Want to learn how to get rid of sugar ants? Read this post to discover 25 ways to get rid of ants now.
Come springtime, most people will experience the dreaded sugar ant. They seem to invade the house and kitchen cabinets like an army. It leaves most people wondering how to get rid of sugar ants.
Have no fear! I’ve got the answers you need to stop the endless cycle of sugar ants marching in and out of your home for good. Just follow my simple tips and you can be sugar ant free.
- Understanding Them
- What are Sugar Ants?
- Fun Facts about the Sugar Ant
- How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants with Home Remedies
- 1. Vinegar
- 2. Bay Leaves
- 3. Coffee Grinds
- 4. Chalk
- 5. Boric Acid & Honey
- 6. Borax & Sugar
- 7. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
- 8. Essential Oils
- How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in Your House
- 1. Ant Baits
- 2. Ant Sprays
- 3. Gels
- 4. Granular Ant Bait
- 5. Professional Pest Control
- 6. Using Ant Killers
- How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the House by Prevention
- 1. Keep Kitchen Sink Clean & Dry
- 2. Keep the Countertops Clean
- 3. Keep the Kitchen Floor Clean
- 4. Vacuum the Floor
- 5. Pay Attention to the Garbage Can
- How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in House with Maintenance
- How Do You Get Rid of Sugar Ants in Food Products
- How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Outside
- How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in Car
- 1. Take Notice of Your Parking Space
- 2. Place Baits Inside the Car
- 3. Thoroughly Clean the Inside of the Car
- In Conclusion
The best way to deal with any problem is to fully understand the situation first. Before we discuss the various methods available to you, let’s take a look at what the sugar ant is.
What are Sugar Ants?
Sugar ants are tinier than most ants and tend to bring havoc to any home. They have orange-brownish bodies with a black head and mandible.
These small ants tend to reside in habitats that are damp, moist and dark. Their nests are found in roots of plants, twigs of trees, bushes, shrubs, below rocks and in old wood.
Sugar Ants will come into the home and steal various sweet substances. Then, they work together to take them back to the queen and colony members.
Fun Facts about the Sugar Ant
- Actual sugar ant species only reside in Australia.
- Sugar ants are capable of biting but it doesn’t hurt like a fire ant bite.
- They are nocturnal so oftentimes you won’t even see them.
- Sugar ants aren’t normally around during winter months.
- This name is commonly used to refer to many species of ants including pharaoh ants, acrobat ants and odorous house ants.
- They like to collect sugary plant secretions, nectar and honeydew sap from other insects.
- They will be found in forests, woodlands and suburban areas.
- Ants prefer to be in warm and humid climates.
- They will often be most active during summer.
- Sugar ants are just 2 – 15mm in length.
- Winged male sugar ants will be black all over while the female workers have the orange-colored bodies.
- Ant colonies can have several rooms and tunnels.
- When the queen ant dies, the entire colony usually dies.
- Ants live longer than any other insect.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants with Home Remedies
Some people don’t want to use harsh products in or around the home. That’s understandable!
When attempting to get rid of sugar ants with home remedies, you are going to find a vast amount of tactics to try. Not all of them will work, so it will be a matter of trial and error.
If you have the time to try and you want to avoid harmful chemicals, here are a few tips on how to get rid of sugar ants naturally.
Vinegar acts as a great ant deterrent when used as a cleaner. The acetic acid found in vinegar is quite repulsive to sugar ants.
That same smell that keeps you away from vinegar will work the same way with the ants. Just be sure you don’t use apple cider vinegar as the sugar can attract more ants.
Instructions for Use:
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water
- Put solution in a spray bottle
- Spray directly on ants
- Spray solution on entry points and ant trails
- Disinfect areas of the kitchen with vinegar solution
2. Bay Leaves
Simply place some bay leaves under the countertop where food gets prepared. You can also place it near entrances.
Many professional cooks swear by this method of pest control, but there is no documentation that it works.
3. Coffee Grinds
When you want to know how to get rid of sugar ants in the kitchen, try this trick. Simply place the coffee grinds near entrances and they will stay away.
This is because the smell of the coffee deters them. In addition, the acid in coffee can burn them.
So next time you have some leftover coffee grinds; don’t toss them! Use them as pest control instead.
Did you know that the sidewalk chalk your kids love can actually prevent ant infestations?
Dry a simple line in the ant’s entrance way to deter them. They don’t like to walk through the chalk and will stay away.
5. Boric Acid & Honey
Boric acid is an effective natural insecticide as well as many other home remedies. You can mix it with honey to kill ants and their colonies.
The boric acid and honey mixture creates a bait which attracts ants. Then, they ingest it and feed it to the remainder of the colony.
Keep in mind that boric acid is toxic. You won’t want to use this natural insecticide near children or pets.
Instructions for Use:
- Mix paste with 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons boric acid
- Place on a piece of cardboard where ants travel
- Replace the trap every couple of days until you no longer see ants
6. Borax & Sugar
If you are wondering how to get rid of sugar ants with Borax, I have the steps. Remember to keep this solution far from children or pets.
