There are many people who would like to know how to get rid of sugar ants due to the facts that it is irritating just to watch them. Hence, if you are about to get rid of them first take a look at these information written below to find out more about sugar ants.
What Are Sugar Ants & How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants ?
First of all before knowing the methods and ideas of how to get rid of sugar ants, you need to know the basic knowledge of their habit first. Sugar ant or Camponotus consobrinus is one of many species of ants that originally inhabit Australia. This species of ant is usually larger in comparison than the usual ants. Also, the female workers have black head, orange body, and small black spot on their abdomen while the male workers have full black body. Even so, the workers are divided into 2 castes; major workers and minor workers. Then how to distinguish them? Well, due to their sizes, these ants are classified into these castes. Major worker have size of 18mm at maximum while the minor workers have 2mm at minimum. Also, the major workers are also called soldiers. In addition, the males that help taking care of the larva are also called alates; they have wings and considered as “royal bloods”.
Sugar ants get its name because of their diet; they love sweets! In the wild, they eat nectar from flowers, honey, and honeydew secretes from aphids. Yet, these ants are omnivores; not only eating secretes from aphids but they eat the whole insect as well. Seems like, sugar ants are nocturnal creatures. They are active at night so they can steal food from the other insects. While it is known that the largest workers are about 18mm, the queen is larger. These ants usually live near their food sources; some have their colony beneath the soil, some have the colony in tree hollow, and the most annoying part is when they make a colony in your house!
How Is Their Lifecycle?
Like the other species of ants, sugar ants have the same lifecycle. First of all, there are many queens in one colony; the queens will leave the nest while bringing some male ants. Because the male ants have wings, it is easy for them to follow their queens. After that, the queens will look for large shrubs or tall trees to find their mates from other nests.
When they have met their perfect partner, they will mate while flying. After mating, the queens will look for perfect nests which are near food source and one of their perfect nests can be behind your wall or ceiling. Then, the queen will bite off its wings and secluded itself in a small yet safe place to lay it eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, the queen will provide their food until they reach their mature stage. The matured ants can be male workers, female workers, or new queens. Then, the workers will be the ones who look for food and give it to the queen. A sugar ant queen can live for about 23 years
Are They Dangerous to Humans?
Sugar ants are not dangerous to humans, yet they are irritating and annoying. Also, if you ever heard that these ants don’t bite, you must have heard some wrong information. The fact is these ants do bite and it may cause swelling or rashes. Even so, their mouthpart is rather small if compared with the other species of ants. Therefore, you won’t feel anything if you are bitten. Yet, some people might feel stung a bit. In addition, if you have allergy to ant bites then their bite will surely cause itch and swelling on your skin. Also, you may get rashes. Yet, they have zero possibility in endangering your health.
Therefore, the only possible danger of sugar ants is when there is an infestation of sugar ants in your house. The danger can be happened only due to the fact that you or some of your family members have Myrmecophobia or the phobia of ants. The one who has this phobia might tremble, shudder, and also feel terrified whenever he/she sees an ant. Those are the symptom of someone who has Myrmecophobia whenever an ant comes to his/her sight.
Can you imagine what will happen if the one who suffers this phobia sees a swarm of ants? The risk is high and it may lead to death. Even if ants are small creatures and it is easy to crush them; for these people who have Myrmecophobia the ants are terrifying. Therefore, you must get rid of the ants immediately and prevent them not to visit your house again. Furthermore, it is better to prevent the ants to come into your house in the first place.
How Can They Be Pests?
Sugar ants are not dangerous creatures if you have no phobia of it. Yet, their infestation can be annoying. Also, like what has mentioned before, sugar ant queens will look for a perfect place for it to lay its eggs and your wall or ceiling can be one of those perfect places. Once they set their colony in your house, they will become pests that infest and raid your house to rob your sweets. If you are wondering how they can enter your house, first of all you need to check your house whether you have either clean environment or dirty environment with full of food remains.
Usually, whenever there is an ant infestation in your house it means that you have a dirty kitchen where they have plenty of food sources. But it does not mean that if you have clean kitchen then the infestation won’t happen. Since there is always food on the table, it can also be their food source. Not only food, these ants also need secluded place that provides warmth and safety. Therefore, this is why they love to make their colony behind your walls or ceilings.
As a result, even if you don’t have phobia of ants, the sight of their infestation would make you want to apply the methods of how to get rid of sugar ants completely and cleanly. Also, would you like to eat food while it has been eaten by ants? Some people might feel disgusted with this and throw the food away. What a waste!
How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants ?
From the facts written above, it is concluded that ants are surely nuisance to humans. Therefore, some efforts to apply the methods of how to get rid of sugar ants are needed. To find out more about the how to get rid of sugar ants, check out these points below:
- Prevent Them From Coming
The best method of how to get rid of sugar ants is to prevent them from coming in the first place. Therefore, like what has mentioned before that sugar ants will raid your house whenever there is plenty of food and warmth. Due to this fact, it would be better to remove any possibility that encourage the infestation to happen.
First of all, you need to check your house thoroughly whether there are remains of food or not. You can check your table whether there is food on it or not. If there is food on the table, put it into the refrigerator. Also, you need to check the dishes; if you have dishes that haven’t been cleaned the remains of the food that left there might be their food source. Hence, make a good habit of always washing the dishes after you had your meal is also an effort of how to get rid of sugar ants. Also, check out the drain whether there are leftovers or not. Make sure your sink is clean and free from leftovers.
