Sugar ants – you know, those pesky tiny ants that take over your kitchen – are a hassle to get rid of properly. And you might not want to spend the extra money to hire an exterminator if you can get rid of sugar ants naturally – or on your own.
I’ve had my fair share of these pests before, and I know how to kill sugar ants quickly and effectively.
A few methods work well to eradicate most infestations, but the question is do you really have a sugar ant infestation?
Signs of Sugar Ants in Your House
Baiting in ants that may not be in your house doesn’t seem like the smartest choice. You may also have a different type of ant present that will require another method to kill properly. To the untrained eye, sugar ants look just like ants, but one key factor in identifying these ants is their love for sugar.
Sugar ants are attracted to sugar, hence their name.
One or two rampant ants isn’t sign of an infestation. Look for ant trails and for clusters of ants. If an infestation has been identified, it’s time to kick into action and start on the path of destruction.
General Measures Before Baiting
Think smart. It doesn’t make sense to place bait out if the root cause (sugary food) is still in abundance. A sure-fire way to at least slow the amount of ants you’re experiencing is:
- Clean all food and debris from counters, floors and rooms.
- Mop or vacuum the floors.
- Throw the garbage out in a waste bin.
Ants are after one thing: food. Eliminate the food, and those little suckers will go find another home to invade, or they’ll starve to death in the process.
Even tiny morsels of food can be a feast for an ant, so clean, clean and clean some more before baiting.
The kitchen sink is also a food haven for ants, so clean dishes as quickly as possible, and don’t let them pile up. Only after all of these measures have been taken can you move on to getting rid of sugar ants.
4 Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants
Dust off your gloves and get ready to start killing a few sugar ants. The best methods are always combined with repellents and baits to cover all of your bases.
Ant traps are commercial products that contain some type of poison. These traps need to be out of reach of children and animals. No one wants to poison their own loved ones to kill a few ants.
Strategically place the ant traps across the house.
If you see trails where ants frequent or line up to eat juicy sugar, place a trap in the way. Traps are a bit more sophisticated than they once were. Traps for sugar ants often include sugar or a sweetener to attract the ant into the trap before slowly killing them.
Note: Hundreds or thousands of ants will be drawn to traps.
Don’t put them on your desk – I did, and I still have nightmares of the ants.
A key factor is to not kill the ants with your shoe. It’s pertinent that the ant is allowed to return back to the nest to kill the others.
- Borax and Sugar
Ants are pests. Period. They invade your home, eating all of your food along the way, and they’re not paying rent. Mix a bit of borax acid with sugar, and place the mixture out in a place where the ants frequent.
Keep the precautions about kids and pets in mind.
Borax is toxic to ants and will cause them to die over a short period of time. The ants need to make it back to their next to spread the borax further, so don’t go stepping on them or causing a premature genocide just yet.
- Boric Acid and Mint Jelly
Is the previous tip not working? It’s time to switch gears and go with a boric acid and mint jelly mix. Boric acid can be mixed with mint jelly to eradicate ant colonies. Boric acid can be found in hardware stores and many grocery stores, too.
Time to get to the mixing part of the process.
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- Add 2 tablespoon of boric into a bowl
- Add 8 ounces of mint jelly into the bowl
- Mix the two together
- Place the mixture on some good old masking tape
The ants will go to the mixture, chow down and be on their way to kill all of their friends and family without even knowing it.
If you have pets (especially cats, which are worse than acrobatic ninjas), place the mixture under a box with holes that only small ants can enter. Weigh the box down if needed to protect your pet from the mixture.
The goal is for the ants to eat, exit through the holes and die in their nest to spread the acid to others. There will be a few ants dead under the box, too, but this is fine as long as some escape.
- Call an Exterminator
Still have sugar ants crawling all over your home, taking it over? An exterminator is an option, too. The last resort, an exterminator will use poisons to kill the ants and will look for the nest to kill all of those suckers dead.
Keep in mind that most people learn how to get rid of sugar ants on their own.
But you might have an exceptional case where the ants won’t back down, and seem to keep coming back for more. There is no shame in calling an exterminator if you need help killing the ants and have had enough of trying to kill them on your own.
My own experience has shown me that killing ants is a long process.
Stepping on them may kill one or hundreds, but until the nest is eradicated, the ants will keep coming back relentlessly until you take appropriate action.