Good news! It's actually pretty easy to get rid of sugar ants on your own without needing to call an exterminator.
The term "sugar ant" isn't really a specific type of ant at all. It actually refers to a variety of sweet-eating ants that enter your home in search of the sweet foods they love to eat.
Also known as grease eaters, protein ants and sweet-seekers, the term sugar ant is simply a generic term we use for any small sweet loving ant which can include the following and more:
However, don't confuse these ants with the banded sugar ant that's found primarily in Australia. Although they both enjoy sweet things, they are very different from each other.
Sugar ants enter your home in search of two things......food and water. These ants have an amazing sense of smell, allowing them to smell food for long distances.
Only one ant needs to find an access inside which is typically through a crack in the foundation or a gap around your door or window.
Typically older homes will have multiple entry points but even new homes can have sugar ants because they need such a small access point to get inside.
Once an entry point is found, the ant lays a pheromone trail that the rest of the colony can follow into your home.
Unless you're extremely allergic, sugar ants are not dangerous and they're not known to have painful bites.
The only ant in the sugar ant classification that can cause damage to your home is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants burrow tunnels into your homes structure and use these tunnels to live in.
The rest of the ants that we call sugar ants really don't pose any threat to your home, other than possibly contaminating your food if they gain access to your pantry or other food locations.
The easiest way to get rid of sugar ants is to prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place.
Since sugar ants are attracted to food and water, you'll need to make sure you don't leave any dirty dishes in the sink. Fix any leaky pipes and wipe up any condensation that can form around toilets and sinks.
It doesn't take much food at all to draw in sugar ants, so regularly vacuum your carpet and mop any tile or hardwood floors to remove the food that has fallen throughout the corse of the day.
Remember, sugar ants have an amazing sense of smell which can be 4-5 times greater than most insects so the smallest drop of jelly will lead them right into your home.
If you've found ants inside your home it's not the end of the world. Like we mentioned before, it's actually really easy to get rid of sugar ants.
Here are 3 natural ways to remove the ants from your home and keep them from coming back:
Vinegar And Water
A 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water works great for a lot of things......including repelling sugar ants. From cleaning your coffee pot to putting a streak free shine on your bathroom mirror, vinegar is a safe and effective cleaner.
Use a mixture of vinegar and water to mop or wipe down the pheromone trail the ants are using inside your home. This will disrupt their sense of direction to the food source because the mildly acidic vinegar removes the pheromone smell the ants are following.
You can spray down your trash, sink and any other areas you've noticed ants.
Essential oils often create a great natural remedy to get rid of sugar ants and a lot of other insects from your home. Citrus, tea tree and mint seem to work really well to drive sugar ants away.
Here's a homemade natural ant spray that many DIY enthusiasts love:
Combine the above ingredients into a cup of warm water and mix them together. Next, add the mixture to a spray bottle and lightly spray the cracks where you've noticed ants.
Spray once a day until the ants are gone. You don't need a lot, just enough the dampen the surface. Since this method only uses essential oils, you can spray around your refrigerator, trash, stove and other common areas where ants are found.
Diatomaceous earth is a great natural insect repellent. It basically looks like a dusty powder and it kills the ants by drying them out as they walk through it.
Diatomaceous earth is safe to use around food and it's a great DIY method for getting rid of spiders, fleas, ants and many other insects.
If you're searching for something a little more aggressive than natural remedies, but still very safe to use inside your home I highly recommend these two solutions:
Homemade Broax Ant Trap
Borax is just a powered detergent and multi-purpose household cleaner that you can buy at your local grocery store. It's a great DIY substance that has a variety of uses. Heck, not only does it work great for ant traps, I've also used it to cure fishing bait and many other things!
To make your homemade ant trap you'll need to heat the following in a sauce pan:
Only use 2 tablespoons of Borax. You want the ants to consume the sweet mixture of sugar water and Borax and take the Borax back to the nest to kill the rest of the colony. If you add too much, the ants will die right at the trap which isn't what you want.
Combine the mixture in a shallow dish and within a couple of days your sugar ant problem will be gone!
Terro Ant Bait
If you're looking for something a little easier without making your own DIY ant trap, Terro Ant Bait is amazing!
It's basically the same concept as using Borax, but it comes in a pre-made mixture you can buy over the counter. To use the trap, just follow the directions and place the traps in the areas you have noticed ants.
Within hours the ants will be attracted to the bait and they will take it back to the rest of the colony, eliminating the ants you can't see.
Just like the Borax trap, you'll need to resist the urge of killing the ants you see feeding on the trap. Just be patient for a couple of days and you'll be very happy with the results.
If you follow the steps above, you'll find its very easy to get rid of sugar ants in your home, kitchen or apartment.
Ants are common and they can show up in just about any home, new or old. By keeping things clean and using either the natural methods or safe to use bait, your ant problem will quickly become a thing of the past.