Sugar ants are those tiny ants that always trail where you keep your sugar and bread, and also fatty foods. Sugar ants are primarily categorized in to three different types, the Pharaoh, pavement or the black ants. They all have the same menace of feasting and attacking on any sugary substance they find on their way. And this can be quite a nuisance in your house or kitchen. Killing them is the next thing you will be thinking about once you spot a couple of them on the kitchen sink, pantry or on any idle food container. They are naturally attracted to any reliable food source, and so limiting their food source or eliminating it all is the first step to curb their infestation. You will always find them gathering on food spills and stains, which are normally sugary and sweet. Here, we are going to look at how to get rid of sugar ants (in house and kitchen) and making them disappear completely and for good. This can be achieved in numerous ways. First, you can set up traps in your house or use artificial or natural repellents. It is important to know that when you treat the ant infestation with sprays, you only worsen the situation by enabling them to spread to other places in the house. So don’t use powder sprays as an option. If you want to eradicate them for good, then use the following methods to get rid of them.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. How To Get Rid of Sugar Ants Using Borax and sugar
- 2 2. Use Boric acid and mint jelly
- 3 3. Get rid of sugar ants using bay leaves
- 4 4. Whole cloves repellent
- 5 5. Vinegar
- 6 6. Use corn meal to kill sugar ants
- 7 7. Use caffeine
- 8 8. Use soapy water to kill
- 9 9. Keep the kitchen sink clean and dry always
- 10 10. Vacuum carpets
- 11 11. Block their entrance
- 12 12. Use baking soda
- 13 13. Take care of the trash bags and know when to throw away the trash
- 14 14. Sweep the floor
- 15 15. Use barriers to prevent entry and access
- 16 16. Don’t ignore the first signs
1. How To Get Rid of Sugar Ants Using Borax and sugar
The first thing in exterminating sugar ants, is to set up a bait which will attract them in floods. Borax is a very useful mineral which is poisonous to the sugar ants and harmless to humans. But you should not inhale or ingest the mineral mixture in any amount, and always try to avoid this when setting up the bait. Mix borax with sugar to form a thick consistency and set it as a trap where most sugar ants follow their path. Sugar ants are ravenous eaters and will consume the mixture almost immediately after they spot their delicacy. Borax is effective in exterminating large amounts of ants because it kills slowly and therefore allows for the spread of the poison from one ant to the rest of the colony. This is a fast way to kill a whole colony of ants in an effective way.
2. Use Boric acid and mint jelly
Boric acid is a non-toxic chemical that can be used to exterminate colonies of sugar ants. It is quite similar to borax and can be used as a bait trap when mixed with mint jelly or any other sweet substance like honey, maple syrup or peanut butter. It is effective in killing sugar ants living in crowded colonies. Boric acid can be bought at any hardware store near you. To make an effective bait trap, you can follow the following steps in setting up
- Use two tablespoons of boric acid and mix it with 8 ounces of mint jelly or any suitable sweet substance
- Put the mixture in a squeezable container which is covered with a lid
- Use a masking tape to make a strip where you notice the trail of the sugar ants
- Squeeze about 2 inches of the boric acid and mint jelly mixture on the masking tape strip
This will be an effective trap that will allow the sugar ants to eat the mixture and spread the rest of the poison to their colonies.
Alternatively, if you have animals in your house, you can use a different method instead of the tape method. Place the bait mixture in a cracker and place it in a small box which has holes. As is common with ants, they venture out in the dark to hunt for their food and so the box will be a good place for them to look for food. This will allow the trap to work effectively and most ants will die from the poison while in the box and others will carry the poison to the colony.
3. Get rid of sugar ants using bay leaves
Using bay leaves is a natural way to get rid of sugar ants in your house or kitchen. This is really the simplest method that still works in exterminating the sugar ants. What you have to do is to simply place the bay leaves strategically, where the sugar ants emerge from and then place a couple of them elsewhere. Within no time, you will not spot a single sugar ant. Bay leaves are effective repellents that have an inhabitable smell for the ants making them to go away. The bay leaves method is clean and ensures you house stays tidy from the sticky and messy substances. Also, there are many strategic places to keep the leaves like under the window, counter, drawer and cracks. You can also wrap some leaves and place them in the kitchen cupboard, where the smell will spread.
4. Whole cloves repellent
Whole cloves have been used in many instances to get rid of various insect infestations such as sugar ants. This natural home remedy contains a powerful smelling compound which acts as a repellent to ant infestation. With just a couple of steps, you will be able to eliminate sugar ant infestation using whole cloves by placing them in appropriate places such as under counters. The general smell of cloves is also not bad in the house, so it is ideal.
