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How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants (9 Methods)

Sugar ants are pesky little creatures that can be hard to get rid of. 

They nest in moist areas, like near your kitchen sink or under the bathroom sink, and they love sugar. 

You may not know how you got them at first, but these pests will eventually show their ugly head if left unchecked. 

5 Things You Didn't Know About Ants x
5 Things You Didn't Know About Ants

This article is going to go over how to identify sugar ants and how to get rid of them with different methods.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Here you can find 9 different methods of dealing with sugar ants.

If you want to know more about getting rid of ants, read our article on how to get rid of ants in your home and garden.

1. Eliminating Their Food Source and Nest

The first thing you want to do is eliminate their food source. You should always do this, even if you’re also trying other methods of getting rid of the ants.

By eliminating the food source, you are taking away the one thing that attracted the ants in the first place.

When doing this step, make sure you get all of it. Wipe down your counters, vacuum your floor and get a mop to work. Your place should be sparkling clean.

If the ants are attracted to the moisture, make sure you check for any leaks near your water pipes, sinks, your bathtub, or any other place nearby that might leak water. If you do have a leak, or if you find a collection of stale water, either clean it up or call a plumber (depending on your own plumbing capabilities).

ant eating on a spoon

2. Use Glass Cleaner and Detergent

One easy trick that many people may not know of is using glass cleaner and detergent together on their countertops or other surfaces where ants might be feeding.

These two household items will create a toxic gas when mixed which can kill sugar ants quickly without leaving any lasting harmful effects on your home itself.

The best way to use this mixture is by mixing one part water with one part detergent and one part glass cleaner. Spray this all over areas like your window sills or kitchen counters where sugar ants tend to hang out and check back after 24 hours.

spray bottle to kill ants

3. Use Vinegar and Water

Some claim that vinegar can work as an ant remedy, but others claim it doesn’t work. 

The theory here is to mix vinegar with water to create an effective non-toxic pesticide.

Simply mix one part vinegar and three parts warm water in a spray bottle, shake it up to combine the two ingredients well, then use this mixture on areas where sugar ants are hanging out or near their nests within your home.

This method works because of the taste and smell that vinegar has. Ants have a very good sense of smell, which they rely on heavily. They won’t come near an area that upsets them.

apple cider vinegar

4. Essential Oils

One method that many people swear by when it comes to getting rid of sugar ants is to use essential oils. This includes

These will have an extreme scent, that will keep ants away.

It’s generally advised to mix oil and water in a 1:99 ratio, but if you use a strong enough concentration of oil, it can kill the ants.

Essential oils are popular for ant control, as they’re natural and safe. You don’t have to worry about any plants dying, and you (usually) don’t have to seal off the area if you have small children or pets.

mint oil against ants

5. Boiling Water

Boiling water works well for killing ants, simply because of its very high temperature. Ants will die instantly when covered in boiling water.

All you need to do is pour boiling water onto any cracks or crevices that they may be traveling through in order to kill them off. It’s important to note, that this may not prevent future infestations. 

You can also pour it straight into the nest (if you’ve located it). The problem here is that you need a lot of it. If the nest is very big, you might not be able to get enough boiling water.

boiling water

6. Boric Acid/Borax

Borax is a chemical compound that works as a pesticide and can be used within your home to get rid of sugar ants safely.

All you need to do is mix one part borax with three parts sugar and sprinkle this mixture along any cracks or crevices where these little guys may travel through during the day as they go looking for food sources (like cut fruit or pet foods).

The sugar will make sure that the ants will eat it, and the borax will make sure they die off.

You can learn more about how to use Borax in your ant-killing efforts right here.

sprinkling powder

7. Use Organic Ant Repellants

Organic ant repellants can be purchased at most pharmacies and grocery stores. These work by using strong scents which sugar ants cannot stand, such as peppermint oil or cinnamon oil. 

Simply place these around areas where you have noticed them hanging out recently to effectively get rid of sugar ants long-term!

Remember not to use too much as this could result in the scent becoming overwhelming for your own sense of smell and it will start working against you instead of helping out with how to kill sugar ants naturally without chemicals!

A bottle of essential oil with spices on wooden background

8. Call an Exterminator

If you have tried everything and how to get rid of sugar ants is still an issue, then it may be time for a professional extermination service.

These professionals will come in with the proper tools and equipment needed such as fumigation which can kill off nests that were previously unknown before cleaning up afterward!

