Ants are widespread on every part of the planet Earth and have a major impact on the environment. Except for bacteria, ants are more than every species. You might be thinking that ants would do more damages than good, but that is only applicable if they have invaded your home or office. Once they enter your office or home, it can be a bit challenging to get rid of ants.
When talking about the natural habitats of ants, they eat dead insects and animals and organic waste. Ants are also a food source for other living beings such as birds and lizards. Despite all of these that ants provide to the world, if they enter your home, they can are a threat to the whole family.
- 1 Know Your Enemy: What are sugar ants?
- 2 How to prevent sugar ants from entering your home
- 3 How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants -Naturally
- 3.1 Use a Vinegar Solution to Remove the Trail
- 3.2 Place Used Coffee Grounds Around Home
- 3.3 Cloves or bay leaves
- 3.4 Hang Garlic
- 3.5 Try a homemade Sugar Ant Repellent
- 3.6 Layout a homemade ant trap
- 3.7 Sprinkle Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
- 3.8 Using a mixture of Borax and Sugar is Effective
- 3.9 Try Mint Jelly and Boric Acid
- 4 Your Best Killing options
- 5 The Best Ant Killers- Product Reviews
- 5.1 #6 Best Ant Traps: TERRO Liquid Ant Baits
- 5.2 #5 BEST OUTDOOR BAIT FOR SUGAR ANTS: ALAZCO 12 Glue Traps
- 5.3 #4 Best Ant Spray: Talstar Pro Insecticide
- 5.4 #3 Best Ant Gel: OPTIGARD ANT GEL BAIT
- 5.5 #2 Best Ant Granules: Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter
- 5.6 #1 Best Eco-Friendly Ant Killer: Orange Guard Home Pest Control
- 6 Wrapping it Up
- 7 FAQ’s | Get Rid of Ants
Know Your Enemy: What are sugar ants?
Sugar ants are usually black-headed, large ants that you will often see in your kitchen. Sugar ants like to make their nest in soil, rocks, and plant roots. Sugar ants are normally active during humid and warm conditions. They are referred to as sugar ants because they love sweet, sugary foods. However, they don’t just depend on sugary foods. They can eat other insects as well, such as caterpillars. In your home, sugar ants are usually attracted to foodstuff in your kitchen, and sometimes, during large infestations, you can witness a whole colony of sugar ants in your kitchen cabinets. Once they find a source of food, they’ll carry the food back to their nests and colonies.
Types of Sugar Ants
There are many types of sugar ants. Some of them like to live outdoors but enjoy their food inside, whereas some sugar ants love to live and eat inside your home. Some common types of outdoor sugar ants are acrobat ants, false honey ants, or rover ants. Some common types of indoor sugar ants are pavement ants, carpenter ants, and pharaoh ants.
Where do sugar ants come from?
Mostly sugar ants live outside of the home and come inside from outside in your home. The sugar ants are great receptors of odors, much more than other bugs. They can smell even food through tiniest gaps and cracks. When they smell the odor, they follow it and enter your home through crevices, vents, and other similar holes and openings in your foundation. If only one ant finds the entry point or food or water supply, it lays a trail for others to follow the path.
Similarly, if they have built their nests in your house, they can also come from it. The sugar ants usually make their nests inside walls, in the kitchen, or basements.
What Attracts Sugar Ants in the First Place?
The life cycle of all types of ants is the same. The newly born ants rely on their adults for feeding, and the queen lays eggs. After some time and going through several molts, they grow up as a pupa and then an adult.
Ants are classified as omnivores; they can eat a wide range of food items such as dead meat, vegetables, and sweet liquids. Anything that contains sweet and sugar attracts them, such as sugar, honey, candy, cake, soft drinks, and syrup.
Any food that is left in the room, kitchen, or sink attracts ants. Stains and spills of beverages on the counters also attract ants. Similarly, trash in the bins is also a source of food for ants, hence attracts them.
One thing that is pertinent to mention here is, Ants have great smelling power and can follow a smell from long distances. As compared to other insects, Ants smelling is 4-5 times more. That’s why they can smell sugar and other food items from over a mile away.
