Sugar Ants: How to Keep Them Out of Your House
Ever leave behind the tiniest drop of maple syrup on the kitchen counter or a couple cookie crumbs on the floor, only to come back later to a swarm of tiny feasting ants?
These sweet-toothed insects are commonly known as sugar ants.
What are Sugar Ants?
The term sugar ant is a general description for any species of sweet-eating ant. Therefore, it encompasses several types of ants, including carpenter ants, house ants, white-footed ants, cornfield ants, crazy ants, acrobat ants, ghost ants, pharaoh ants, Argentine ants, little black ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants.
These ants are typically very small, ranging from 2 to 15 mm in size, and prefer warm, humid spaces.
How Do They Get into Your Home?
They find their way inside through cracks, tears, crevices, vents, and other minuscule openings in an effort to find food and water.
Since ants have about 4-5 times more odor receptors than other pests, a sugar ant can easily sniff out a meal.
Even trace amounts of food left out on the floor or countertop is enough to attract a trail of ants into your home. Only one ant out of the thousands in a nest needs to find an entry point.
Once it finds a food or water supply, it lays a pheromone trail for the rest of the colony to follow. Almost immediately, you have a sugar ant infestation on your hands.
Sugar Ant Behavior
These ants are nocturnal and tend to forage for food from dusk to dawn. With a preference for sugary foods, things like honey, corn, soft drinks, maple and other syrups, nectar, jams, jellies, cake, candy, and fruit are very appealing to them.
They are attracted to spills, stains, and other food traces, so be sure to clean your kitchen and pantry thoroughly. Keep your food containers tightly sealed, and take out the trash frequently.
Nesting in virtually any crack or crevice around your property, you may find them burrowing out softwood, building a nest in wall voids, in basements, or among unused items in a secluded area of your home. When they build their nests in soil, you can always find large dirt hills surrounding the colonies' entrances.
Are They Destructive?
Apart from contaminating the food they touch, these ants can be very destructive, because they gnaw through paper, cardboard, electrical, or even thin plastic containers.
Carpenter ants are incredibly destructive and can cause the most damage as they tunnel through wood to create galleries and establish their colonies. This burrowing activity can be threatening to the structural stability of your home.
Ant Removal Services Near You
Get a Croach® pest exterminator near:
- Seattle (including Mukilteo, Sumner, Kirkland, Tacoma, Mount Vernon) and Tri-Cities, Washington.
- Spokane, Post Falls, Kooskia, Lewiston, and Boise, Idaho.
- Portland, Beaverton, Oregon.
- Denver, Aurora, Colorado.
- Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina.
- Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Salt Lake City, Sandy, Utah.
Ant Bites and Treatment
Although they are relatively mild-mannered, they will bite you if you pose a threat to their colony. Luckily, their bite doesn't sting unless you're highly allergic.
If you're bitten by a sugar ant and see signs of an allergic reaction, apply antibiotic cream or ice to the bite site and call a medical professional if symptoms worsen.
Sugar ants are known to nest in small crevices and holes, making this species particularly difficult to eliminate. They're also resistant to standard insecticides, so you'll need specialized ant control methods if you want to get rid of sugar ants in the house for good. Your local Croach® technician is trained to help manage sugar ants.
Croach® Ant Control Services
When it comes to getting rid of sugar ants, there's no one-size-fits-all strategy. Your licensed, highly trained Croach® technician will thoroughly inspect your property for sugar ant colonies and other pests and present a customized plan for elimination and ongoing prevention. Contact us today for a free estimate!
Free Pest Inspection