How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants?

We all know that spring is the season for flowers to bloom and insects to emerge from their winter hibernation. The ants are in the same boat. The ants begin to invade their home as the spring season approaches. Summer is when ants are the most active. They are on the lookout for food, drink, and shelter.

Sugar ants aren’t harmful. These days, they wander around or near the house, which can be a nuisance. They’re the small insects that we see on the floor, and if we don’t pay attention to them, they’ll grow quite aggressive. 

Here’s everything you need to know about sugar ants and how to get rid of them. We’ve compiled a list of natural and chemical methods to help you kill sugar ants.

What Are Sugar Ants and How To Identify Them?

Sugar ants are native to Australia and are also known as banded sugar ants. Sugar ants are a unique species in the world. Pavement ants, sometimes known as pharaoh ants, are common in our homes. Pharaoh ants are yellow and light brown ants with pale legs, whereas pavement ants are normally black ants or reddish-brown ants with pale legs.

Sugar ants are attracted to sugar, sweets, and meat, as their name suggests. Protein and plant pollen is also appealing to them. Once they’ve found a sweet or protein-rich food source, they drag away and rejoin the rest of their colony. This is why a swarm of ants appears out of nowhere.

How to identify sugar ants?

During the summer and spring, we’ve all seen most ants wandering outside of our house all day. But how do we identify if it’s a sugar ant or not? The simplest approach to spot sugar ants in your home is to put the food crumbs they eat on the counter. Sugar ants are always on the lookout for something sweet to eat. Suppose you’ve dropped anything sweet, such as a drop of spilled juice, a dribble of honey, or a crumb of pastry topping. Sugar ants will inform you if you have dropped something there, even if you don’t realize it. Sugar ants and their colony will raid that for sure. Sugar ant species are typically 18 inches long.

Signs & Causes of a Sugar Ant Infestation In Your House or Kitchen

Sugar ants frequently enter the house from the outside. Sugar ants have a higher number of odor receptors than other insects. This is why they can smell and follow the scent so quickly. Ants can quickly enter our home through small areas, cracks, fissures, vents, and other holes in your home and foundation due to their small size. 

It all starts with a single ant discovering a source of food or water and leaving a pheromone trail for other ants to follow. According to this study on ants, an infestation is entirely reliant on the weather.

These ants then stay inside your home. They make their nests in undisturbed spaces such as the basement, inside the wall, or somewhere in cracks on the floor. We usually ignore when we see a few ants on the floor or on the desk or table. But you should not ignore it. Seeing an ant or few ants on a daily basis is a clear indicator that a full-blown infestation is on the way.

On the one hand, seeing an ant physically indicates an ant colony infestation, but on the other hand, there are only a few signs to check for to determine whether or not you have an infestation.

The indicators of a sugar ant infestation in your home or kitchen are listed below:

  • You’re physically seeing ants 

As previously said, seeing live ants indicates that there is a larger colony staying in your home. Sugar ants are always on the lookout for something sweet and sugary. As a result, you’ll almost certainly find a colony in your kitchen. Ants are most likely to be found in situations where food and drinks are consumed.

  • You suddenly noticed a colony 

Take walks around your kitchen or yard, even if you don’t pay much attention to small spots, corners, or cracks. If you notice a colony anywhere in your home, you will undoubtedly have a problem soon. Ants can readily navigate your home in search of food and water. There could be thousands of ants lying beneath the mound of soil, even if you only notice a few on the floor.

  • You watch ants marching in a straight line

During the spring and summer, we frequently see ants strolling in a line against a wall or on the floor. This is a sure sign that you’ll be dealing with an infestation soon. Ants leave a pheromone trail when they discover food to attract other ants. That’s why you’ll observe ants marching in a straight line.

Causes of a Sugar Ant Nests Infestation In Your House or Kitchen

Identifying sugar ants in your home, kitchen or in living space is easy and the cause behind it is also not too difficult to detect. Usually, there is some negligence from you that leads to sugar ants invading your house. Some of the common causes are listed below: 

  • You left or dropped the food 

It is one of the common reasons you see a lot of sugar ants. Sugar ants are always in search of food and especially when you have dropped or left the food uncovered then it’s a treat for ants! Whether you are aware of it or not, ants can smell food from a long distance. They quickly begin to follow the way and reach the source of food. Not only food ants are also in search of water. 

  • You left the surface greasy 

It is most likely to happen in the kitchen. While you are baking your favorite cake or you are making some fresh juice. It is common that you drop small drops of juice or anything sweet. Sugar ants can sense sugary foods in no time and can come with the entire colony to the food source. You may have cleared the shelves but there might be a few tiny drops left there that are not visible. But, they are enough for the ants. 

  • You have sticky garbage 

It is also one of the most common situations that can bring a large number of ants to a single place. You usually gather all the garbage in the bin and you will dispose of it in the morning. At times your garbage contains leftover food items, drinks, empty juice boxes. The sugar ants can quickly identify and begin their search for food along with their colony.

How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants?

Ant control is important. We’ve seen every probable cause and sign of sugar ant infestation in our homes so far. But we’d like to find a way to get rid of them permanently or at the very least temporarily. To get rid of sugar ants, you must first find them by following the visible ant trails. Locating the ant access points in your home or kitchen will be beneficial to you. After you’ve found the cause, look for a solution. You can get rid of sugar ant nest using either natural home treatment or chemicals. 

Let’s have a look at the sugar ant colony removal dos and don’ts:

Ineffective Sugar Ant Removal Methods – Don’t Waste Your Time With These Methods

When we discover sugar ants in our homes, we normally look for quick and easy ways to get rid of them. Not all of the quick and natural solutions are effective to exterminate sugar ants. We’ve compiled a list of do-it-yourself cures that have failed miserably. Though our granny swears by it, it doesn’t work at all.

