Sugar ants are the simple creatures that are randomly found around your home and backyard.
These ants get attracted to sweet things, especially sugar which explains why they have been given this name.
Typically, if there is anything sweet near, sugar ants will soon come by, unless of course they are eliminated.
Well, if you find one or two of these ant types in your kitchen, it is not a sign of worry.
However, they may get unbearable and hard to deal with if their numbers increase.
Taking early steps against this issue will help you in keeping the ant problem in control.
No matter how much severe your sugar ant problem is, the article given below will work as a guide for you to render help in getting rid of this sugar ant infestation issue.
Before we jump into the exact ways on how you can deal with the problem, let us know what are these black ants exactly and from where they come from.
- What are Sugar Ants?
- Where Do Sugar Ants Come From?
- How to Get Rid of Black Sugar Ants in The House?
- Are Sugar Ants Dangerous – Can They Damage House?
What are Sugar Ants?
Though it may appear too obvious for some, there are a lot of people who confuse sugar ants with other kinds.
In simple words, sugar ants are those species of ants that get attracted to sugary or sweet items.
While they may differ from place to place, their attraction toward sugar (sugary foods or drinks) will make you recognize them as sugar ants.
In general, sugar ants (also called banded sugar ants) may appear with orange brownish bodies along with black heads and mandibles.
Sometimes though, they can be black, light brown, yellow to pale red in color.
Their size is usually between 5 to 15 millimeters (less than an inch) and they have 6 legs.
While some species do not sting or bite, there are others which do.
Those who bite aren’t hazardous and end up leaving a bump on your skin which can be a little itchy.
Where Do Sugar Ants Come From?
An infestation of black sugar ants raises questions about their origins.
Finding an answer to this question will help you in getting lasting solution for it.
The simple answer about the sugar ant’s origin is that they come inside your house from outside in the early spring and fall.
The holes where these pests come inside your house are crevices, cracks on foundations, and improper, outside door seals.
The other entrance points comprise different types of utility openings such as plumbing, phone, and electrical lines entering your home.
If they are not properly sealed, they work as a passage for the sugar ants to come in.
However, once these ants are inside your house, they can nest in wall cracks and crevices without even you knowing.
Older wood homes will most likely attract these types of ant colonies more due to the presence of cool, dark, and moist areas they love to habitat in.
Sugar ants require proper encouragement to stay around and they will get plenty of these where humans inhabit.
In order to combat the infestation, you should seal every entry point of your house including the spaces below windows and doors.
Additionally, you will also need to exterminate the ants that are left inside the house.
Fortunately, you have several ways to eliminate sugar ants from your house.
Lets discuss some of the most successful ways here…
How to Get Rid of Black Sugar Ants in The House?
A lot of people notice sugar ant infestation when it gets full-blown.
Usually, these are the people who need immediate ant control solution.
We have many ways to eliminate these tiny pests in our home.
However, there are some home remedies that can also help you prevent black sugar ants in the first place.
Some of these remedies and ant treatments methods are given below:
Borax powder not only helps in the extermination of sugar ants but also other insect pests too.
It’s a powerful compound that destroys the exoskeleton of the sugar ants along with their digestive tracts.
It can also be used as a bait and can be mixed with sugary food to attract sugar ants.
As soon as they return to their nests carrying the bait, the full colony gets infected and gets exterminated.
If you plan to use this chemical, you should use it as per the given instructions.
Sugar ants don’t like the odor of lemons.
Hence, they are effective in getting rid of them.
You can start by looking for some entrance points from where these ants enter your room or kitchen.
It may comprise cracks, crevices, window sills, and door openings. Just rub the lemon along with these entry points.
Left over lemon peels can also be kept at some of these entrances to get similar results.
3- Cayenne Pepper
Sugar ants will never come near cayenne pepper as they hate its smell.
You can apply it or sprinkle some along the path they most frequently visit.
Cayenne pepper disorients them and makes them leave your house very soon.
Although you can use it as a good barrier for ants to enter your house, proper care should be taken while using them as it can infect your pets and children.