How to prevent sugar ants from entering your home
To stop ants from coming into your office or home, you will have to take countermeasures the whole year to prevent them from entering your home.
Wipe up any Sugary Mess
Sugar ants love sugar and products that contain sugar such as cake, candy, honey, jam, fruit, and various drinks. Ensure that these food items are stored in sealed containers or adequately keep them. Remove these items after consuming then and remove any residue that is left behind.
Look for Damp Areas
Sugar ants are also attracted to damp places like kitchen sinks, bathrooms, and garbage disposals. Wipe away all the standing water and fix any leaks to prevent ants from making a nest in your home.
Clean your kitchen sink
Wash the dirty plates and drain the kitchen sink entirely so that there is no standing water. After washing all the dishes, clean the sink with a dry cloth or paper towel, and ensure that no food or moisture is left in the sink. Garbage disposal also attracts sugar ants. Pour home bleach into the garbage disposal after a few days—this will prevent ants from making their nests.
Sweep or vacuum your kitchen floor after meals
Even a few particles of food are enough to attract a trail of ants in your house. Sweep or vacuum once a night after eating dinner to make sure no leftover is present on the floor.
Take the trash out regularly—
Openings and gaps in trash bins can also lure sugar ants to food and may lead them to the trash bin. Keep trash bins completely closed and empty the trash before it gets full.
Seal Holes in Entryways
Because ants enter into your house through holes and crevices, check your doors and windows for gaps and cracks. Seal all cracks with caulk.
Set out Herbs in Kitchen
Herbs like sage and tansy have strong odors that keep the ants away from your home. Lay these herbs around the kitchen area as an additional measure against ants.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants -Naturally
If you are sensitive to harsh and toxic chemicals or don’t want to use them due to any reason and want to treat a sugar ant infestation by natural remedies, try the following methods:
Use a Vinegar Solution to Remove the Trail
Mix three parts of vinegar with one part of plain water and pour the mixture into a spray gun/bottle. Vinegar has acetic acid, which effectively eliminates the smell of an ant trail and also works as a deterrent against ants and other insects.
Now look for the ants’ entry point, and spray along all possible entrances. Clean all the dead bodies of ants with a paper and discard them. To maximize the effects of this natural remedy, spray the vinegar in the morning or afternoon, it is the time when ants are working.
Place Used Coffee Grounds Around Home
Ants don’t like the odor and acidity of coffee because it can burn ants. Take used coffee grounds around and spread it in the areas where you want to deter sugar ants. You can also use the coffee grounds outside your house, and coffee will keep away the ants from entering your house.
Cloves or bay leaves
The mixtures in cloves and bay leaves produce a strong odor, and both are effective repellent against the sugar ants. Use whole cloves beside baseboards and bay leaves on kitchen counters to prevent sugar ants.
Just like cloves and bay leaves, garlic also features a strong smell that puzzles sugar ants and throws off their smell trail. For this purpose, tie garlic with string or similar item and hang it on the doorknobs and cabinets.
Try a homemade Sugar Ant Repellent
Take one part of plain water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil, mix them and pour the mixture into a bottle. Spray the mixture on your kitchen shelves to prevent sugar ants from making nests in those places.
Layout a homemade ant trap
Take honey or corn syrup in a non-useable plate. These sugary items will lure the ants, and they will get attracted to the bait and get trap in the sticky substance. Once the sugar ants are dead, clean the places, and discard the trash.
Sprinkle Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a white powder that includes crushed residues of marine phytoplankton. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is totally safe and non-toxic for humans and pets, but lethal for ants and other insects. Diatomaceous earth powder affects the digestive system of insects and kills them. To use this powder, sprinkle it alongside ant trails and clean the substance after a few weeks.
Using a mixture of Borax and Sugar is Effective
If you prefer natural remedies to get rid of sugar ants than making your own poison is possible and extremely easy. For years, homeowners have used Borax and sugar to attract and kill ants.
Borax is deadly for insects, including sugar ants. The effects of Borax are instant, and it will not take much time to kill sugar ants. The main reason for this method is allowing the sugar ants to carry the Borax back to their nests and colonies.
