Sugar Ants: Our Most Commonly Reported Pest
A common question we are asked is how to get rid of sugar ants. As with many other pests and insects, Lakewood Ranch is a comfortable home and breeding ground for sugar ants. Warm, humid weather suits them well, and they often come inside our homes looking for food sources and shelter. While these ants are typically harmless in terms of biting or stinging pets or humans, they do tend to arrive in swarms. When they do, they invade our kitchens and bathrooms with fervor, seeking food.
The problem with sugar ants usually isn’t their size or the threat they cause. It’s often a matter of their sheer number and relentless pursuit of our food. Once you find sugar ants crossing your kitchen floor, it’s only a matter of time before you find them in other areas of your home.
Sugar ants live in the warm, damp cracks and crevices of your home, where pipes or electrical wires meet the wall, window casings, or door frames. Most ants will thrive indoors or outdoors. Their small size makes them nearly impossible to keep out without regular service by a pest control company. Typical sugar ants are only fractions of an inch in size and are often hard to see unless in large groups.
What Are Sugar Ants?
The important thing to know is that there is not one type of ant that carries that name. The term “sugar ant” is a generalized term for a variety of tiny, non-stinging ants that tend to live within the walls, cabinets, and floorboards of homes. Odorous house ants, pharaoh ants, rover ants, little black ants, and most of all, ghost ants are all ant species commonly referred to as sugar ants in the Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Parrish, and Bradenton areas.
The only true banded sugar ant comes from Australia and doesn’t exist in the United States. But for our purposes here, we’ll refer to this entire genre of small household ants as “sugar ants.”
The name “sugar ant” comes from their attraction to sugar and other sweet-tasting foods. Sugar ants in your home are likely to be found in and around your kitchen or other areas where food may be. They often create trails straight to the sweet foods that attracted them in the first place.
Sugar ants are also attracted to moisture. It’s not uncommon to find them in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, or anywhere else in your home with water access. While these insects are not harmful to humans or pets, they are definitely a nuisance.
Why Are Sugar Ants in My House?
Since sugar ants can get into small spaces with ease, they will find their way to the sweet treats they’re looking for. What they’re typically looking for is food! Sweets attract ants, and it’s incredible how many sugar ants will feast on the smallest crumb of food.
So, these household pests may be getting into your home because they can find sweet treats that make it worthwhile. A few tricks to avoiding an ant infestation is keeping food in airtight containers, cleaning under and behind appliances, wiping down containers, and keeping your counters spotless. They often leave a strong smell for other ants to follow, adding to the issues of repeat infestations. These practices can be helpful in reducing the draw for sugar ants.
They can also come into your home in search of moisture. Sugar ants love a damp place to build their ant colonies. Any moisture near doors, windows, pipes, cracks in stucco, poor caulking, and other holes make a fantastic home for these pests. Once an ant nest is built, an infestation is only a matter of time.
When sugar ants discover a food source, they will often form a trail of workers leading to the food. What’s interesting is that they can lay down pheromone trails that are specific to the type of food they’ve found. This allows other ants to identify the food type and prioritize their foraging efforts accordingly.
Ridding your home of these invaders becomes even more difficult because they multiply and become innumerable for basic do-it-yourself strategies. While over-the-counter ant spray may kill the ones you come in contact with, that’s not going to get at the source of the issue: the queen (or queens).
Like many other ant species, sugar ants have a caste system within their colonies. This includes workers, soldiers, and reproductive ants (queens and males). The different castes have specialized roles and physical characteristics. While worker sugar ants typically have a lifespan of a few months, queens can live for several years.
Some queen ants have been known to live for up to 15 years or more, continuously laying eggs to maintain the colony. This is why simply spraying the ant with some over-the-counter product or stepping on them won’t work for long. We must bait the ants so the worker ants can take it back to the queen.
How Can I Get Rid of Sugar Ants?
To truly rid your home of sugar ants, it’s essential to identify the specific type of ant you’re facing first. Once the correct species is identified, we’ll be able to select the proper treatment and pest control strategies that work best. This is where a professional with years of experience comes in.
Rodent Solutions, your local pest control company, can find and identify the specific ant in your home quickly. We will develop a plan to bait and destroy the ants by killing the queen, ensuring this colony will not return. This typically includes selecting the right ant bait for your type of ant. We will also set up return visits to treat the exterior with a product specific to ants to help prevent them from reinfesting.
Your best efforts may help you maintain a clean, safe space. However, the only way to be sure sugar ants are truly gone is through a licensed professional. Call the experts at Rodent Solutions for a consultation. We will evaluate your home for potential nests and sources of food and water.
Then, we’ll help you create a plan to treat your entire home and ensure the sugar ants don’t return. Plus, once you’ve worked with our pest control professionals, you’ll have access to our technicians whenever you need them. Having us as your bi-monthly pest control company means we will be there on a regular maintenance schedule, as well as here to treat any reoccurring ant issues for free in between your scheduled services.
Sugar ants are a common aspect of Florida living, especially for residents of Lakewood Ranch. But this doesn’t mean you have to live with them in your home. Take correct, professional measures to control their presence in your home. Rodent Solutions, Inc. has the experience and training to support you with all pest control needs, including sugar ants.
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