Get Rid of Sugar Ants at Home

To put it simply, sugar ants are a common, invasive, and frustrating pest. The odorous house ant, or Tapinoma sessile, is a non-venomous, non-biting species of ant that can invade homes in large numbers, especially after rain, in search of food.

Sugar ants are young ants that pose no danger to humans, but their constant marching in long lines and insatiable hunger for sweets can be a nuisance if you live in a particularly affected area.

Some ant colonies only produce one queen, but others (like those of true sugar ants) produce several queens who get along just fine. When it comes to reproduction and security, the colony relies on multiple queens. When one or more queens leave with a group of workers to start a new nest elsewhere, this is called "budding."

There are numerous species of ants that could invade your home (or vehicle), and it's not always easy to tell them apart. There are some cases where only a microscope and an expert's eye can provide a conclusive identification. Not all ant problems are caused by sugar ants, even if the ants you've seen have been sneaking sweets.

The following are traits shared by sugar ants:

  • Small, 2 53mm in size
  • Dark black to dark brown in tone
  • Emit a strong odor reminiscent of rotting coconuts when crushed
  • There are 12 separate antennae segments.

Remember that ants are notoriously simple to misidentify. Despite sharing these traits with other ants, sugar ants (also known as odorous house ants or OHAs) are often misidentified. To get an accurate identification, it's best to consult with an IPM-focused pest control service in your area. They can aid in diagnosis and offer recommendations for care.

As their name suggests, sugar ants can be found just about anywhere. Store-bought ant sprays are repellents, so they won't do much good against active ants like sugar ants that are just starting to colonize a new area. Using an OTC spray on a new ant colony can cause it to split up, which will only make the infestation worse in the long run.

Always try to prevent pests like ants from getting inside your home by sealing up any openings they might use. Caulking may be required in the following scenarios:

  • Isolating the Areas Near Windows
  • Whereas, in loos
  • Outside the main entrance
  • At the foot of the walls

Also, check that all window screens and door sweeps in the exterior doors are in place, undamaged, and properly fastened.

Contemplate the record of pest infestation in your house. Have sugar ants been a yearly problem on your property? If you have had a persistent problem with ants inside your home, sealing cracks and crevices is essential.

A key component of any pest management strategy is the elimination of potential pest food sources.

Because of their name, sugar ants are naturally drawn to sweets. They'll go to great lengths to find the sugariest treats. If you have found sugar ants in your home, it is important to eliminate any potential food sources for more of them right away.

Honeydew, which sugar ants enjoy, is produced by aphids, which can be found on the branches of deciduous trees. Ask your regular pest control service if they offer dormant oil treatments in the winter. By lowering the number of spring aphids, these treatments can also decrease the number of active ants in the area.

Sugar ants (odorous house ants) will let the rest of the colony know that a reliable food source has been located by emitting a chemical signal. A dense ant trail leading inside may lead you to the source of the ants' food. It may be as innocuous as a few crumbs under the sofa.


Over-the-counter baits, such as TERRO stations, are acceptable methods of controlling sugar ants, whereas over-the-counter sprays are not. Realize that baits might not be powerful enough to eradicate an entire colony, but they can be very useful in luring ants away from busy areas.

Sugary baits are specially designed to entice ants. Be mindful of this as you decide where to set out your ant bait. If you see ant trails on your kitchen counters, for instance, you should investigate further to determine their source. If you find that they are entering from under the sink, set up your station there instead of on the counter, so that the ants can consume the poison without you having to watch them in your food preparation areas.

Sugar ants are a young species of ant, so if chemical treatment is necessary, it's best to have a pro handle it. A professional will be able to positively identify the species of ants you're up against, and they'll also have a firm grasp on the best (and worst) methods of control.

Think about what you can reasonably expect to happen. It may take more than one treatment to get a handle on the sugar ant problem, especially if you sprayed an over-the-counter repellant without knowing any better or if the problem is particularly severe.