For this purpose, try to step on the sugar ants when they come to your homemade mixture. This will allow them to spread the Borax around, and you can get rid of ants quickly.
Try Mint Jelly and Boric Acid
If a mixture of Borax and sugar doesn’t work for you, then try using boric acid and mint jelly. You can purchase boric acid from your grocery or hardware stores.
The sugary content in the mint jelly will attract the sugar ants to this toxic mixture. And once they touch the boric acid, the ants will die after that.
When making up this toxic solution, you will need two tablespoons of boric acid into seven ounces of mint jelly. Then mix them carefully; you can place it on top of countertops and flooring.
Your Best Killing options
If you are done with repelling ants and now it’s getting dangerous then you can go for a kill!
Traps are the containers in which the ant bait is placed. Mostly, the ant traps come filled with baits.
Some traps are clear, while some are colored. We will recommend you to opt for the clear containers so that you can easily see if the ants are eating bait or not. Most ant traps come with the bait, and you don’t have to purchase them separately.
Ant sprays usually are aerosol spray that kills or works as a repellent and barrier. Aerosols contain effective pesticides, and the effects of aerosol are long-lasting.
Ant Gels come in a tube with a syringe. You can use the gels into the crevices and cracks from where the ants come in your house.
The ant gels also contain a pesticide that’s spread all through the nests and colonies after ant touches it. The ant gels are effective for both indoor and outdoor uses.
The best ant gels mix a slow working pesticide with other ingredients that are highly effective and attractive for the ants. When ants carry back this poison to their mound, it infects and kills the other ants as well.
Ant granules utilize baits to lure and poison the sugar ants in the mound. The ant granules are perfect for both indoors and outdoors, but these are recommended for outdoor ant problems such as in your backyard, garage, lawn, etc. The ant granules are incredibly useful and retain their effectiveness for several days after using them.
The Best Ant Killers- Product Reviews
Let us review some products that are available in the market at a cheaper price.
#6 Best Ant Traps: TERRO Liquid Ant Baits
Our first pick is the Terro Liquid Ant Bait, which combines a slow drying ant bait station with an extremely effective poison the Borax. The bait is extremely easy to deploy around your house and on areas where ants like to make their nests.
The bait works by luring worker ants to find the trap and allows them to carry some back to their nests and colonies, and then it starts to spread the Borax throughout the nest and colony for maximum results.
Due to the continuous supply of liquid to ants, the bait station prevents it from drying. We will advise you not to interfere or change the location of bait once place and check the bait frequently for activity. However, you can replace the baits if they are depleted. For the complete destruction of the ant infestation, it will take up to two weeks. It also depends on the size of the infestation.
The only major drawback with this product can be that the trap will work very effectively for ants that have a sugar-based régime. So, if your house has ants that don’t like sugar that much, then this trap might not work as effectively. Remember, not all ants like the same stuff!
#5 BEST OUTDOOR BAIT FOR SUGAR ANTS: ALAZCO 12 Glue Traps
Next, we have the ultra-sticky traps by Alazco. These glue traps contain non-toxic material and are expertly designed to be ultra-strong and prevent sugar ants and pests from fleeing once they are stuck on this board. You can place these sticky traps on any location such as restaurants, offices, factories, and homes. When placing them in your home, we will advise using these traps on outdoor areas.
The Alazco glue traps are perfect for trapping ants, and you can use it as one giant trap, or you can cut it to make a bunch of smaller traps. If you want to achieve the best results, we will advise you to place some bait on the trap to attract the ants, and by doing this, you can also understand the travel patterns of the ants.
Furthermore, we would like to advise you that don’t place these glue traps under the direct exposure of the sun as it can decrease the effectiveness of the trap. Similarly, the overexposure to water or excessive moisture can also affect its efficiency.
#4 Best Ant Spray: Talstar Pro Insecticide
This product is not like the other products on this list. It’s a powerful, commercial-grade spray that we thought will be good to include in this list of ours.
First, you’ll need a good and reliable sprayer before you can use the Talstar spray.
