar ants are attracted to sweet things, so they may be coming into your home in search of food. Once they find a food source, they’ll keep coming back for more. Unfortunately, this can be hard to get rid of since sugar ants will travel long distances to find food. Plus, sugar ants can reproduce quickly, so you could have an infestation on your hands in no time.
What is the fastest way to get rid of sugar ants?
The fastest way to get rid of sugar ants permanently is by using “White vinegar“, which is made up of 4–7% acetic acid and 93–96% water. The high acetic acid solution disperses the ant’s pheromone trails and is also toxic to them.
Does killing ants attract more?
It’s scientifically proven that killing ants attract more ants as they leave behind an alarm pheromone that is strong and travels fast. This will notify other ants nearby making them troop in colonies to your home.
If you’re dealing with a sugar ant infestation, don’t despair. There are a number of things you can do to get rid of them. Try one of these different methods until you find one that works for you. And be sure to keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent them from coming back.
- Ortho.com – Types of sugar ants
- Abchomeandcommercial.com – Where do sugar ants come from?
- Housemethod.com – How to get rid of sugar ants