How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Are you tired of seeing tiny ants crawling all over your kitchen counters and pantry? These pesky insects, commonly known as sugar ants, are attracted to sweet foods and can quickly become a nuisance in your home. While they may seem harmless, sugar ants can contaminate your food and spread bacteria. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for getting rid of sugar ants and preventing them from coming back. In this article, we will explore what sugar ants are, where they come from, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent future infestations.

What are sugar ants?

Sugar ants are a common household pest that can be found in many parts of the world. These tiny insects are attracted to sweet and sugary substances, hence their name. They are also known as pavement ants, pharaoh ants, or odorous house ants.

Sugar ants are usually small in size, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length. They have a dark brown or black color and six legs. One of the most distinctive features of sugar ants is their strong odor when crushed, which has been described as similar to rotten coconut or blue cheese.

While sugar ants may seem harmless at first glance, they can quickly become a nuisance if left unchecked. They can contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria and germs, and their presence can also attract other pests like spiders and cockroaches. Therefore, it’s important to take action as soon as you notice signs of a sugar ant infestation in your home.

Where do sugar ants come from?

Sugar ants, also known as odorous house ants, are a common household pest that can be found all over the United States. These tiny insects are attracted to sweet and sugary substances, which is why they often invade our kitchens and pantries in search of food.

Sugar ants typically nest outdoors in soil, under rocks or logs, or in trees. However, they can also make their way inside homes through cracks and crevices in walls and floors. Once inside, they will seek out sources of food and water, such as spilled drinks or crumbs on the floor.

It’s important to note that sugar ants are not harmful to humans and do not carry diseases. However, their presence can be a nuisance and can contaminate food if left unchecked. Therefore, it’s essential to take steps to get rid of them if you notice an infestation in your home.

How can you get rid of sugar ants?

If you’re dealing with a sugar ant infestation, there are several methods you can use to get rid of them. One effective way is to use bait traps that contain a sweet liquid mixed with boric acid. The ants will be attracted to the sweet smell and bring the poison back to their colony, ultimately killing off the entire nest.

Another method is to create a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water and spray it directly on the ants and their trails. This will disrupt their pheromone trail, making it difficult for them to find their way back home. Additionally, you can sprinkle cinnamon or cayenne pepper around areas where you’ve seen ants as they dislike the scent.

If you prefer a more natural approach, try using diatomaceous earth which is made up of fossilized algae. It’s safe for humans but deadly for insects as it dehydrates their exoskeletons causing them to die off. Simply sprinkle it around areas where you’ve seen ants or near entry points into your home.

It’s important to note that while these methods may work, they may not completely eliminate the problem if there are multiple nests or colonies present. In this case, it may be best to consult with a professional pest control service.

What methods should you avoid when getting rid of sugar ants?

When it comes to getting rid of sugar ants, there are a few methods that you should avoid. First and foremost, do not use pesticides or insecticides without proper knowledge and precautions. These chemicals can be harmful to both humans and pets if not used correctly. Additionally, they may not even be effective in eliminating the ant colony.

Another method to avoid is using natural remedies that have not been proven to work. While some people swear by using essential oils or vinegar to repel ants, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. It’s best to stick with methods that have been tested and proven effective.

Lastly, avoid simply killing individual ants that you see wandering around your home. This will not solve the root problem of the ant colony and more ants will continue to appear. Instead, focus on finding and eliminating the source of the infestation.

By avoiding these ineffective or potentially harmful methods, you can ensure a safe and successful approach to getting rid of sugar ants in your home.

How can you prevent sugar ants from coming back?

Now that you’ve successfully gotten rid of the sugar ants in your home, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from coming back. The first step is to keep your home clean and free of crumbs or spills that may attract ants. Be sure to wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly, especially after meals.

Another way to prevent sugar ants from returning is to seal any cracks or openings in walls, floors, or windows where they may be entering your home. You can use caulk or weather stripping to seal these areas and make it more difficult for ants to find their way inside.

Additionally, consider storing food items in airtight containers rather than leaving them out on counters or in open bags. This will not only help prevent ant infestations but also keep your food fresher for longer.

By taking these preventative measures, you can ensure that your home remains ant-free and avoid the hassle of dealing with another infestation in the future.


In conclusion, getting rid of sugar ants can be a daunting task, but it is not impossible. By understanding what sugar ants are, where they come from, and how to get rid of them effectively, you can keep your home free from these pesky insects. Remember to avoid harmful methods and opt for natural solutions that are safe for both you and the environment. Additionally, implementing preventative measures such as keeping your kitchen clean and sealing any entry points can help ensure that sugar ants do not return. With these tips in mind, you can say goodbye to sugar ants and enjoy a pest-free home.