What are Sugar Ants?

by Anza Goodbar
(last updated February 17, 2012)

Sugar ants naturally nest in soils and are omnivorous. They collect nectar, honeydew and other plant secretions. They also east small animals and invertebrates like caterpillars. Sugar ants do not sting. They are able to secrete acid from their abdomens to frighten away predators. If they feel their colony is in danger, they will attack in a swarm.

Sugar ants thrive in warm humid climates. They nest outside under items on the ground like under mulch, under loose tree bark, in potted plants or in piles of things like wood or leaves. Nests can also be established inside a home within walls, beneath carpeting or other voided spaces. You can easily find them in suburban areas foraging for food under street lights. They are attracted to spills, stains and any trace of food crumbs. Once in your house they can be a pest.

You can prevent sugar ants from coming in my keeping a clean kitchen. Do not leave food out on counters. Do dishes regularly and keep the area clean and dry. Keep foods sealed in airtight containers made of plastic of glass. Clean up spills immediately. Vacuum to pick up any small traces of foods. You will notice sugar ants in the evenings, they return to their nests at dawn. They have a keen sense of smell and can detect a delectable treat within a 25 foot radius.

Because these ants can grow into huge colonies with multiple queens they can be difficult to control. You may need to spray insecticides multiple times on the site directly. Colonies and sub-colonies found in the ground should be drenched with residual insecticide to remedy the problem.

As a second line of defense, use a granular insecticide to trickle down into the areas that a surface liquid may not penetrate. This is especially useful around the perimeter of the home where ants are likely to be nesting.

Baits can be used indoors if you are not certain where they are holding up in the house. Set them near the area they are foraging. Baits come in spill proof containers, but should be kept out of reach of small children.

Sugar ants are basically harmless and do not carry disease, however, they can be annoying in your home. The best way to manage them is to keep a clean and dry environment in the kitchen especially around the sink area.

Author Bio

Anza Goodbar

Anza is a single mother of four who makes her home in Colorado. She enjoys writing, hiking and is an avid football and hockey fan. She is the owner of a virtual business services company; writing is just one of the many services her company offers. ...

MORE FROM ANZA

Finding Flattering Formal Wear

Finding flattering formal wear begins with identifying your body type. Certain cuts and styles are more flattering to certain ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Lice

Lice are highly contagious. If your child is exposed to lice, there are chemical and natural remedies to get rid of them.

Discover More

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be boring. Jazz them up for the holidays or special occasions by adding bourbon and orange juice.

Discover More

Fleas Don't Stand a Chance! Control fleas without having to spray your house or pet with harmful chemicals. The Victor Ultimate Flea Trap monitors and controls flea infestations quickly, safely, and easily. Eliminate your flea problems without the need to spray synthetic chemicals. Check out Victor Ultimate Flea Trap today!

More Pest Tips

Keep Ants Away with Petroleum Jelly

A useful beauty product, petroleum jelly is also used as a barrier for ants. Smear it anywhere you see ants trailing to and ...

Discover More

Stop Ants from Getting into Your Home

If you want to avoid the nuisance of ants inside your home, then find a way to keep them outside. Seal their entrances and ...

Discover More

Repel Ants with White Pepper or Sage

Instead of reaching for that can of bug spray or buying toxic pesticides and insecticides, use two common household spices to ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)