How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Sugar ants will begin to invade homes in the spring in quest of food and water. Though these ants aren’t harmful to people, they are bothersome pests that can be tough to manage. Here’s everything you need to know about getting rid of sugar ants, including which natural cures and chemical solutions work best, as well as how to prevent them from returning.

What are Sugar Ants?

Sugar ants, sometimes known as banded sugar ants, are little black ants that are native to Australia and only found there. When we think of sugar ants, we usually think of pavement ants or pharaoh ants, both of which are ordinary house ants. Pharaoh ants are yellow or light brown with black or reddish-brown legs, whereas pavement ants are black or reddish-brown with pale legs.
Sweets, as well as other sugary meals and scraps, attract these ants.

They also consume lipids, proteins (obtained by the consumption of other insects), and pollen from plants. They’ll bring food back to their nest for the rest of the colony once they’ve found a food supply.

Types of sugar ants

There are several types of sugar ants, including those that live outdoors and come indoors to eat, as well as others that prefer to live and feed inside your home. Outdoor sugar ants can include acrobat ants, false honey ants, or rover ants. Some common indoor sugar ants are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and pharaoh ants.

Where do sugar ants come from?

The majority of sugar ants will enter your property from the outside. They have four to five times the number of olfactory sensors as other insects, allowing them to locate food and follow scent trails through cracks, crevices, vents, and other holes in your home and foundation. Only one ant is required to find a way in. When an ant discovers a source of food or water, it leaves a pheromone trail—a simple scent trail—for other ants to follow.
Sugar ants can also be found in your home, in existing nests. Their nests are usually found in inaccessible areas, like as inside walls or basements.

How to get rid of sugar ants

Before you get rid of sugar ants, find and follow their visible trail as far as you can—this will help you figure out where they got into your house and provide you a place to start with cleanup. Decide if you want to utilize a natural or chemical method after you’ve found the route and entry site. A few distinct types of ant control are as follows:

Natural methods to get rid of sugar ants

If you want to stay away from harsh chemicals when treating a sugar ant infestation, try the following natural home remedies:

Use a vinegar solution to remove the sugar and trail—Mix one part vinegar and one part water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which removes the scent of an ant trail and acts as a deterrent against these pests. After finding the ants’ entry point, spray along baseboards and all possible entrance paths and trails to prevent ants from traveling along these routes. Wipe up the dead ants with a paper towel and discard them once they’ve been sprayed. To maximize this home remedy, spray in the morning or late afternoon when ants are most active.
Place used coffee grounds around your home—Ants hate the smell and acidity of coffee because it burns them. Spread used coffee grounds around pet bowls and other areas where you want to repel ants. You can also sprinkle coffee grounds outside your home to prevent ants from entering.
Layout whole cloves or bay leaves—The compounds that produce a strong smell in cloves and bay leaves do a great job of repelling sugar ants. Layout whole cloves along baseboards and place bay leave under countertops to deter ants.
• Hang garlic in your pantry—Similar to cloves and bay leaves, garlic has a strong odor that confuses ants and throws off their scent trail. Tie garlic on strings and hang them from your pantry doorknobs and shelves.
• Make a homemade insect repellent—Mix one part of water with a few drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on your kitchen island and on pantry shelves to deter ants from manifesting in those areas.
Layout a homemade ant trap—Set out honey or corn syrup on a plastic plate. The ants will be attracted to the bait and get stuck in the gooey substance. Once the ants are dead, throw away the plate and remove the trash from your home.
• Use organic commercial products
• Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth around your home—Diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder made from the crushed remains of marine phytoplankton. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is completely non-toxic for humans and pets but deadly for insects. Diatomaceous earth gets into the ants’ digestive systems and kills them from the inside out. Sprinkle the powder along ant trails and wipe up the substance after a month.

Chemical methods to get rid of sugar ants

Try the chemical solutions below for more ant control approaches. Make sure you read the instructions and take the appropriate safety precautions before utilizing these strategies to protect yourself against dangerous substances. Also, keep chemical solutions out of the reach of pets and youngsters.

• Place an ant bait—The theory behind utilizing ant baits to get rid of a sugar ant infestation is that the black ants will eat the bait and return it to their ant nests. The deadly bait will progressively kill the other ants once they have consumed it. Boric acid or Borax, a slow-acting toxin that kills ants, is found in most ant baits (sweet baits).

How long do ants live?

Ants have a brief life cycle in general, although certain colony members can live anywhere from a few days to a few decades. The respective ant’s caste; the queens, males, and workers who occupy the ant colony, is probably one of the most critical elements regulating lifetime.

Male Ants – Male adults live for only a few days and die after mating with the females.
Queen Ants – Ant queens, the egg-laying members of the colony, are the most long-lived colony members and may live for multiple years.
Worker Ants – Workers, the non-reproducing female adult stage that does most of the work needed to properly support and maintain the colony, live for a few weeks to several months.

Another key aspect that influences ant longevity is species. Odorous house ants, a typical ant found in the house, live for two to three years on average, while fire ant workers survive for only five weeks.

However, the availability of food and the quality of food consumed by worker ants have a significant impact on their longevity. Worker ants are the caste that puts their own health and well-being on the line for the colony’s overall health and well-being. When food supplies become scarce, workers typically eat less than other colony members, ensuring that sufficient food resources are available for colony members other than themselves to remain healthy.

How to prevent sugar ants from invading your home

Because black ants are most common between March and September, take preventative actions all year to keep them out of your home.

Clean up any sugary messes—Sugar ants feed on sugar and sugar-filled products such as honey, jam, cake, candy, fruit, and soft beverages, so remove these things from your kitchen and clean up any residue they leave behind.
• Keep an eye out for damp areas—Most ants are drawn to dark, moist locations such as bathrooms, garbage disposals, and kitchen sinks. To prevent ants from constructing a nest in these spots, wipe away excess water with a dry towel and repair any plumbing leaks.
• Take out the trash on a regular basis—Holes in garbage bags can attract sugar ants to discarded food, attracting them to your trash. To avoid holes, use thick waste bags and take away the trash as soon as it fills up (once or twice a week).
• Seal entryways—Because ants usually enter through gaps and crevices, look for openings in your doors and windows. Caulk any holes and cracks that already present.
Hire an exterminator—If none of the above approaches are working, we recommend hiring a pest control firm to assess the problem, recommend solutions, and remove the ants.

How to get rid of ants in the kitchen

Ants invading your kitchen may be a major nuisance, so the sooner you get rid of them, the better. Here are some suggestions for getting rid of ants in your kitchen.

Clean your sink on a regular basis—Rinse soiled dishes thoroughly and drain any standing water from the sink. After you’ve finished washing all of your dishes, wipe down the sink with a dry paper towel to make sure there’s no leftover food or moisture. Sugar ants may be attracted to waste disposals. Pour a little bleach into the garbage disposal every few days to kill their pheromones, which should kill any ant attractants.
Sweep or vacuum your kitchen floor after meals—Even small amounts of food left on counters or floors can attract ants. During the summer, sweep or vacuum at least once a night to ensure that no pheromone trails are left for other ants to follow.
Every night, wipe down your kitchen surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner—Not only will this help sterilize your kitchen, but it will also break down the pheromones that ants use to communicate with one another

.• Make a herb garden in your kitchen—Strong fragrances like peppermint, sage, and tansy can help keep ants away. Place these herbs in your kitchen as a second line of defense against sugar ants.


Sugar Ants can be disturbing when in your home, thankfully, this article is here to help you. Hope you found it useful!

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