Talking about cleanliness in your home, it is possible that you have done everything to keep your living space clean. However, there is still big possibility of sugar ants interfering and coming to your home. As long as there are food sources and you do your eating activity around the living space, they can come and visit you anytime they like. Sugar ants usually found living in large colony. You can easily notice them differently to other ants by the characteristic. Later we will give you brief details about sugar ants, and most importantly, 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space. Let’s talk about sugar ants a bit more.
Know More about Sugar Ants
Sugar ants are basically belong to the genus Camponotus Consobrinus that can be seen common in Australia. The term sugar ants are too general and large, so we need to be focus more on banded sugar ants. As the name suggests, sugar ants are strongly attracted to sweets. All kind of sweets. The sweeter, it will be better for them. Sugar ants live and build their nest on the ground. If you see large dirt hills with hole in the middle, it must be their nest. Besides underground, they can also burrowing out the soft wood element inside your home. These little creatures can also choose to build their nest within unused items in your home, especially in secluded area. That’s why it’s important to know the 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space, right?
No matter where they decide to have a nest, they always have big interest toward sweet things. When they are outdoor, it can be nectar, insects, small animals, plant-eating invertebrates like caterpillar, and also the secretions of various plants. And when they are coming inside your home, it must be the greasy leftover of your sweets that attracted them at the first place. Well you can’t deny that sweet snacks are also your favorite, right? Even if you eat in proper place like dining room or kitchen, the leftover is inevitable. You can accidentally spill tiny part of your strawberry pancake or leave stain of your lychee syrup on the table. Maybe you never notice doing this, but sugar ants will. They always will.
The size of sugar ants is around 2 until 15 millimeter. The body of male ants usually completely black, while the female are in orange-amber colored body. The species vary greatly depends on their nesting habit and biological trait. It can be pharaoh ants, acrobat ants, Argentine ants, odorous ants, pavements ants, carpenter ants, and cornfield ants. Sugar ants are mating during autumn season. The queen will reproduce during late spring. Actually sugar ants have mild manner, they seldom bite. Even if they do bite, it doesn’t sting. It just a matter of act in defense. If the ants bite you and it makes you allergic, apply small amount of antibiotic creams or ask for help from doctor. Another thing that you need to know is that sugar ants are nocturnal animals. They work when the dusk comes, and return to their nest at dawn. This will affect the way you apply 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space. Basically the worker ants always do the same pattern: to haul bits of the food they found back to their nest. They need to store food in their nest.
You can spot the sugar ants foraging under house lights in streets during warm summer season. Yes, they do love warm climate. They prefer humid condition and really love the heat. During summer, it will be more possible that you notice the colonies of sugar ants inside the holes in wood, between rocks, soil, or twigs of tree. They tend to live and forage in suburban areas.
Sugar Ants Form a Line
We all know that sugar ants always form a line when working. They will approach to a primary source of food, and gather around the sweets once they get there. Why do they form a line? It is because once they get a food, they will lay pheromone trails as a code for other ants. Only sugar ants can smell the pheromone scent. And as a benefit of their body size, they can easily explore every possible space in your living space. They can enter to the imperceptible and small gaps inside your home’s foundation or walls.
What Attract Sugar Ants?
Rooms with food sources and moisture deposits are the invitation for sugar ants to come. You don’t need to wait for too long until sugar ants come approaching your sweet snacks. They have superior smelling ability to notice sweets. Sugar is high in carbohydrate, therefore plays important role in giving nutrients to animals, including these ants. Hungry ants can sniff out a meal stronger. What about the moisture deposits? It is where sugar ants will call their colony to gather. The moisture usually contains spills and food traces. You can spot this usually at kitchen, pantry, or food containers. Old home also seems to be friendlier for sugar ants compared to newly furnish home.
10 Methods to Keep Sugar Ants Away from Your Living Space
When it’s time to keep sugar ants away from your living space, what you need to do in the beginning is trace the source of their infestation. Sugar ants will appear every time when they locate reliable source of food in your home. You should explore every possible place and figure out the place that can be their entry point. It can be windows, doors, crack of woods, and many other possible gaps. Basically you must make sure that you never forget to clean floor after meal and empty your garbage can daily. Knowing sugar ants’ behavior will make it easier for you to apply 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space. Let’s start to know the 10 methods worth-considering below:
1. Soapy Water
As always, adding dishwashing soap and liquid detergents to water is always a good idea. Sugar ants don’t like the fragrant scent from soapy water. You can place it on their route to deter them for a while. Still using water, you can also pour boiling water to their nest on the ground. This will effectively kill all the ants who are staying underground. But don’t just do this once in a while. Do it several times and repeat it weekly. The downside of this method is you can’t kill the ants who are away from their nest at the moment. But by doing this repeatedly, you can be sure to keep sugar ants away from your living space.
Make useful things from lemon! In the term of applying 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space, lemon can be used as your weapon. How come? If you think that sugar ants are attracted to fruits, that’s right. But for lemon, they don’t like the citrus smell from lemon! You can squeeze your lemons and place it into sprayer bottle. Mix it with a little bit of water. Spray to the areas that you think is the shelter of sugar ants. Or you can also spray it directly to the sugar ants. Don’t just stop in here. Keep the peels of lemon. Boil it for about 15 until 20 minutes in water, and you will get stronger lemon sprayer.
