The ants go marching one by one, by one, and another one… As the weather heats up, more and more of these intrusive insects start appearing in your home, including your kitchen and, unfortunately, in your food. Resourceful sugar ants can even appear in your car! Talk about driving you crazy.
What are these pesky little critters? More importantly, how do you get rid of sugar ants in your kitchen and home? Let’s find out!
What Are Sugar Ants?
The “real” sugar ant actually doesn’t live in the United States. This banded sugar ant enjoys a warm home in Australia.
However, in the US, we use the term “sugar ant” to refer to any sweet sustenance-seeking type of ant. In other words, these species are attracted to sugar and sweets as opposed to grease or protein like other types of ants.
Thus, there are a number of other names for sugar ants, which are actually the real names of these ants. Some of these include:
● Pavement ants
● Rover ants
● Little black ants
● Cornfield ants
● False honey ants
● Carpenter ants
● Odorous house ants
The most common sugar ants in Texas are the Pharaoh ants. Unfortunately, they can bring pathogens and bacteria with them, making them very unwelcome invaders in homes and kitchens.
What Do Sugar Ants Look Like?
Since sugar ants in the US refer to several different species, they don’t all look the same. However, they are generally tiny (less than ⅛ of an inch) and range from light yellow-brown or red-brown to black.
What Do Sugar Ants Eat?
As the name suggests, these types of ants love sugar, and anything containing it . This includes:
All types of sugar including powdered, white, and brown varieties
● Maple syrup (and other syrups)
● Jams, jellies, etc.
● Cake, cookies, pastries
● Soft drinks
To avoid attracting these ants, it is imperative to keep your food sealed up snugger than a bug in a rug. Don’t leave food sitting out on the counters and immediately clean up spills and crumbs from the table, counters, and floors.
Do Sugar Ants Bite?
Sugar ants are generally not aggressive. However, they will bite if they feel threatened. Sugar ant bites are usually not a big deal. Some people may experience a little itching around the site but that’s about it.
If the person is bitten multiple times, there may be more of an issue. Also, those who are allergic may experience more significant symptoms.
How Do Sugar Ants Get Into Your Home?
Because they are no bigger than moles on a chigger, sugar ants have no trouble sneaking into your home. Whatever crack or cranny they can find to crawl through will do.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Naturally?
Now let’s get down to brass tacks and address the issue you’re really wondering about — how to get rid of sugar ants.
Sugar Ant Repellants
There are a variety of natural substances/ingredients that will repel sugar ants. Sprinkling these or using them around your home and kitchen can be an effective way to keep the critters from coming inside in the first place.
- Vinegar: Mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray liberally in areas where you see ant activity. This will kill ants on contact as well as erase the scent trails that ants use to navigate.
- Whole cloves, bay leaves, garlic: The strong smell from these spices can interfere with the ants’ scent trails, disrupting their ability to navigate and communicate.
- Used coffee grounds: Sprinkle around the areas where you know that ants are entering your home or to protect certain areas like your food pantry or pet bowls from future ants. Ants strongly dislike the smell of coffee and the acidity burns them.
- Essential oils: Lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, neem, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils seem to be effective at repelling insects in general.
Sugar Ant Traps
If you’ve been struggling with sugar ants for a while, repellants might not be strong enough for you. What you really want to know is how to kill sugar ants and keep them from coming back for good.
Here are a few of the best sugar ant traps or other methods for killing ants you can try at home:
- Boiling water: scald and kill the little critters by pouring boiling water into the sugar ant holes around your home. This must be done several times to be effective.
- Boric acid: This compound is toxic for ants and will kill them over time. Mix boric acid with sugar and water. Set the solution up as ant traps around the house or pour it into ant holes. Note: can be toxic to pets as well so use this method with care.
- Ant bait: Commercial sugar ant bait is another option. The point is so that the roving ants will take it back to their ant colony where even more ants will eat and die.
Tired of Sugar Ants?
Getting rid of sugar ants isn’t always easy, especially if you have large established colonies nearby. If you’re feeling defeated after trying everything to no avail, the best option is to call for professional help.
Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, our number one priority is keeping you and your family safe. That means performing thorough inspections first to know what we’re dealing with. Then we treat the exact problem using pest control products that won’t cause harm.
Ready to get rid of your sugar ants? Give us a call or schedule a Buckaroo service today!