Kitchens aren't just pantries for humans, but they can become food source locations for a number of household pests such as cockroaches, mice, and fruit flies. Cutting off their access to food often does the trick to get rid of an infestation, but when you've got sugar ants in your kitchen, you may need reinforcement to get rid of these tiny pests.
What are Sugar Ants?
Sugar ants are considered a nuisance as they often come as colonies, break into food containers and packages, and can get into the house through even the tiniest openings. Ants are common insects found in households, and sugar ants are most commonly odorous house ants, which emit a coconut-like odor when crushed.
What Ant Species are Sugar Ants?
Sugar ants refer to a number of ant species that vary in size, behavior, and aggression. While odorous house ants are the most common indoor sugar ants, sugar ants refer to other species as well, such as carpenter ants, pavement ants, acrobat ants, and pharaoh ants. Sugar ants can be found in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Do Sugar Ants Bite?
Some species of sugar ants may bite, while others are more of a nuisance than harmful. However, even the biting ants rarely cause any adverse reactions unless you're allergic to them. Sugar ant bites look similar to mosquito bites, as they may cause sore welts on the skin. They do not pose any serious health hazards to adults, children, or pets.
How Did I Get Sugar Ants in My Kitchen?
Sugar ants enter your kitchen for one reason only: food. Finding sugar ants or a sugar ant nest in your kitchen indicates that the ants have a food source nearby, such as an open box of cereal left in the cupboard, food that fell under the fridge, or bags of sugar in the pantry that are leaking out. Finding the food source will help get rid of sugar ants.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants for Good
Step 1: Find the Food Source
Sugar ants are most likely eating something out of your pantry, so it is worthwhile to check for any opened food packages, unsealed containers, or food spills in and around your kitchen that may attract ants. You may have fruiting trees by your kitchen as well, where the ants travel from their indoor nest to the garden for food.
Follow the trail of ants to find the food source. If the ants are carrying food on their trail, then follow where the ants are coming from. If the ants are walking empty-handed, then it means they are headed to their food source, so you should follow their path to find the food source.
Step 2: Use a Pest Control Solution
Once you've identified and cleaned up their source of food, it is time to kill sugar ants. It may be helpful to identify sugar ants before deciding on the pest control method. What works to get rid of one colony may not get rid of another.
Use White Vinegar
White vinegar is a common and effective solution to get rid of sugar ants. Ants work by identifying pheromones of other ants in the colony. These pheromones direct ants where to go for food, and vinegar disrupts how the ants identify pheromones. Vinegar will deter ants from approaching, so it is effective to place these in the entry point of the nest.
Spray pure white vinegar around the entry points, and use a paper towel with vinegar to wipe away the trail. This method is also effective in killing the banded sugar ant, as the ants cannot withstand the acidity of vinegar.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is an effective method to eliminate sugar ants, but take note it may kill insects beneficial to your home and garden, such as ladybugs, butterflies, spiders, and more. Diatomaceous earth works by creating small but numerous cuts on the exoskeleton of the ants, and kill them;
Use food grade diatomaceous earth as you're working in the kitchen. Sprinkle the powder all around the entry points, the ant trails, and around the food or water supply of the ants. The powder, when dry, will kill ants on contact. Diatomaceous earth will get rid of sugar ants for good.
Use Borax Bait Stations
Using ant bait laced with boric acid is an efficient way to kill the entire colony, as the ants bring the food back into their nest for the sugar ant colony to eat. Boric acid will kill sugar ants quickly and surely, and is effective in killing aggressive species like argentine ants so you won't need to interact with them.
To create a paste or liquid ant bait, mix together boric acid, sugar, and flour until it forms a paste. Place the paste around the entry point of the nest, as well as various corners of the home where ants frequent. Make sure to keep the mixture away from children and pets. This is one of the most effective ant control methods to wipe out entire colonies.
Step 3: Prevent Re-infestation
Prevent re-infestation by sealing all food items properly. Wipe away any spills as they happen, and keep your kitchen thoroughly clean. Create a homemade insect repellent using lemon rinds, lavender, rosemary, and essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil. Spray around areas where ants may frequent. This solution will deter sugar ants naturally.
Get Rid of Sugar Ants for Good
Proper cleaning and household maintenance will get rid of sugar ants for good. When ant baits, homemade sprays, and vinegar no longer prevent sugar ants from feasting in your kitchen, then it's time to give your home a deep clean.
At Luce Home, we know the hassles of having a sugar ant problem in your kitchen, which is why our professional cleaners have the experience deterring ant colonies from invading your home. Our deep cleaning services will get rid of the food supply of these ants, and our professional pest control services will make sure they stay away.
Contact us today to know more about our home cleaning services!