Cayenne pepper is best recommended for places where there are no kids or pets moving around or you may end up hurting them in the process.
4- Spray Essential Oils
Essential oils work strongly against these small active ant pests.
You just need to mix a few drops of essential oil with water (or carrier oil) and spray along the trails of sugar ants.
Some of the oils which work very effectively in keeping the ants away are clove oil and lavender oil.
Since these essential oils cover pheromone odors that confuse their trail to food source these are effective in removing several types of pests along with sugar ants.
The good thing about this ant removal method is the scent of essential oils is disliked by sugar ants, but it definitely freshens up your house.
So, you can apply essential oil spray as many times as you want till the situation gets better.
5- Mix of Mint Jelly and Boric Acid
The boric killer is extremely competent in killing sugar ants.
They are available in the retail stores for you. But, if you cannot find them, you can make an online purchase.
The good news is you can make it at home in a very convenient way.
Just mix 8-9 ounces of mint jelly with two tablespoons of boric acid. And the perfect bait for black ants is ready!
Place it on the masking tapes for the ants to eat.
Ants usually eat this and get back to their colonies to infect others, thereby contaminating the other ants with the position.
The end result is death of sugar ants on a big scale.
6- Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is great to exterminate several types of insect pests along with sugar ants.
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is manufactured from fossilized algae and it’s a non-hazardous substance that can be easily applied along the path of sugar ants through a sprayer.
You don’t need to apply it directly to the ants. Just sprinkle it along the trails or cracks used by them.
You can leave it there for as much time as you wish.
The beauty of the product is it works amazingly well on sugar ants by cutting their body and causing death by desiccation.
Worry not, the product is safe for pets and kids as its environmental-friendly. However, the product should be kept out of the reach of kids.
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is equally usable outside and inside your house.
But you should be extra cautious when using it outside your house as it becomes useless after getting moist.
Hence, make sure you only spray it around your house when the weather is dry.
As soon as you accomplish your goals, use a vacuum to clean the area thoroughly.
7- Traps and Baiting for Capturing Ants
There are several types of ant traps made for household use.
They are effective on all types of ants along with sugar ants.
They just need to be sited along the pathways frequently visited by ants.
In order to make the trap more effective, you can use poisoned baits.
These baits have sweeteners that sugar ants love and they slowly poison the ants after ingestion.
There are also few slow-in-action baits that are designed with an objective to permit the sugar ants to carry these food baits to their colony.
As soon as the colony feasts on it, these baits eliminate their big population that usually resides in so-called anthills.
Remember, baits may lead to a temporal increment of sugar ants in your house.
This is because ants from the outside may also rush in to join the feast.
Also, there can be some baits that may not give you desired results.
The simple reason behind it is that sugar ants get choosy in specific seasons.
You may have to test and try different ant baits to get effective results during these conditions.
Few powerful commercially available bait compounds for destroying ants and anthills are:
- Terro Liquid Ant Bait
- Maxforce Ant Bait Gel
- Advion Ant Gel Insecticide
- AMDRO Bait Stations and Granules
When baiting ants, you should be careful because such traps and baits may be harmful to your kids.
As most of the kids love sugary items and foods, make sure you keep these attractive baits away from kids.
8- Set Aside the Pet Food Bowl
So, other than keeping your kitchen clean, sugar ants may also get attracted to your pet food.
Well, removing the bowl doesn’t stop them from finding it!
Hence, you will need a better way to deal with them!
Just get a shallow bowl and fill it with water. Now put the dish containing your pet food inside the shallow bowl.
So, while reaching out to your pet food, the sugar ants will drown in between.
It is an effective way to prevent sugar ants from reaching your pet food and eliminating them wisely.
Make sure the water stored in the dish is clean as maybe your pet feels thirsty and decides to drink from it.
Drowned sugar ants are no threat to your pets, if swallowed.
9- Water Treatment to Flood Sugar Ant Nest
If you are lucky enough to locate the nests of the sugar ants, then you can choose water treatment.
In this method of destroying the anthills and nests, you can simply flood their nests with water.
You can use hot or cold water; it is completely up to you.
