Soured on Sugar Ants

June 11, 2008 | By | Comments (2)

Q: Help, do you have any idea how to get rid of sugar ants? They are invading my kitchen, coming in from outsidel I think.

A: Sugar ants are a pain in the butt, because they invade the house in huge numbers looking for something sweet to eat. So the best way to prevent an infestation is to keep all sugary foods and liquids in clean, sealed containers where foraging “scout” ants can’t find it. Once a scout finds food, it quickly leads the whole colony back and you have a mess.

If you already have an infestation, however, the horse has left the proverbial barn. You need to get rid of the ants and keep more from coming in. You have two choices.

1. Bomb them with an aerosol ant killer, making sure to follow the ant trail back to its source from where they’re coming inside before you spray. They can live inside wall voids and come out through plug switch plates and very tiny cracks. They usually find their way in through windows and doors, however. After you bomb them, thoroughly clean the house of any unsecured sweet stuff that a scout might find. If it doesn’t find anything, it won’t lead the others back.

2. Choice #1 may work, but it probably won’t kill the entire colony, so you may have to deal with the ants again. I found a more permanent, but less fast-working solution on a University of Nebraska website. Here’s the address.

www.lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/antbait267.shtml

Basically, what you do is place strips of masking tape smeared with jelly in various places around your house. When a scout locates a strip, it will lead others back to feed. If you find 10 or more ants at a strip, place an ant bait station containing boric acid or hydramethylnon (the active ingredient in Amdro) there. The ants will eat the bait, then feed it to other ants and the queen, eventually killing theit entire colony.

Good luck,
Grumpy

COMMENTS

  1. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    They probably drowned.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm
  2. Linda

    I had put a small bowl of sugar and water out on the deck to draw the bees over, last night it rained and this morning I found the bowl full of dead ants, small ones, sugar ants? why would they die? there were a lot of them. that’s all that was in the dish. I am puzzled as to why ants would die from eating sugar and water. There was a storm also.

    September 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

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