"How to get rid of sugar ants" is a question many homeowners in the Northeastern U.S. have to consider each year, especially between the months of March and September. That line of tiny black ants streaming across your kitchen floor and that swarm of tiny black ants in a crack in your concrete walkway are connected. Both are indications of a sugar ant problem. This site is designed to give a quick and informative summary for those experiencing a problem with sugar ants.
Sugar ants actually refer to the species of pavement ants and pharaoh ants, however there is technically a sugar ant species in Australia. Since sugar ants eat just about anything humans eat, they often find their way into the kitchen and other food preparation or dining areas. A line of tiny black ants, or a swarm of them covering a dropped morsel of food is usually the first indication of a problem.
The winged, reproductive form of sugar ant swarms in the Spring and into the Fall. After they mate, the queens drop their wings, burrow into some crack in the wall or pavement, lay their eggs and begin raising new colonies of pavement ants. They'll travel up to 30 feet from their colony in search of a food source, which gets them well inside of your home!
Most likely the problem began with a master sugar ant colony located outside of your home, perhaps in a crack in the sidewalk or in your concrete walkway. From there, the sugar ants send out sentries in search of food. These are lone ants that enter through the smallest crack, then into your home. Once they find a food source, they lay a pheromone trail from the food source to the master colony. This trail becomes the sugar ant's super highway into your home and to the food source.
Your first line of defense is prevention. Basically, eliminate all exposed food and food odors from your home:
Thoroughly clean all of the above daily, and rinse them out with a mixture of warm water and bleach or white vinegar. The bleach and white vinegar eliminate the sugar ant's pheromone trails. For extra measure, you could place whole colves or bay leaves along baseboards and under counter tops.
Borac acid (Borax), which is safe for humans yet poison for sugar ants is effective when mixed with corn syrup and a few drops placed on a piece of cardboard in a location frequented by sugar ants. They take the mixture back to their colony and entire colonies can be destroyed with this method. There are pre-made mixtures to be found by googling "sugar ant bait" or "pavement ant bait".
You can follow all of the above advice and be successful in eliminating sugar ants from your home. However, a professional sugar ant exterminator like ApolloX Pest Control will also eliminate sugar ant colonies around your home. In addition, ApolloX Pest Control will look for the presence of other pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches, moths, termites and others. What good is it to get rid of sugar ants, yet have a termite problem?
Do you think you have a sugar ant problem? Give yourself a clean start by having them professionally eliminated, then you can more successfully practice the regular control measures we've described!