Sugar ants can be a very frustrating pest to deal with at home. They are so named because of their preference for sugary foods, and they will go to great lengths to find them. Even the tiniest crumb is too much temptation for these tiny crawling insects. If you have sugar ants at your home, you will know it quickly by the trails of them coming and going through cracks and crevices in the flooring or walls.
If you’ve got a problem with sugar ants, there is good news: they are not nearly as common or as difficult to get rid of as some other types of pests. However, if left unattended, they can also become a serious problem that requires more careful monitoring and treatment than other ant species.
How to Recognize Sugar Ants
Sugar ants, also known as odorous house ants, are very tiny, about 1/16 of an inch long. They don’t look like typical ants, as they don’t have the same dark brown or black coloring. Sugar ants are light to dark yellow and have two very small dark spots on their abdomens. These tiny insects are very slender and have long, thin legs that make them excellent climbers. They also tend to travel in trails, which is a quick tell-tale sign of infestation.
Natural Remedies for Sugar Ant Control
The best way to treat and prevent sugar ants is to keep them out of your home in the first place. This is achieved by making sure that all cracks, crevices, and other areas of entry are plugged and sealed. If you already have a problem with sugar ants and want to deal with it quickly and as naturally as possible, there are a few great options.
To keep sugar ants out of your kitchen, keep all food items in tightly sealed containers. Also, keep sugar, flour, and other baking items in sealed containers. Sugar ants also love beer, so a trick for keeping them out of your kitchen is to put out an open can of beer every once in a while. If you want to remove ants from your home, you can also make a simple sugar solution to spray on them as you find them.
Step 1: Seal off Entry Points
A quick way to start fighting an ant infestation is to make sure that there aren’t any entry points into your home. Sugar ants are extremely tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, and can squeeze through some very tiny cracks or crevices. If you spot a trail of ants entering into an area of your house, it’s a good idea to seal it off if possible. You can use caulk or putty to seal off areas where wires or pipes are coming into your home or walls. If possible, you can also seal up the areas around your windows and doors to keep ants out of your house completely.
Step 2: Use Baits to Kill Off the Colony
If sugar ants are already in your home, you can use baits to kill them off. Ants feed on sweet substances and will be drawn to the bait, bringing it back to the colony and killing off the workers who consume it. Bait that is effective for sugar ants should be extremely sweet, with a high fructose corn syrup content. Bait stations are available at any home supply store, and most types are designed to be child and pet friendly. Bait stations are designed to be put in places where ants travel frequently but can’t reach the bait.
Step 3: Utilizing Professional Fumigation
Fumigation is a very extreme form of extermination and is not recommended for use in all cases. If you have a serious ant infestation or have tried the methods above and have not been able to treat the issue, fumigation may be a solution. Fumigation is done with gas, and it can be extremely dangerous if it is not done properly. Always make sure to hire a pest control professional to do this type of work, and make sure that they are insured and as well as licensed.