How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants
Ants are probably the most common creatures that are found in forests, gardens, yards and even houses. They form colonies and often enter your kitchen by searching for water and food. There are many varieties of them, and one of them is a sugar ant that is categorized in three types: little black ants, Pharaoh and Pavement. They received their name because of their attraction to sweet stuff, even though can also eat fatty food and bread. It is quite difficult to describe a typical appearance of sugar ants because they do not look alike. Their size is between 2 and 15 mm, and colors vary from deep black to orange-brown. Sugar ants are especially active in spring time, and they are able to take over an area in your house very quickly. If your home was ever invaded by these critters, you definitely know how annoying it is and have probably tried already many different methods to eradicate them. For those who still wonder how to get rid of sugar ants quickly and effectively we have created this guide with some useful tips and recommendations.
Figure out how ants enter your house
Before you start addressing your problem with ants, your primary and the most important task is to find out how they actually enter your home. There are many different points of entry, including:
- Foundation. If there are any cracks in your house’s foundation, it allows these tiny critters easily enter your home.
- Doors. They also can be considered a perfect entry, especially those that open to the outside and have a poor seal to it.
- Utility lines. Have you ever noticed that there are dozens of small holes in your house’s walls for connections to the outside? Phone outlets, electrical outlets, plumbing, and some others – they all are perfect openings that allow not only utilities but also ants to enter your house.
- Floor. You probably do not know this, but ants are able to crawl underneath the floor of your house, which also includes carpeting.
Baiting is probably the most reliable and effective way not just to kill ants but also to eliminate the entire colony. The idea of baiting is that you use a special poisonous substance that ants take back to their family as food. Once the substance is ingested, ants start dying. It is one of the few methods that allow to eradicate a large number of sugar ants including their queen. One of the main challenges in using this method lies in how to choose the right and the most effective bait. Thus, it is recommended to use slow-acting baits rather than quick-kill substances. Experience shows that quick-kill insecticides kill only foraging ants, which does not allow them to bring the bait back to their colony and feed other ants, including nest workers, brood and of course the queen. By choosing the bait it is important to understand the nutritional needs of the ants colony. Since sugar ants are attracted to sweet and fatty food, the best choice will be a grease/fat-based bait, carbohydrate/sugar-based bait, or protein-based bait.
One of the most common minerals used nowadays for baiting of ants is borax. It is known as the mineral found in deserts of California. It is non-toxic to people, but is very poisonous to ants. It belongs to the category of slow-acting baits that is usually mixed with sweet food, such as sugar for example, so ants can bring it back to their colonies and then spread among its members.
Another chemical that is also used for baiting is boric acid. It is also quite an effective and non-toxic mineral for humans that is mixed with different sweets and then used for exterminating entire ants colonies. To be really effective, it is better to mix boric acid with mint jelly, honey, maple syrup, or peanut butter.
However, to choose and create a perfect bait that is not all. It is also important to choose a good location for it. The best solution will be to place the bait near entry points of ants that have been already mentioned above.
Instead of baiting ants you can also traps these creatures that are invading your home. For trapping it is recommended to choose any sticky and sweet substance, such as a corn syrup or honey for example. The idea of trapping is that the insects will stuck in the substance by being not able to get out, which gives you a chance to destroy them. However, if you decide to use trapping, you should understand that it is not similar to baiting: trapping allows you to kill only a certain amount of ants, while the colony remains alive.
Whole cloves as an effective repellent
Whole cloves are often used nowadays for getting rid of many insects including sugar ants. The thing is that ants do not like the smell of whole cloves, so it is used to use them in the places of ants’ entry and in the location with the most traffic of these insects. The best thing about whole cloves is that they do not only allow you to repel ants, but also make you home smell much better and nicer.
Take advantage of bay leaves
If you a proponent of natural ways to get rid of sugar ants, then you should think about using bay leaves. Moreover, it is also one of the simplest ways to kills ants because all you need to do is just to place bay leaves in the spots where the insects emerge from. Since it is one of the most effective ways to eradicate ants, after some time you will not notice any sugar ant. The best thing about the method is using bay leaves is that it leaves your house absolutely clean from any sticky or messy substances. The best ways to place bay leaves are counter, drawer, a kitchen cupboard, and cracks.
Corn meal for killing ants
If you want to kill ants, it is good to offer them the kind of food that is difficult to digest, and corn meal is a perfect example of it. Attracted by the sweetness of this food ants fail to digest it, begin to expand and, as a result, they die of expansion. Using of corn meal is good because it can lead to dying of the entire colonies, since ants will bring pieces of corn meal to their colony members. Moreover, since corn meal is absolutely safe for your children and pets, you do not have to worry that they will eat poisonous stuff.
- Use soapy water
Soapy water is one more simple and effective ways for getting rid of annoying and stubborn ants. It does not only kill the insects, but also do not allow them to follow the same way for entering your house that they have used before. The recipe is easy: mix one spoon of dish soap with clear water and put it into a spraying bottle. In order to kill the critters, you just need to spritz them with this soapy water, and you house will be free from the insects.
Keep your kitchen and floors as clean as possible
After finishing eating do no wait until morning and wash dishes immediately. A good idea is also to run white vinegar down the disposal facilities to keep it as clean as possible. With regards to floors, it is very important to vacuum them regularly. Those who neglect doing it should know that sugar ants love crumbs of all type of food, even if it is not sweet. Using a vacuum cleaner frequently helps to clean up those crumbs that are visible to the naked eye. It is also effective to wash and sweep floors with vinegar mixed with water.
Coffee grounds for repelling
Many people throw out coffee grounds without knowing or realizing how useful it can be in repelling ants. Some people say that the main reason of it is a very strong smell of coffee that repels the insects, while others believe in the effect of nitrogen contained in coffee grounds that destroys the eggs of ants. Whatever the reason, using of coffee grounds is a perfect way to get rid of ants without involving of toxic chemicals.
Call for an exterminator
If you have already tried all the methods described above but sugar ants are still crawling all over your house, then there is probably one option left for you – to call an exterminator. An exterminator is a specialist, who will not only kill all the ants, but will also find and destroy their nest. Since repelling ants is a long process, it might be good to make recourse to a professional exterminator, who will be able to clear your house from sugar ants completely in the shortest possible time.