Don’t be mistaken. The sweet scent of cinnamon may be great for baking. But not for ants. They don’t like the scent of cinnamon. So you can simply sprinkle crushed cinnamon around the sugar ants’ territories. You can also boil the cinnamon sticks with water and make it as sprayer. Any kind of cinnamons can work to deter sugar ants, like powder, oil, or the extract. By doing this you can make them to find another way round rather than their usual route. Coffee grounds also work in the same way like cinnamon. You can fill the cracks around your home with coffee grounds and the aroma will make the ants change their route.
4. Vinegar Spray
One of the liquids that you can always count on, including in the list of methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space is vinegar. Simply mix 3 tablespoonful of vinegar and water. Place it in spray bottle. After that, spray it in the areas that the ants usually go through, like between the windows, near the sink, inside your home’s furniture cracks, and many more. By doing this, you will eliminate the pheromone trails. No other sugar ants will come and prevent them from returning. But you need to make sure and reapply it regularly to make sure no ants ever cross the areas inside your living space.
5. Cayenne Pepper
Are you a plant person who always put plants around the living space, desk, near the windows and doors? If yes, there must be some time that you feel annoyed by the presence of sugar ants. Maybe you never eat messy, but sugar ants do have interest to your plants. So what you need to do? Just sprinkle cayenne pepper around your plants. The spicier, the better. Sugar ants like sweets, they don’t like spice. You can also use chili powder in this method. The “tansy” herb ingredient in chili will deter the sugar ants. Place it around the gaps of your doors and windows to keep the sugar ants outside and not coming to your place.
Do you have cornmeal in your kitchen? This is also effective weapon to keep sugar ants away from your living space. How to do it? Simply put inside little basket. Place it anywhere around your home that sugar ants can easily notice. Just wait a bit longer until they come and think that the cornmeal is their new source of food. When they munch it, they won’t be able to digest. Without waiting for too long, they will be killed. You can also consider adding sugar to the cornmeal so that the ants will be more attracted. This method is easy and safe if once your kids and pets get contact with it.
7. Fix Water Source
Like we mentioned earlier, water is also one thing that attracts the sugar ants. What you have to do is examine the water source around your living space. Detect the condition and fix it as soon when you notice any broken part. Fix plumbing leaks, if any. Wrap the pipes that are broken with special tape. If you have basket that become the place for water deposit, drain it. In outdoor, place it in reverse position to make sure that there will be no water deposit. The sink in your kitchen, sugar ants’ favorite place, also has to be drained and cleaned regularly. You can also pour bleach into the garbage to prevent sugar ants from coming. Do this daily for better result.
8. Keep Kitchen Area Clean
The ultimate source of food and drinks is located in the kitchen. That’s why it is really important to keep the kitchen area clean. The higher the sugar contain around your kitchen, the higher possibility of ants coming and interfering. Give no excuse to scraps or dirty containers. Even the smallest part will attract the sugar ants. Vacuum your kitchen floor. Wipe the table to erase the water left from your syrup. Dust the selves to make sure that it’s clean. Change your fiber towel regularly. Place the sweet things like sugar, chocolate jam, maple syrup, and other sweets inside sealed containers. Don’t just leave them in open place unless closed tightly. To make it easier, you can classify it to perishable items and day stuff items like cereal, cookies, and candies. And don’t forget to keep your fruits inside the chiller, most of the time. Check the condition of the fruits, because rotting fruits can attract sugar ants.
Do you know that cucumber can also be one of 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space? Yes they do! This is usually applied in outdoor area like yard or garden. Peel the cucumber and spray it around. Make sure that you place it near the place of ant’s infestation. The bonus point from doing this method is the cucumber can make your soil be more fertile.
10. Boric Acid and Honey
You can now consider to purchase boric acid. Make it as a paste by mixing it with honey. The honey will take the role to attract the sugar ants. Place it on a cardboard and place it around the place that the ants most likely to cross. This is natural trap for sugar ants. Renew this trap every two days, because these small critters will eventually know your strategy and looking for the other way. Once they enter the trap, they will eat the boric acid. Not instantly make them die, but when they pass to the other ants, they will also transfer the boric acid. You can also use baking soda in this method. Borax can also work. Just mix it with sugar and water. Add cotton balls and wait until it is being saturated. Place on a jar lids and now you have your own sugar ants’ trap.
Besides these 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space, you can also consider to buy commercial insecticide or ant bait. Make sure that you know exactly where to apply it, indoor or outdoor. Read the label carefully before applying. These things usually contain highly sweetened bait to make it easier catch the sugar ants. The use of aerosol spray is not recommended because it can be poisonous to the environment while the effect to keep sugar ants away is not too big. It may be harmful when not applied correctly.
Basically sugar ants will always make their way to come back to your home. That’s why, make your living space uninteresting to the sugar ants. Make them difficult to enter your home by doing strict prevention steps or applying these 10 methods to keep sugar ants away from your living space.