Use vinegar instead of bleaching agents to clean surfaces. Vinegar contains a strong smell which acts as a repellent to sugar ants. The acetic acid compound found in vinegar is an effective cleaning agent that will not only repel the insects but also bring a fresh new smell in your house. White vinegar is especially recommended instead of sweet vinegar like apple cider vinegar. Use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the counter tops or a strong bleach based cleaner to remove pheromones that are left behind by the ants.
6. Use corn meal to kill sugar ants
Certain foods are difficult to digest for sugar ants and corn meal is one of them. When sugar ants fail to digest cornmeal, they expand and eventually die because of expansion. This method is moderate but still effective. Sugar ants will carry pieces of the corn meal to their colonies where upon their failure to digest, they end up dying. Corn meal is very safe for children and pets in your house therefore you will not have to worry about them eating poisonous stuff.
7. Use caffeine
Sugar ants are susceptible to ground coffee, which when infested will result in their death. This method may take days to manifest but eventually works when you want to kill the insects slowly. What you have to do is to just leave ground coffee where you notice the ants or where they emerge from. This will let them to eat the ground coffee and take some to the colony.
8. Use soapy water to kill
Soapy water is a simple yet effective method of killing the stubborn ants. It also prevents the sugar ants from following the same trail by destroying the particular chemical trail which they all follow. Just put a single spoon of dish soap and mix with water then put in a spraying bottle. When you see the ants, just spritz them with the mixture and in a short while they will disappear.
Once you have got rid of them, the next important thing is to figure out how to prevent future infestation by the ants. This can be done by taking care of your kitchen and house as a whole, and keeping clean.
9. Keep the kitchen sink clean and dry always
One of the main triggers of sugar ant infestation is the presence of food remains and stains all over the kitchen sink. Ensuring that your kitchen sink is clean and dry is the first step in avoiding future infestation of sugar ants. Use white vinegar to effectively clean and rinse the kitchen sink. Also, it is advisable to not leave dish washing to the next day in the morning after dinner, as this will attract sugar ants which go out looking for anything to eat during the night.
10. Vacuum carpets
Keeping your carpeted floor clean is inevitable if you want to get rid of sugar ants completely. More often than not, food crumbs and pieces find their way on the carpet and with time, they attract sugar ants which see them as a reliable source of food. It does not matter if the crumbs are sweetened or not, sugar ants always love any food crumbs they find on their way. Doing a regular vacuuming will help keep the sugar ants out.
11. Block their entrance
Sugar ants will find their way into your house or kitchen through cracks and crevices that are seemingly unreachable. To ensure that they don’t get into your house, seal off their possible routes or if they have already started creeping in, investigate where they are coming through from and leaving out. You can then use various methods to block their entrance such as use of glue, plaster or silicon caulk. If you notice them while unprepared, temporary methods can be used to block their entrance such as poster tack or petroleum jelly. You can then look for a permanent solution to fill the gaps.
12. Use baking soda
Baking soda when mixed with water form a powerful solution which can be sprayed on carpets and floors to prevent sugar ant infestation. Baking soda can also be used on counters where sugar ants like to infest and when combined with any of the above mentioned methods, you will be sure to have a house that is free of sugar ant infestation.
13. Take care of the trash bags and know when to throw away the trash
It is important to get a tight and secure trash bag where you can put all your waste into. This is because a faulty trash bag will always leave trails of crumbs and food stuff which will lead to sugar ant infestation if not taken care of properly. Also, make sure you seal the bag containing the trash tightly so as to prevent entrance of the ants. The time when you take out the trash is also important. Take the trash out every night just before you go to sleep and ensure it is clean. You can achieve this by cleaning the trash can using a mixture of vinegar solution and water.
14. Sweep the floor
Keeping the floor clean and spotless is crucial in keeping away sugar ants. Any trails of crumbs or dirt will provide room for the infestation of ants. Always sweep the floor and more often in the night when the ants are more active in looking for food. Sweeping also enables the mopping to be effective by reaching out in the crevices and crannies. As you mop, make sure that you use a mixture of vinegar and water, which will provide an inhabitable smell for the ants and therefore repelling them.
15. Use barriers to prevent entry and access
Some sort of defensive barriers are good in preventing further infestation of ants if they have already made their mark by infesting your house. What is important in coming up with a working barrier is to ensure that it’s a continuous line of about a quarter inch wide. This will form a trap for those that are already in the house, but a defensive wall to those conspiring to infest. There are many methods to deploy when introducing a barrier, from using the already available kitchen resources such as cinnamon, powdered charcoal, cayenne pepper, Vaseline or chalk powder. All these are great substances that can make barriers for entrance of ants. Vaseline is especially great when used in doors and windows where they form complete barriers.
16. Don’t ignore the first signs
As soon as you notice the first scout ants, do a thorough cleaning of your kitchen to keep them away. Normally, the first ants are signs of an impending infestation and so should be taken seriously and appropriate measures taken to reverse the situation.