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How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants: 7 Easy Ways

Sugar ant

Sugar ants are a type of ant that are attracted to sugary foods and scraps. These ants invade your home if they find a food source that they like. Sugar ants include any ant that is attracted to sweet-smelling foods.

These ants access the house through vents, crevices, and cracks. If they find a food source in the house, they build a nest in hidden places, such as wall voids, softwood, or unused items. A sugar ant infestation can cause structural damage, contaminate food, carry infectious bacteria, or attract other pests to your home.

To avoid these problems, it’s good to keep the sugar ants away from your home. However, if your home is already infested with these pests, you must find a way to get rid of them quickly. If you allow them to stay, they expand their colonies.

This article looks at the different ways to get rid of sugar ants in your home.

divider 7 The 7 Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

1. Apply Vinegar Solution

Image By: focal point, Shutterstock

Vinegar is a safe product you can use to get rid of ants in your home. It contains acetic acid, which produces a pungent, strong, and rancid smell that repels ants. The sugar ants will keep off all the sprayed areas. The good thing is that you also get to eliminate other pests in your house in the process.

What You Need:
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • Plastic spray bottle
Steps to Follow:
  • Put one cup of water and vinegar into your plastic spray bottle.
  • Shake the spray bottle to allow the solution to mix.
  • Spray the solution along the sugar ants trail, windowsills, doors, drainage holes, and inside cabinets. You can also spray it in any other areas where you see sugar ants.
  • After spraying, store the remaining vinegar solution in a cool and dark place. The solution will not spoil because of the acidic nature of vinegar.

2. Baking Soda Trap

A baking soda trap is a non-toxic way to eliminate sugar ants. It contains small salt crystals featuring sodium and bicarbonate ions. It is also safe for use around kids and pets.

What You Need:
  • Powdered sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Lids to place the bait on
  • A measuring spoon
Steps to Follow:
  • Mix one part of powdered sugar with one part of baking soda.
  • Put ¾ tablespoon on various lids.
  • Place the lids strategically where the sugar ants are prevalent.
  • Wait for the bait catch to kill all the sugar ants within three to four days.

Ants cannot differentiate between powdered sugar and baking soda—the two look almost the same. The powdered sugar attracts the sugar ants, and the baking soda kills them.

When sugar ants eat baking soda, it reacts with the acid in their digestive tract. The reaction produces carbon dioxide gas that causes them to dry out and die.

The method destroys the entire colony because the sugar ants will also take the tiny sugar crystals to the nest, eliminating the ants from the source.

3. Use Homemade Essential Oil

essential oil and vinegar
Image Credit: Pixabay

Essential oils are effective in getting rid of sugar ants from homes. Some of the best essential oils you can use include clove oil, lemon oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. Lemon oil contains d-limonene, which is harmful to sugar ants. It penetrates ants’ hard and waxy exoskeleton and kills them.

Peppermint oil also repels sugar ants, rats, cockroaches, and mice. Sugar ants don’t like the smell of menthol and will keep off any area with this scent.

What You Need:
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish detergent
  • 3–5 drops of essential oils (lemon oil, clove oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil
  • A plastic spray bottle
Steps to Follow:
  • Put water in a medium-sized jar.
  • Add the liquid dishwashing liquid and the essential oils.
  • Stir to mix the ingredients effectively.
  • Put the solution in a plastic spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution along any ant trails, cracks near your windows and doors, small holes, or any other area the ants are prevalent.
  • Repeat the process until all the sugar ants are eliminated from your home.

Note that you can also get rid of sugar ants using whole cloves. Besides, whole cloves also effectively eliminate other unwanted pests. Put the whole cloves in areas where the sugar ants are prevalent, including baseboards and counters. One great advantage of using whole cloves is that they also leave a pleasant scent.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a nontoxic powdery substance made using fossilized marine diatoms. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an excellent method to get rid of various pests including bedbugs, sugar ants, spiders, and stink bugs.

When you sprinkle the powder on the sugar ants, the razor-sharp edges desiccate the pests. It destroys the waxy coating on the ants, making them die due to dehydration. To get the best results, make sure to place it at the exact location of the colony. This ensures that you destroy all the ants as quickly and effectively as possible.

Step to Follow:
  • Identify areas with signs of sugar ant infestations. Check for ant trails or any place where you see them in groups. Follow them to find out where they have accessed your house.
  • Apply a thin layer of the powder along the trails. If you find a large group of sugar ants, apply the powder over them and make a perimeter around them. You should also spread the powder along cracks, windowsills, floors, and baseboards.
  • Wait for 1–2 days and then check the area you have applied the powder to find out if the pests have designed another route. If there is an alternative route, perform a follow-up treatment.
  • Once the ants are dead, clean off the powder and wash the floor.
  • You can proceed to sprinkle a light application of the powder around the foundation of the house to create a perimeter and keep more sugar ants away.

5. Use Borax

Image Credit: JK Sulit, Shutterstock

Borax is an effective sugar ant killer containing sodium borate. It is a powerful insect killer, herbicide, fungicide, and desiccant. Most ant commercial baits feature borax as a major ingredient. When the ants eat borax, it affects their digestive tract.

They also return to their colony with the poisoned food, which they share with the others in the nest. Eventually, all the sugar ants die. Note that for borax to be effective, you must mix it with honey or sugar.

What You Need:
  • Borax powder
  • Sugar
  • Warm water
  • Cotton balls
Steps to Follow:
  • Mix 1½ teaspoonful of borax, a half cup of sugar, and warm water.
  • Take some cotton balls and soak them in the solution.
  • When thoroughly soaked, put them near areas where the sugar ants are prevalent. The sugar attracts the ants, and once they consume the borax, they die.

If you have pets or children, keep them away from borax and ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.

6. Boiling Water

Boiling water is also an effective, simple, and safe way to kill sugar ant colonies instantly.  All you need is hot water in a pot or kettle.

While the water is still piping hot, pour it over the ant nest directly into the entry hole so. If the nest is large, pour more than a pot to make the nest collapse.

7. Daily Cleaning

cleaning bricks
Image Credit: TShaKopy, Shutterstock

Sugar ants invade your home if they find food crumbs, food spills on the countertop, dirty dishes, and other surfaces with sugary food. Therefore, you can keep these pests away from your house by cleaning all utensils after every meal.

Make sure you clean the floor and sink to get rid of any smelly food substrates that can attract the sugar ants. Your trash can also be an attraction to sugar ants. So, ensure you empty and clean it regularly. Keep all food containers sealed so that sugar ants will not find them.

divider 7 Conclusion

Sugar ants can frequent your home and create a colony if they find a reliable source of food to eat. They are problematic since they can cause structural damage or carry germs that cause health issues. Preventing the infestation is the best option, but if your home is already infested, you must eliminate them.

Elimination methods such as baking soda, borax, daily cleaning, diatomaceous earth, vinegar solution, whole cloves, and essential oils will do a good job of killing the ants. You can choose one that you are most comfortable with or that you already have the ingredients for.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Meli1670, Pixabay


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