What do sugar ants and humans have in common? A sweet tooth. You, I, and sugar ants could bump into each other sneaking up at midnight in the kitchen trying to satisfy our sugar crave.
However, unlike us, sugar ants never get diabetes, don’t get obese, and most definitely they’re never on diet. Regardless of how much sweets they eat, they look perfectly slim, lucky bugs! That is why you see (in panic) sugar ants keep marching back for more sweet stuff in long trails of tiny sugar-lifting thieves.
How to get rid of sugar ants, you wonder?
I know what bugs you and I also have the solutions. Keep calm and keep reading to discover the best natural ways to get rid of sugar ants.
Interesting Facts about Sugar Ants
- Sugar ants (or banded sugar ants) are actually named Camponotus consobrinus.
- Sugar ants love all sugary things such as flowers nectar, sweet plants sap, fat and oil, proteins, and they surely have a thing for your white sugar.
- They are small in size (between 2-15 mm)
- Male sugar ants are black and females are orange
- Each colony of sugar ants has a queen, who is the only one to mate and lay eggs. A sugar ant queen can lay thousands of eggs in just a day. She can live up to 30 years.
- They build nests and start colonies inside wood holes, under stones and pavement, in the soil, and inside walls.
- A sugar ant can lift 50 times its own body weight! It’s like you would lift a whole car and then carry it effortlessly for several miles.
- They leave a trail of pheromones behind them (like Hansel and Gretel just that instead of bread crumbs, sugar ants leave a trail of scented chemicals to find their way back to food).
Enough about these sugar thieves. It’s time to find out how to kill sugar ants efficiently using only natural ingredients.
Top 10 Sugar Ants Natural Repellents
No Crumbs, No Ants
First things first. Ants can track food as though they would be FBI agents.
So, things are pretty simple. No crumbs, no sugar crystals, and no dairy spots left unwiped on the kitchen’s floor means no ants at all.
Keeping your floor and table clean and wiped off is the first and most important step in not having sugar ant in your house. And also, one of the most important steps in getting rid of them. It may be the most important sugar ants repellent if you ask me.
If you have an ant parade going on in your kitchen, check to see where is the spilled food that attracts them. Check your cabinets, cupboards, or pantry. Then clean it all up.
Find Their Nest
Follow the long trail of sugar ants to see where they go and find their nest. Once you’ve been able to locate it, you can take the next steps and see how to kill sugar ants using natural, plant-based insecticides and repellents.
Lock the Sugar Away
Another natural way to get rid of sugar ants is to store your food, especially sugar, candies, raisins, flour, pasta, rice, wheat, oatmeal, almonds, coconut flakes, cereals, etc. in airtight containers.
Ants are very nosy (with their big sensitive antennas) and have a fantastic sense of smell, so if you store the sugary food in closed containers, then they won’t be able to track the smell and won’t have free access to it.
Vinegar is a natural way to get rid of sugar ants.
- Mop the floor with it
- Spray the tiles, doors, walls, cupboards, table
- Spray the marching ants with it
This remedy against ants works as long the vinegar scent lasts (because vinegar cuts the smell of food and sugar and the ants’ trail of pheromones that led them to the food places in your house).
Undiluted vinegar will kill them. So, vinegar is an ant-killer if you spray it directly on sugar ants and in their nest, too.
Make the ants bite the dust using food grade diatomaceous earth against them. It is a safe, effective, non-toxic, and cheap sugar ants killer.
This natural mineral is actually fossilized phytoplankton. This white powdered mineral destroys the outer layer of the sugar ants causing them to dry out and die.
Sprinkle this powder where you have seen ants marching: on the floor, along the walls, around the fridge and furniture in the kitchen, under the table, on the windows, and on the thresholds.
It is safe for kids and pets.
Baking soda is another natural remedy for sugar ants. Preparing a deadly mixture with baking soda and any sweet stuff like syrup or sugar. Put it in a bowl or on a piece of cardboard and place it somewhere for them to reach. They will eat it and die.
I’m not going to tell you to perfume the sugar ants with Rose or Vanilla oil. Some essential oils are excellent sugar ant repellents and insecticides. They are so strong that they cut the trace of pheromones the sugar ants leave behind to track back the goodies.
The best essential oils against sugar ants are:
Essential Oil Sugar Ants Repellent
In a spray bottle add
- 2 cups of water
- 20 drops Clove essential oil
- 15 drops of Lemon essential oil
- 10 drops Sage oil
Shake and spray the sugar ants trail. Spray everywhere you’ve seen ants.
Repeat every 3 days until you see no sugar ant anymore.
Keep Sugar Ants at Bay with Leaves of Bay
Bay leaves are a natural sugar ants repellent.
Ants hate the way bay smells. So they will avoid it. It is a natural sugar ants remedy that is not messy, smelly, sticky, or complicated to prepare. Plus, it doesn’t kill ants, it just chases them away.
So, take advantage of this compassionate method.
- Simply place bay leaves on the floor, along the walls, under your fridge and table, in the garage, on the windows, and everywhere you have seen ants.
- Put sachets with dry bay leaves in your cabinets and places where you store your goodies.
- Make bay powder and sprinkle it along the walls, in the walls or doors cracks, in sugar ants nest (if you spot it).
Wash Ants Away with Soap
This is another natural remedy for the ants that invade your house. Soap attacks the waxy carcass of sugar ants.
Dilute castile soap in water, I put them on a spin in the food processor until all soap is dissolved. Put it in a spray bottle, add some anti-ants essential oils and you’ve made a simple and effective sugar ant repellent.
Sugar Ants Repellent Lemonade
Squeeze 2 lemons and add the juice in a spray bottle with water. You may also add 20 drops of Lemon essential oil (or any other repellent essential oil).
Lemon (and lemon essential oil) contains d-limonene, which is toxic to ants and it also disrupts their pheromone trail.
Eat this, pesky ants!
Chase Away the Sugar Ants Thieves with Natural Remedies
Let’s recap now. How do you kill sugar ants? Using these natural remedies for sugar ants that are tried and true.
Some of them are even vegan-friendly, for those of you who are compassionate and don’t want to kill the little bugs but want to secure an insect-free area in your house. And keep the sugar only to yourself.
Did you have problems with sugar ants in your house? What methods did you try to kill sugar ants? Please, let us know in the comments below.
Jane Scott grew up on a farm in California and is a crossover between a country girl and an evangelist for healthier living. She’s a nutritionist who preaches that healthy living need not be complicated.
She believes that by exercising regularly, eating mostly non-processed foods (with plenty of vegetables), and using home remedies for the small things and doctor’s advice for the big things, almost anybody can feel great and live a happier and healthier life. She’s excited to share her knowledge of natural remedies and healthier living on HRFL.
In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking and watching bad rom-coms. She also loves nuts, and is a bit of a nut herself when it comes to Yoga, which she’s a little too obsessed with in the opinion of her friends and family.