  • Mixing boric acid, baking soda, sugar, and soak cotton balls in it
  • Spraying white vinegar all over their pheromone trails
  • Sprinkling cinnamon all over the kitchen and hope the infestation goes away
  • Mixing up citrus essential oils and spraying the entry points
  • Sealing off all the different places they are coming into the house to prevent entry

All of the approaches given above for killing sugar ants will not provide you with the desired outcome. Also, it may aggravate the condition by making the house smell bad. It has the potential to attract a significant number of ants that were previously absent. To avoid the problem worsening, it is preferable not to use the above methods for killing ants.

How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants Naturally (Home Remedies)

Sugar ant nests can be gotten rid of using some simple home methods. If you want to avoid using chemicals in your home, try out some of the natural home cures that genuinely work. Let’s have a look at each method that kills ants or at least repels them individually:

  • Use a vinegar solution to remove the sugar ant trail

You can make a solution by mixing one part of vinegar and one part of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle to spray it easily in the corner. The reason to choose vinegar is that it contains acetic acid which removes the scent of ant trail and acts as a deterrent against pests. Spray the solution along all the entry paths and points that could possibly have ants. Wipe the dead ants. For maximum and quick results spray it in the morning and afternoon when ants are most active. 

  • Place used coffee grounds around your home

You might not be aware of it but ants hate the smell and acidity of coffee because it burns them. Keep used coffee grounds near the areas where you want to repel ants. Coffee grounds can also be sprinkled outside your home to prevent ants from entering your home. 

  • Layout whole cloves or bay leaves

House sugar ants get irritated with the strong smell of clove and bay leaves. It quickly repels them. Layout cloves and bay leaves inside the kitchen cabinet or corners to deter ants. 

  • Hang garlic in your pantry

Same as bay leaves and cloves, garlic has a strong smell. It confuses the ants and throws off their scent trail. Simply hang garlic on pantry door knobs or shelves. It will prevent ants from coming into the kitchen.

  • Make a homemade insect repellent

To repel sugar ant species, you can also make some homemade insect repellent. Mix one part of water with a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil. For effective use, transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Spray in kitchen, cabinets, cracks, and corners.

What Products To Choose To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants For Good

To prevent sugar ant colonies from entering your home and kitchen here are some products you can use:

1. TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations

It is one of the best ant killers. It kills all common household ants and attracts ants fast.

How to use it?

Place sugar ant bait near ant trails or where ants are numerous. It will instantly kill all the ants. Use all 6 ant baits to ensure sufficient supply for the ants.

2. EcoRaider Ant Killer Spray (Citrus Scent – Natural & Non-Toxic)

This product claims to kill ants completely within 1 minute. It is an instant ant killer. It also breaks down ants’ trails and prevents them from re-grouping and re-entry for 4 weeks or longer.

How to use it?

It can be used both indoors and outdoors to control existing and invading insects including ants, mites, and lice. Simply spray it on the infected areas and all the ants will be killed within 1 minute. 

3. Advion Ant Bait Kit

The Advion Arena will kill ants including fire ants and harvester ants.

How to use it?

Advion ant bait arenas should be placed in areas where ants are currently foraging or foraging activity is suspected. You can place the ant baits adjacent to active foraging trails. 

How To Prevent Sugar Ants From Returning?

Usually, ants come back after a certain period of time in a particular season. Below are a few steps you can take for sugar ant prevention:

  • Clean all the sugary mess 

Sugar ants are attracted to sugar and all the products that contain sugar such as juice, honey, fruits, soft drinks, etc. make sure you carefully clean all the residue from the shelves to prevent ant infestations. Cover any pet food as well.

  • Find the damp areas 

Bathrooms, trash bins, and kitchen sinks are ants’ favorite places. Make sure to clean all the food or water supply areas with a dry towel to prevent ants from coming.

  • Routinely clean your sink

After a full day of cooking and eating. Thoroughly clean your sink with soapy water. Clean and dry the sink completely. Dispose of all of the garbage from the sink and wash dirty dishes regularly.

  • Take the trash out regularly

Garbage cans are the easiest way to attract sugar ants. Try to dispose of the garbage can regularly. If you dispose of it in the morning then tightly parcel the garbage at night to prevent ants. 

Great advice from ehowgarden YouTube channel

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to get rid of sugar ants?

Most ant baits are useful but this spray method is the most effective. Pour half a cup of vinegar in one cup of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray the mixture directly onto ants and on the places where they could possibly reside. Besides that, you can also use a soapy water mixture or dishwashing detergent. It will instantly kill ant infestations. 

What harm do sugar ants cause?

Sugar ants are not harmful, rather they are just annoying. They quickly locate the food or water and come into a huge colony of ants. They may also attract other pests, such as spiders and centipedes, into homes.

Will Sugar Ants Go Away on Their Own?

No, sugar ants do not go away on their own. Once they locate the sweet foods, they begin to increase in number. They attract other sugar ants to follow the food source, eventually leading them to increase in number. So, ant traps are needed to get rid of sugar ants.


To summarize the discussion, sugar ants are not harmful to have in our homes, but they aren’t a species we can keep and ignore because they swiftly multiply and find food sources, which may be very unpleasant at times. 

But the sugar ant problem can be easily fixed. To prevent sugar ants from your house and kitchen, use simple and easy procedures. If you’re looking for how to get rid of sugar ants, we’ve listed all the methods above. They will not only assist you to get rid of sugar ants in a timely manner but will also keep your kitchen clean and free of odorous house ants and crawling insects. Depending on the intensity of the sugar ant infestation, you can use ant bait, natural remedies and chemicals, to get rid of sugar ants.

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