Talstar Pro insecticide contains Bifenthrin, a toxic and powerful ingredient against ants and many species of other pests. The Talstar pro insecticide severely damages the nervous system of sugar ants and other insects. The remains on the dead bodies spread around the nest and colony. The impact of this spray is severe, and the effects remain up to three months.
Talstar pro insecticide is valid for both indoor and outdoor uses. To get the desired results, we will suggest that use this spray on outdoor areas to form a barrier for insects.
Lastly, Talstar is a very dominant, commercial-grade spray that can seriously affect the population of ants and many other insects inside or outside of your house.
#3 Best Ant Gel: OPTIGARD ANT GEL BAIT
Optigard Ant Gel Bait is a practical, odorless gel bait that is much thicker than the other gels on the market. The thickness of the Gel allows it to hold its original shape without running longer than other gel baits. Optigard Gel is effective against many species of ants and other insects, making it a perfect pest control option.
The main and active ingredient of the Gel is Thiamethoxam. The ingredient is highly effective and active. The effects of the gel are also long-lasting, thanks to Thiamethoxam. It severely impacts ants and other insects by damaging their central nervous system that eventually results in paralysis.
Many pest control experts highly recommend Optigard due to its palatability and effectiveness against many ant species.
It is simple to apply than other ant gel baits. To enhance bait acceptance and to get the best results, we will suggest you apply the Gel by using the applicators. The use of the applicator will let you apply the gel in thin strips.
The Optigard syringe features a built-in applicator tip. This is a plus point in many ways, as you don’t need to keep track of tips.
#2 Best Ant Granules: Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter
If you are facing a severe ant problem and don’t know from where the ants are coming into your home, spread some granules like Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules all over the place. It will help in controlling the problem.
The active ingredient of this Amdro Ant Block home perimeter is hydramethylnon, a toxic and powerful pesticide that is highly effective against 23 species of ants. However, it is recommended that you should not use it around food, kids, pets, or gardens.
The usage is straightforward, and you can spread the Amdro Ant Block directly from the bottle. One thing that is worthy of mentioning here is that don’t use the granule on wet ground or in the forecast or rainy conditions.
A 24-ounce bottle is enough to cover 1,080 linear feet. Since it is bait, so it may take up to a couple of weeks to destroy the majority of an ant population.
#1 Best Eco-Friendly Ant Killer: Orange Guard Home Pest Control
It doesn’t matter that you have baby ants or full-grown sugar ants in your house; all the poisonous insecticides are not allowed. For this purpose, try an eco-friendly pest control like Orange Guard Home Pest Control in your home. This is a water-based solution that contains orange peel extract to eliminate various creatures, including sugar ants. It is highly effective and safe to use around children and pets.
The Orange Guard Home Pest Control spray is effortless to use. Simply spray it on surfaces and in the areas where you think ants are hiding. All insects, including sugar ants, will be killed instantly on contact, and the effects of this insecticide will remain for up to several weeks.
However, to get rid of ants and other pets permanently, we will suggest you reapply the solution after every few days for a couple of weeks. The smell of this pest control solution is moderate, neither too light nor too strong. You will not find the scent un-bearable. It smells like citrus.
The drawback that we witness in this spray is that it may leave a sticky residue on the surface, but you can wipe it easily. Other than this, it is one of the best ant killers in the market.
Wrapping it Up
If you are avoiding your backyard or any other part of your house because of a disgusting ant infestation, the simplest way to take it from ants is to acquire the services of the right and best ant killer. Take your time and examine what kind of problem you are facing. In this way, you can choose the right product that will eliminate all the ants from your territory.
Similarly, the environment is also a vital consideration. If you live in an area that is wet or hot, opt for the more diligent ant killer. The effectiveness of an ant killer also depends on when and how you use it in your house.
Despite all, one thing is confirmed, with the best ant killer and consistency, every part of your home will be ant-free.
FAQ’s | Get Rid of AntsHow Does Ant Killer Work?
Mainly it depends on the type of ant killer. Different ant killers have various ways, but the most common is through internal means. Bait ant killer works when ingested by the ant. Because of this ingestion, the internal system of ant gets damaged, and eventually, the ant will die. Some ant killers work by suffocating the ants or by dehydrating them.