To make the remedy more efficient, you can also use some dish soap as it enhances the procedure and leads to faster killing of ants.
Make sure you flood it for at least 5 minutes.
It will either kill the complete colony or a major number of them.
If you are interested in eliminating black and brown sugar ants without chemicals, then this is an effective option to consider.
However, keep in mind, you cannot use this method for indoor nesting as it may create a mess in your house.
For such a situation, you should opt for the other control remedies.
10- Sweeping and Mopping Your Kitchen Floors
Your kitchen is the favorite place for sugar ants because it’s the place from where they can easily get all their favorite food sources.
Though it may be unnoticeable, the smallest food crumbs or sugar pieces may be the reason for their hiding in your kitchen cabinets.
Hence, the best way to keep them away is by sweeping and mopping your kitchen.
You should clean the floors and countertops every morning and after every meal.
For more effective results, add some bleach to the water used for mopping.
Other than its disinfectant qualities, it also absorbs pheromone smells and keeps the air of your kitchen fresh.
Make sure you also clean the dishes after every meal to keep sugar ants away.
Sugar ants do not just eat food. They also look for water.
So, do not let them get attracted to your sink by keeping the sink properly clean.
Also release water after doing laundry and try to keep the drainage free from any left-over water.
Though all these tips may not appear very significant, but cleaning daily helps you a lot.
When the ants don’t find any sweets or sugar, they will eventually have to leave your place sooner or later.
Are Sugar Ants Dangerous – Can They Damage House?
Sugar ants are not so dangerous to humans.
Although they can bite leaving red marks, the bite is not very painful or life-threatening such as of other dangerous ants like bulldog ants.
Sugar ants will generally invade your house ONLY for the food.
They are not really after making any structural damage to your property.
When you see them inside your kitchen milling around your countertops in large groups, they are in search of food.
Maybe you have spills (like juices, honey, etc) which when cleaned make these black-headed sugar ants go away on their own.
Other Related Questions:
How do sugar ants protect themselves?
It’s surprising to know that sugar ants do not protect themselves from predators just by biting.
They actually fend off these attacks by lifting up their abdomens, spraying acid, and wiggling their mandibles back and forth.
The acid they spray is so painful that the attackers will automatically get back.
Can you kill ants in the kitchen with lysol?
Household cleaners like Lysol can do much more than just cleaning your kitchen and bathroom.
Not very effective home remedy, but you can use your Lysol spray bottle for killing few ants.
Lysol disinfectant can also disrupt the feeding activities of ants.
All you need to do is either spray it over them directly or find their routes and spray along.
Keep in mind that these household cleaners may not be an effective long-term ant control solution and you will need to combine it with some other ways mentioned above.
What is the difference between sugar ants and carpenter ants?
The main difference between sugar ants and carpenter ants is in the place they can live inside your house.
While sugar ants prefer the areas that are moist (like your sink, kitchen, bathroom, etc), carpenter ants can be found in both dry as well as moist areas.
Unlike sugar ants, carpenter ants can also nest inside damaged wooden objects like cabinets, desks, window trims, doors, and even wooden walls and ceilings.
In order to exterminate sugar ants, you can follow any of the above given strategies.
However, just removal of these tiny pests will not guarantee a sugar ant-free house forever.
While killing the ants can help you get rid of the ant infestations, it is important to follow preventive measures as well to prevent another infestation in the future.
I have personally experienced amazing results by using Essential oils and Diatomaceous Earth as it literally deals well with your pest issues and has zero health risks involved.
When sprinkled along the trails used by sugar ants inside the house, it should be allowed to sit for some hours or at least a full day before cleaning it off.
Repeat the procedure for a few days, even when there are no ants seen.
This way you can ensure an ant-free home permanently.
Welcome to ProShieldPest.com. I am Tina Jones. I have been lately working as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona. At present, I love to spend my time with my family as a retiree.
Here I share all my knowledge and experiences to help people understand better how they can stop pests at their homes without actually killing them. Hopefully, the information you will find here useful can help in safeguarding your home! You can check more about me here.
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