Instructions for Use:
- Mix ½ cup of sugar with 1 ½ tablespoons of Borax and 1 ½ cup of warm water
- Dip cotton balls in mixture and leave on jar lids where ants tend to travel
- If you prefer a dry solution, mix 3 parts sugar and 1 part borax instead. Then, place this where the ants travel.
7. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
This natural compound is used for a multitude of pests in and around the home. It is extremely important that you only purchase the food grade quality; otherwise it will not be safe to use around pets and children.
Instructions for Use:
- Sprinkle powder around the perimeter of your home. You will have to reapply after each rain.
- Spring powder around windows, under kitchen cabinets and anywhere you notice ants.
- Sprinkle around pet food bowls.
8. Essential Oils
People are discovering the possibilities behind essential oils for many household uses.
There are several essential oils that have non-toxic insecticide properties to them. Some of the most popular are:
- Peppermint oil
- Lemon oil
- Tea Tree oil
- Clove oil
If you want to use a spray, simply mix ½ teaspoon of oil with 8-ounces of water in a spray bottle. Just be sure you shake well before each use.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in Your House
If you want to know how to get rid of sugar ants in your house, then it might be time to turn to commercial pest control products. There are many on the market that will provide a quick and easy way to be ant free.
1. Ant Baits
When you need to get rid of ants that you can’t see, it is time to consider ant baits. That’s because they are capable of luring them out from deep hiding places and bringing them to their death.
The fact that sugar ants are nocturnal makes it that much harder to find and eradicate them.
Liquid baits are actually effective both indoors and outdoors. In addition, they’ll attract more than just a few species of ants, but most all of them for complete elimination.
The baits work quite simply. First, they consume the bait. Then, their sophisticated digestive system will take the poison back to the nest.
Once in the nest, the queen and other ants will eat of the bait as well. All parties that have enjoyed the scrumptious poison will die thanks to that one carrier ant.
Baits come pre-packaged inside the plastic. Everything needed to kill the little pests is held within the unit so it is even safe to use when children or pets are around.
2. Ant Sprays
There are plenty of ant sprays you can purchase at the store. These aerosol ant sprays are effective at dealing with seasonal ant infestations. You’ll want to apply the spray to all the ants that are visible.
Keep in mind that this option is only a temporary solution. It will not impact the rest of the nest.
Sometimes, you just need to get rid of the ants you see quickly, so sprays work well for this. In addition to the immediate results, the spray will also continue to deter future ants for up to four weeks.
Using a spray is the best sugar ant killer for the kitchen when a fast fix is essential.
For example, if you are attempting to cook but there is an ant infestation; use the ant spray. It is also effective in areas like the trash can.
These sprays contain chemical products and you might come in contact with some fumes. To avoid any issues, be sure that you spray in a ventilated area and as always, keep your pets and children away.
Gel baits are great to use with ants that like sugary substances. Simply use the enclosed syringe and easily apply a gel around the house anywhere the ants enter.
You can also use them around the ant’s track located throughout your property. Gel applications when used in pest control allow for a cleaner environment.
You should also be able to find some syringe applications to make them childproof. These variations will feature a safety control attached for protection.
4. Granular Ant Bait
If you want to target the nest at the same time you are protecting the home, granular ant baits are a good choice.
These baits are slow acting and naturally occurring biodegradable fungus. Ants love to eat these and are naturally attracted to them.
Then, the ants will carry the bait back to their home as with the typical bait mentioned above. Once they carry it back, it will kill the entire nest.
Keep in mind that the entire process can take as little as 24 hours. Be sure that you read the directions on the baits carefully because many granular ant baits target a specific species.
Granular ant baits are my choice when looking for how to get rid of sugar ants outside.
5. Professional Pest Control
If you find that nothing else is working, you can always resort to calling your local, professional pest control. They might have options available to you that you didn’t previously think to use.
6. Using Ant Killers
Make sure you are following all the directions given on the package you are using. Here are some other tips to help you get the most out of your ant killing products:
- Find out everything you can about the colony and Queen living in your space.
- You can follow the ants in hopes of finding where they are coming from.
- If you can avoid spraying the ants, that is good! This only kills worker ants and it will not solve your problem.
- Set out a bait so the workers can spread the poison to the queen and other colony members. This has been found to be the most effective way to kill ants indoors and outdoors.
- Avoid cleaning if you are using a bait. When you mop the floor, you eliminate odor trail which will lead the ants to your bait and back to their colony.
- Be patient. Sometimes it takes several weeks for a colony to die. This is especially true if you are battling a large colony.
- Spray all outdoor nests you can find. If trailing the insects takes you to an outdoor nest, feel free to spray insecticide directly on it or use the other options discussed in this article. This might be your best method of killing ants in an outdoor space.