Can I Make Ant Killer with Borax at home?
Yes, you can. Borax is a toxic chemical for insects and also known as sodium borate. It is a salty chemical that is extremely for ants and other insects. For better results, use the borax with honey, sugar, and hot water, and by mixing any of these items with borax, you can make ant killer solution.
Pour the mixture in a spray bottle to apply on ants directly, or you can pour the solution onto large infestation areas. Because the solution contains sweet items such as sugar, it will lure the ants before killing, and when they digest the borax, they will get killed. This solution will attract a lot of ants, so be prepared you will be seeing a lot of guests at your house.
How to Use Ant Bait?
The way that you use and set up the ant bait will determine how effective the bait is. Here’s the best way to use bait and to get the best results.
1. Try to watch and find the place where are the trails of ants. Trails are the routes they travel when they want food. For you, it can be the perfect place to use the bait. If you see many trails, bait everyone.
2. Watch the trails daily. If the bait is not consumed, it means that you’re using the wrong bait, and the ants don’t like it. In this case, use another type of bait.
3. Keep using the bait until you stop seeing ants.
4. Once the ants have started eating the bait, wait, it might take a week or two for a colony.
Is Ant Bait Safe for Pets?
In short, No, but it also depends on the product. So we will advise you to go through the instructions carefully.
Whereas the quantity of poison in ant bait will not affect a household pet, but there are some crucial aspects to look out for.
Many products come in large bottles and containers. So, a small quantity of bait will not affect your pet, but getting into the bottle can be terrible for your pet. So, store the remaining product safely and in an area where your kids and pets can’t reach.
If you’re too much concerned about the safety of your pets when using ant bait, the best thing to do is keep the pets away from the spot until the process is completed. Don’t let them run around the house during the process.
How to Choose the Best Ant Killer?
There are a few important considerations when buying the ant killer.
The first thing you should decide is whether you need an ant spray or a bait. If you have issues with numerous types of insects or if you cannot locate the trails and mounds, a spray is a better option in this scenario.
Another vital thing to keep in mind is that ant spray usually lasts a little bit longer than bait. And it is safe to use in rain and wet conditions. So, in these cases, liquid ant killers might be a perfect choice for you.
If you prefer to use ant bait, the first thing to do is determine the type of ant you’re trying to control. This will determine which bait will work best. Some ant species prefer sweets such as sugar ants whereas some like greasy food.
If you’re not that sure, you can always use both types of bait to see what kind of food they’re consuming or simply start with a sweet sugary bait. If this bait doesn’t work, move to grease-based bait.
How Serious Are Sugar Ants?
Though not as harmful as some other insects but sugar ants are more of a nuisance if they found a food source in your home. The sugar ants also attract other insects into your houses, such as spiders and centipedes.
Do Sugar Ants Bite?
The sugar and is an easy-going insect and does not sting. If disturbed, it defends by using its mouth and may bite. These bites are not that hurting unless the individual is highly allergic. If somehow it bites, use antibiotic creams and call a medical professional if it gets worse.
What Will Keep Sugar Ants Away From My Home?
The sugar ants will not come to your home as long as you don’t give them a reason. As mentioned, to get rid of ants, get rid of the things that attract them in the first place, such as food crumbs, water, and sugar.
What smells does Ant Dislike?
Vinegar and cinnamon are the most common ingredients that ants don’t like due to their strong smell. Similarly, the scent of peppermint also is not pleasing for ants.
Can We Destroy a Sugar Ant Nest?
To destroy the nest of sugar ant, you will have to locate it first. After identifying the nest of ants, follow these steps to kill the nest of sugar ants:
· Pour the bucket of salty boiling water into the nest of sugar ant nest to destroy it easily.
· If you want to destroy the nest of ants without using boiling water, flooding the nest with pressure water from a hose can also do the job.
· Putting some bleach on the nest can destroy the whole colony of ants, no problem.
· Just like bleach, sprinkling baking soda in the nest can also do the job.
· Lastly, you can also use the hot fresh coffee on a nest of ants to get rid of the pest for sure.