Do you seem to have an infestation of ants in your house right now? There are a few possible explanations if that's the case. You say it hasn't rained in a while, but has it recently where you Have you ruined your garden by overwatering it? Foraging for honeydew nectar is a major outdoor activity for sugar ants. Insects are washed away along with their honeydew when it rains or is watered, and soil is left clean. This may encourage sugar ants to invade your home in search of food.

Wait until the weather dries up a bit, and then remove any food sources that could attract the ants you don't want. The ant activity may be short-lived and disappear on its own.

Active trailing is the most telltale sign of sugar ants inside the house. It's easy to miss a sugar ant problem, even if the nest is close by or even inside the home, if no active trails are noticed.

Nests of sugar ants, or odorous house ants, are commonly found in the outdoors.

  • Amongst stony ground
  • Beyond the paths
  • Below the Decks

Take the season into account and evaluate the level of urgency. Is it common and very bothersome Some scattered examples You should be concerned if you see sugar ants inside your home in the winter. You may have an ant colony that has decided to spend the winter inside your home.

Sugar ants nest inside most commonly in warm areas, such as:

  • In the subfloor
  • Around the area of the water heaters
  • Inside of copper piping

When sugar ants invade your home, it could be due to a number of different factors.

For example:

  • The onset of springlike temperatures
  • A nest close by (either indoors or out).
  • Something that pulls people in, typically in the form of food.
  • Rain or watering of gardens recently

If sugar ants have suddenly appeared inside your home, it's best to wait a day or two to see if the situation improves on its own. Use ant baits to lure them away from high-traffic areas, and then wait to see if the problem goes away on its own.

Preventing ant infestations inside of your home can be done with a variety of simple, low-risk methods. To begin, check for and seal any openings or crevices around your house. You have witnessed a trail of sugar ants.

Seek to lessen potential sources of food, especially sugary food crumbs. Get in touch with a pest control service to treat for aphids this winter to lessen the honeydew sugar ants will find in the spring. Put away bait stations out of sight to lure ants away from busy areas.

Find a reliable local pest control service if you feel long-term ant control is necessary in and around your home. According to the biology of the pest(s) currently present, they will develop a treatment plan tailored to your property's needs.

Identification of ants is often difficult. Many other species of ant, such as pavement ants, are often mistaken for sugar ants. Seeing as how they're both diminutive and dark in color, i d not see them unless you know what to look for

One method of discriminating between these nuisances Nodes Little bumps that can be felt on an ant's back (abdomen) are called nodes. While pavement ants have two nodes, sugar ants only have one. This is the most reliable method of distinguishing between these doppelgängers; however, due to their small size, they are not always easy to spot. If you want to be absolutely certain about something, you should always get a second opinion.


Pavement ants warm their nest entrances by constructing mounds of dirt in the sun.

Jongkind, Chris


  • The origin of sugar ants:

    All across North America, from Canada to Mexico and everywhere in between, sugar ants, also known as odorous house ants (OHAs), are a common nuisance pest. To sum up, sugar ants exist, and they aren't going away any time soon. A strategy to keep sugar ants outside, where they belong, without resorting to excessive chemical application, is in order if you are worried about them.

  • Can sugar ants be eliminated by themselves?

    Yes and no Rain or watering your yard or garden may have flushed sugar ants from the soil and plants in the area, causing them to invade your home. If sugar ants have been very active inside for an extended period of time, it is unlikely that they will leave on their own. It's probably time to bring in the experts at this point.

  • Can sugar ants cause bites?

    Due to their lack of venom, sugar ants are not a threat to human health or property. Sometimes, when threatened, they bite with their mouth parts as a means of self-defense. No discomfort or side effects are expected from this. However, when they decide to invade in large numbers and stick around, they can be a real pain.

  • What is the average lifespan of a sugar ant?

    Each sugar ant colony can have anywhere from one hundred to ten thousand members, and their life cycle can last from five weeks to seven months, depending on the weather and the season. Under ideal conditions, worker and female ants can live for years. However, male ants only live for a few days after they emerge from their nests before they perish.

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