- Once the ants are gone, you need to keep the house spotless to avoid re-infestation.
- Remember, many ant killing products will fight other insects as well. If you are suffering from multiple insects, be sure you pick a product that works for all species.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the House by Prevention
Other than killing ants, prevention is the best method for determining how to get rid of sugar ants in the house. By maintaining a clean environment, you can effectively prevent against a sugar ant infestation.
Here are the tips you’ll want to follow:
1. Keep Kitchen Sink Clean & Dry
Keeping your kitchen sink clean and dry is an important way to prevent the sugar ants from coming. Sugar ants thrive from your dirty sink and the water that has washed away leftovers.
If you are leaving dishes in the sink overnight, be sure you rinse them off. After doing dishes, you’ll want to wipe down the entire sink to be sure there are no sweets, moisture or food left behind.
If you don’t mind using bleach, it would help to pour some down the drain when you are done. This helps to keep the smell of rotting food from attracting any more pests into the kitchen.
2. Keep the Countertops Clean
Use some bleach to wipe down the countertops at night. Dirty countertops make sugar ants almost as happy as dirty sinks.
Using bleach will sanitize the kitchen and break down any pheromones the ants have left to follow one another.
3. Keep the Kitchen Floor Clean
Sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor each evening is a must. This is especially true during the summer months.
Again, I highly recommend the use of bleach to thoroughly clean. You want to be sure that there are no scraps of sugar or pheromone trails for ants to come after.
4. Vacuum the Floor
Anywhere that food gets consumed should be vacuumed regularly. This will allow you to avoid inviting more sugar ants into the home.
Keep in mind that sugar ants aren’t just looking for sweets; they also search for bread crumbs, meats and vegetables. This means you need to vacuum anytime you eat, not just after desserts.
Some ants even look for the remains of other pests hiding inside your carpet. Take your time to do a deep vacuuming for best results.
5. Pay Attention to the Garbage Can
It seems like a given that I am going to tell you to take your trash out often, but it can go overlooked. Sometimes the bag can get punctured causing liquid and sugary substances to drip inside the can.
It pays to invest in tough garbage bags that won’t rip easily. Some variations also offer Arm & Hammer baking soda which will keep them deodorized.
In addition, it would be wise if you cleaned out the trash can on a regular basis. Again, I highly recommend the use of bleach for this task.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in House with Maintenance
Another answer to your question of how to get rid of sugar ants in the house is with some important maintenance. Older homes seem to attract pests more than others and this is often due to cracks.
Follow these steps to success:
- Seal your foundation
- Seal any cracks around the windows or doors
- Replace decaying shingles or wood frames
- Replace the old and damaged roof
- Spray your foundation with a pesticide
- Seal any pipes or cracks around the pipes
How Do You Get Rid of Sugar Ants in Food Products
By now some of you might be wondering, “How do you get rid of sugar ants in food products?” Thankfully, I have answers to that as well!
- Keep opened boxed or bagged goods such as cookies, fruit snacks, chips and cereals in sealed containers or bags
- Store all syrups, molasses or honey in the refrigerator and warm them before use
- Keep your sugars and flours in airtight storage containers
- Don’t leave sticky snacks on the counter
- Store your baked goods and bread in the refrigerator or sealed bread container
- Do not put sugary foods in the sink because it can leave a residue
- Keep all open juices, teas and sodas in the refrigerator
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Outside
Aside from some of the pest control options I discussed above, there are other answers to the question of how to get rid of sugar ants outside.
First, you want to find the nest of the sugar ants. Then, you can use these tactics to eliminate the nest completely.
- Flood the nest with running water from your garden hose.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the anthill.
- Pour salted, boiling water over the nest.
- Dump some bleach into the anthill.
- Pour hot, brewed coffee over a nest.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in Car
It happens more often than you think; sugar ants in the car! Thankfully, I also have the answers on how to get rid of sugar ants in cars.
1. Take Notice of Your Parking Space
The first thing you need to be aware of is where you are parking. Are there ant colonies living around your spot?
If this is occurring at home, take steps to kill the nest. If this infestation is happening while you are at work, pick a different spot.
2. Place Baits Inside the Car
Because the ant baits are self-contained, they can easily be used inside the car. The nice thing is that they are small and discreet as well, so no one even needs to know you are using them.
3. Thoroughly Clean the Inside of the Car
If you are facing an ant problem, it is time to clean! Follow these steps for a job well done:
- Remove all seat covers and floor mats
- Vacuum the entire car completely paying close attention to cracks and crevices
- Wipe down any areas of the car that could be housing ants
- Be sure you clean any spills that have happened in the console or dash
- Clean the windows to ensure there are no sugary substances present from your hands
- Remove all food from car or objects that have been around food
After reading this article, you no longer have to wonder how to get rid of sugar ants. You now see that the possibilities are endless and there are many options available.
Choose what will work best for your situation and your financial budget. There is only one of you and thousands of them, so you need to act quickly in order to ensure complete termination.