These professionals know how to kill sugar ants, either with or without harmful chemicals or pesticides. They’ll definitely make sure that you’re relieved of your ant problem.

ant spray

9. Use Ant Baits

Sometimes using repellant isn’t enough. If you don’t want to call an exterminator, yet you’ve tried some of the other methods, you can also use ant traps/ant baits.

These are little contraptions made specifically to attract and kill ants (usually using chemical solutions).

If you’re doing this, make sure to keep your pets or small children away. Ant traps can contain chemicals that are poisonous to humans as well – which is why a lot of people want to take the natural route first.

ants eating foods together

What Are Sugar Ants?

Sugar ants are tiny little black or brown insects that may be hard to get rid of.

These bugs feed off sugars, sweets, and other kinds of starches which means they can quickly become a household problem if left unattended for an extended period of time.

Also read: Types of ants

Where Do Sugar Ants Come From?

Sugar ants come from nests outside of the home. They will typically nest near your house, and they will enter through cracks or other openings to your home. The main reason you might be experiencing a sugar ant invasion is food. Ants are constantly gathering food for their colony. If you have some left out, they’ll find it.

Where Do Sugar Ants Nest?

Wall Voids

Sugar ant colonies live inside wall voids which make killing sugar ants without harmful chemicals or pesticides difficult because they can quickly become overwhelming for your home if you cannot find all of their entrances and exits!

Under Appliances

These little insects are also known to nest under appliances. If you have a stove, refrigerator, or even an oven in your home then it is important that you keep these areas clean at all times so the ants don’t start spreading out in your home.

Near Leaky Faucets

Another location that sugar ants nest is near leaky faucets which makes them a common sight in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s important not to leave any standing water around the sink, dishwasher, or even washing machine because this could attract sugar ants looking for water sources.

In Damaged Insulation

If you see sugar ants in places like your attic or crawlspace, then it could mean that there is damage to the insulation. These little pests will quickly make themselves comfortable in these areas as they are warm and easily malleable.

In Vacated Carpenter Ant and Termite Nests

Carpenter ant nests are often vacated after the queen inside dies. The same goes for termites. These vacated nests make perfect homes for sugar ants.

Under Stacked Firewood

If you have a fireplace in your home, you’ll probably have a stack of wood. This wood, after some rain, will be perfect nest areas for sugar ants. A colony of sugar ants won’t pass on an opportunity like this.

Throughout Loose Soil

Anyone who has a garden is at risk of an ant infestation. These little creatures love building nests in loose soil, which is present in almost any garden. Sometimes ants will create anthills (mounds of dirt sticking up from the ground). If you see this, you got ants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Keep Sugar Ants Out of the Kitchen?

There are many ways to get rid of sugar ants – the same goes for keeping them out of the kitchen. Some of the methods include using vinegar, essential oils, ant traps, and other similar solutions. In extreme cases, you might want to call an exterminator.

How Did I Get a Sugar Ant Infestation?

Sugar ants are attracted to sweet things. One of the most common ways that sugar ants get into homes is by being carried in food, drinks, or fruit brought from outside. They enter a home through openings around windows and doors as well as gaps under kitchen cabinets which allow them direct access to your kitchen counters where there are often spills.

Can Sugar Ants Damage My Home?

Sugar ants can cause damage to your home if they get in. They may not hurt the structure of the building, but sugar ants do eat and contaminate food items that you’re storing. If there is a large infestation, it could ruin entire batches of fruit or other foods stored away.

Sugar ants can be considered a health hazard to humans and pets because they carry pathogenic organisms that cause disease in people or animals. Some of these diseases include food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc. They also contaminate the food items in their colonies with feces and other body parts which may transfer pathogens directly to the food.

Sugar ants can also cause damage to the wiring of your home by chewing through wires and insulation, which could lead to fires or other problems with how electricity works in your house. They do this because they need moisture and want easy access to water piping inside the walls where they build their nests. This is why it’s important to stop sugar ants before they get inside your walls.

Sugar Ants are considered more of an annoyance than a health risk, but any infestation should be taken seriously because you never know how many ants there really are or how far the colony has spread.

About Teodoro Pittman

Teodoro is a nature and animal lover. He specifically focuses on insects, such as ants, bees, and the like. In his free time, he takes care of his own ant farm, where he analyzes their behavior. Teodoro has spent the last 7 years studying the intricate behavior of these small creatures.