The second thing you need to clean is the countertop in the kitchen where you made your beverages or food. There is always a chance that you might spill some of your coffee or sugar on it. Yet, wiping it only with water may cause the remains stay where they are. Therefore, make sure you use dish soap mixed with water to clean your countertops. If the soap is not strong enough to wipe it, you might need to use bleach. Since bleach contains small portion of toxic, you might want to stay away from your kitchen for a while. Also, make sure that the floor is also clean from any leftovers. If you have tiled floors, wipe the leftovers with a broom and put them into a container. Then, throw away the leftovers outside. Yet, if you are about to throw them into a trashcan in our house, make sure the trash can has tight lid so ants can get through there. Rather, if your floor is covered by carpet then you might want to use vacuum cleaner instead.
Next thing you need to pay attention to is your walls and ceilings. If you don’t want any infestation in your house then make sure that there are no holes or small gaps. So, if you have any gaps or holes on your walls or ceiling, you need to seal it off so no sugar ants can have their infestation.
Also, you need to check your cabinets; ants can infest it if you don’t clean your cabinets properly. Yet, don’t be panicked if you have them in your cabinets. Instead, apply home remedies immediately. And, make sure that you have no gaps under your windows or doors. If you have a yard, then the ants might have their colony under the soil in your yard. Yet, due to their needs of food and warm place they might get in your house and make an infestation there. The only cause for this problem is because you let them in the first place. Therefore, you need to seal the gaps under windows and doors with caulk.
- Apply Home Remedies
Using home remedies is also one of the best methods of how to get rid of sugar ants. There are many things you can grab from your kitchen to get rid of sugar ants. Yet, it is better if you prevent them to come into your house first. If the infestation has happened and now you are seeing a lot of them in your house, you might want to grab your lemon juice and vinegar.
First of all, take an empty spray bottle and drip some vinegar into it. Then, pour some lemon juice into the spray bottle. Next, add some water and close the lid. Finally, shake the bottle and spray this solution into area where the ants are infested. This solution might not kill them, yet it is a great remedy so they won’t infest the same place. You should do this while you clean the house.
The second remedy of how to get rid of sugar ants you can use is black pepper and dish soap. First of all, grab yourself a spray can or a spray bottle then put some black pepper into it. Then, add some of the dish soap into the same can or bottle and pour some water. Finally, shake them well and spray the solution on the ants. These steps are the same with the other solution above. Yet the difference is that while the vinegar and lemon juice solution gives citrus smell, this solution gives “hot and spicy” smell to the ants that will be painful for them. Also, these solutions can be great ideas to prevent the ants from coming into the house by spraying them onto windows and doors gap. As a result, they cannot get in. Even so, it is important to seal the gaps.
Since it takes some time and money to fix holes and gaps on your house walls and ceilings, you might want to ward off the ants to prevent them from getting inside of your house. What you need to do is easy; first of all you need to take some grounded coffee then sprinkle them on the holes and gaps where the sugar ants can use as entrances. If you don’t have any grounded coffee, you can use cinnamon oil instead. If you are about to use cinnamon oil, first of all you need to pour some on a napkin or small towel. Then, rub the napkin or small towel on the holes or gaps. As a result, the ants would never go through the holes or gaps. But, these remedies might be washed away when it’s raining. So, make sure to redo the remedy every time it is washed away
- Use Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies are not the same as the methods of how to get rid of sugar ants above. The easiest way to get rid of sugar ants is to use bay leaves. Bay leaves can be made into oil, yet the leaf itself is a great idea to repel ants. Also, you don’t need to mix it with anything. If you are about to use this herbal remedy, first of all you need to grab one or two leaves. Then, just put the one or two leaves on each place where it got infested with sugar ants. As a result, the sugar ants won’t feel comfortable to have their infestation in that place due to the strong smell of bay leaves.
If you don’t have any bay leaves, peppermint oil also is a great repellant for sugar ants infestation. For this remedy, you can put it on a spray can and spray the oil on where the infestation is. As a result, the ants will leave your house due to the fact that peppermint oil has strong smell that ants hate.
- Set Traps
Traps are the most common method of how to get rid of sugar ants and other bugs as well. There are many things that can be used as ingredients to make a sugar ants trap. Also, making these traps is fun! The first ingredient you can use is honey and dish soap. Also, you can use candies! First of all, grab a small jar and make holes on the lid. Then, pour some dish soap (make sure it is not lemon-scented) into it and add some water.
After that, shake the jar until the glass surface inside becomes slippery. Then, take out the soap water and replace it with honey. While the glass is still slippery, the ants would smell the honey instead. As a result, the ants will fall into the jar and drown in the honey. In addition, to strengthen and fasten the process; add borax into the honey.
- Use Chemicals
Using chemicals as a method of how to get rid of sugar ants should be the last resort. Also, use chemicals when you are about to destroy the whole colony outside the house. First of all, wear your safety glasses, mask, and rubber gloves. Then, you can pour ammonia into the ant holes in your yard. As a result, no survivors will be left in the colony. Also for indoor use, sprinkle some borax onto them. It will dehydrate them and they will die in no time.