The sugar ant is a small harmless ant species scientifically recognized as Camponotus consobrinas. However, the name sugar ant is casually used by people when describing any ants that are attracted to sweet things. Contrary to popular belief, sugar ants are omnivores and don’t necessarily feed on select sweet items. Do they bite humans? Well, not unless it’s necessary.
How to identify sugar ants
Sugar ants are easy to spot and identify as they are distinctively larger than the average ant. Although they are most common in Australia, they are also likely to be found in other parts of the world. They range between 2 and 15 mm in size and have bigger black heads when compared to other ants.
Females are brownish or orange while their male counterparts have wings and are entirely black. Although it’s easy to find them indoors especially around where sugary foods are stored, their natural habitat is outdoors. They make their nests under rocks, soil, tree branches, shrubs and sometimes inside hollow wood. They don’t look aggressive or intimidating.
In most cases, people refer pavement ants and odorous house ants as sugar ants as these species also enjoy sugary foods. Perhaps pavement ants and pharaoh ants are commonly mistaken for sugar ants as they can readily access your house. Little black ants are also referred by many as sugar ants as they virtually eat anything including sugary foods. Nevertheless, all these ants have more or less the same characteristics and eliminating them from your house calls for the same actions and precautions.
Why are they in my house?
Sugar ants just like other ants live in groups, and therefore specific responsibilities are given to a section of the ants. In this regard, there are scouts specifically assigned the task of seeking water and food. The scout ants always travel far and wide in search of food/water even in people’s houses. Although sugar ants are attracted to sugary things, they are omnivores meaning that they can eat anything edible in your home.
If you live in an area where sugar ants are common, you are at a higher risk of a sugar ant invasion. Due to the nature of their habitats, sugar ants are more likely to invade older houses as they offer a perfect environment to live. Nevertheless, if you live in a new house, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are immune to sugar ants. As long as there is food in your house, you should expect to see some insects in your house. Nonetheless, there are various ways used to get rid of sugar ants and also prevent them from coming back.
How to prevent them from invading
As mentioned earlier, sugar ants will only visit your place if there is food and the only way to find out if there is food in your house is to follow the trail mostly from the trash. In this regard, you can avoid possible sugar ant invasions by doing the necessary regular cleaning of your house. Make sure you take out the garbage regularly, clean the dishes almost immediately after eating, eat in places where you can quickly clean up, clean your sink and always have your food stored in airtight containers.
Although the majority of sugar ants come from outdoors, you might want to consider doing a thorough check in your house for possible hiding areas for the ants. Once the ants find a regular supply of food and water, they make new nests in your house in order to stay close to the food source. In many instances, you might not easily notice these nests as they choose unlikely places such as inside furniture or between unused items in your house.
Are they destructive?
Sugar ants are not destructive, and neither are some of these other species that people mistake for sugar ants such as pavement ants. Except for the idea that they might contaminate your food or build nests in your favorite vase, they are not known to be destructive. There are more aggressive species called carpenter ants which at times can pass for sugar ants and are the destructive ones. In this regard, you should keep them at bay all together to avoid any risks.
Do sugar ants bite humans?
Sugar ants and the ants from the sweet-eating family do not sting and rarely bite. In fact, they only bite to protect themselves when they feel they are in danger. Nonetheless, the nonpoisonous bite does not show any further symptoms other than mild pain. In this regard, no other action is required in case a sugar ant bites you.
How to eliminate sugar ants
If you are unlucky enough to have a sugar ant invasion, there are various ways used to remove sugar ants permanently. If you don’t like using insecticides, you can use home remedies such as baking soda, boric acid in place of ant killer sprays. If you don’t want to get messy with chemicals, you can use duct tape or adhesive ant traps.
Once you have captured or killed all ants, you need to continue keeping them at bay using various techniques. The first thing is to ensure that you seal all crevices that ants use to get into your house. Once you have sealed all areas, you can use outdoor ant baits all around your home to ensure that you catch and kill the sugar ants before they enter your house.
General cleanness, especially in the kitchen sink and floor, keeps the sugar ants away as they can’t find food to eat. Make sure you check your plumbing for any leakages and always take your trash out regularly in order to reduce the chances of attracting sugar ants. In case you are unable to handle the situation, you should quickly contact professionals to take care of the termination for you. Most pest control professionals are capable of handling the situation within a few hours and offering a lasting solution at the same time.