Written by 6:28 pm Pesticide

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Finding a group of tiny ants in your kitchen or home is less than ideal. Many times, homeowners will discover sugar ants in their food pantry, garbage can, or around food dropped on the floor. It is unnerving to see hundreds of tiny black ants in your home, but killing sugar ants and getting rid of them forever may be easier than you think.

Recommended Sugar Ant Killer – Kill The Entire Colony with Advion Bait Gel

Advion Ant Bait Gel
Targeted PestSweet-seeking ants
Time to Kill Colony3-4 days
Safe for Pets?Yes (if instructions are followed)
Safe for Children?Yes (if instructions are followed)
Can be applied on vertical serfaces?Yes
We recommend Advion Ant Bait Gel to kill sugar ants in the kitchen. Advion features Indoxacarb as its pesticide. Indoxacarb is designed to attract sugar ants. It will kill the average colony in 3-4 days; ridding you of your sugar ant problem. 
Indoxacarb is safe for applications around pets and humans so long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This makes it ideal for your kitchen.  You can apply Advion gel anywhere, even in vertical applications such as floor joists. You can also apply it under cabinets. 
Use a few dots of the bait gel in the same area as the active ants, and let Advion work its magic.  Remember, gel baits will not kill the visible ants on contact but will kill the entire colony in a matter of days.

Recommended Pesticide to Kill Ants On Contact

Safe for Pets?Yes, if used as directed on label
Kills on Contact?Yes
Kills entire Colony?No


What do Sugar Ants Look Like?

The term sugar ant describes any ant that is attracted to sweet carbohydrates. Ant are usually attracted to sweet foods, greases, proteins, or a combination of both. Sugar ants prefer to consume sweeter foods but may not only consume sugar.

While the term sugar ant describes a small ant drawn to sweets, it is often used as a term for many species of ants. The three types of ants often referred to as sugar ants are:

  • Pavement Ants
  • Odorous Ants
  • Argentine Ants.
ColorBlack or Dark BrownBlack or Dark BrownBlack or Dark Brown
Size2.5-4 mm in Length2.5-3.5mm in Length2-3mm in Length
Food SourceSweet or ProteinSweetSweet or Protein
pavement ant

As you can see, the major types of household ants, or sugar ants, are very similar. Also, the remedies are often the same regardless of the species. 

Where do Sugar Ants Like to Live?

Sugar ants are hardy and can make several different habitats their homes. Sugar ant colonies can be either located indoors or outdoors, usually near a water source. Mulch, undisturbed debris, or stones make excellent outdoor locations for sugar ant colonies. If an area floods or receives too much rain, sugar ants can move to a drier and safer location, like your home!

Indoors, you can find the tiny ants under sinks, around floorboards, near trashcans, in food storage areas, or around hot water heaters. Many homeowners may begin to see sugar ants after a rainy season as colonies migrate indoors.

Like almost all ant species, all sugar ant colonies feature worker ants and a queen. The queen lays eggs while the worker ants secure food, provide security, and build out the colony.

Sugar Ants in the Kitchen

Kitchens and food preparation areas are the most common areas where you can find sugar ants. This is natural, as this is where we store the sweet carbohydrates that sugar ants crave. 

Most homeowners find sugar ants around trashcans, in the pantry, near the oven, stove, or near baseboards. In fact, you are likely to find sugar ants anywhere where food crumbs collect.

Sugar ants search for two things: water and food. So they usually build close to water sources. Fixing leaks and moisture problems in and around your home is the first line of defense in avoiding a sugar ant invasion.

Cleaning up and removing any food on the floor or out in the open is the next best defense against the tiny ants. Empty trash receptacles often and clean up crumbs near baseboards and on countertops. Also, store food and ingredients in airtight containers.

Watch food storage areas for signs of an infestation. If you see evidence such as trails of food, holes in bags, and especially active ants, you may have an infestation. The bottom line is the secret of how to get rid of sugar ants are two things: cleanliness and sanitation. They are the first line of defense against sugar ants.

Its Always Best to Use Bait to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the Kitchen

Sugar ants in the kitchen are best eliminated by using bait to kill the colony. Apply bait getls to cracks and crevasses in the kitchen, near where you spot the ants.

The sweet-smelling baits attract the ants. Subsequently, they take the pesticide-carrying bait back to the colony. The pesticide in ant baits can take up to 24-36 hours to kill the ants. The delay allows for ample time for the worker ants to carry plenty of the bait back to the colony. After the bait enters the colony, the worker ants share it with each other and with the queen.

Baits are not designed to kill visible ants immediately. However, they will kill the colony in 3-5 days.

We recommend Advion Ant Bait Gel to kill sugar ants in the kitchen. As mentioned above, Advion features Indoxacarb as its pesticide. Indoxacarb is designed to attract sweet seeking ants and eliminate the average colony in 3-4 days.
Indoxacarb is safe for applications around pets and humans when you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This makes it ideal for your kitchen. 
Advion gel can be applied anywhere, even in vertical applications, such as floor joists or under cabinets. Use a few dots of the bait gel in the same area as the active ants, and let Advion work its magic. 
swarm of sugar ants eating

Getting Rid of Sugar Ants In Other Places of Your Home

The kitchen is not the only place for sugar ants to enter your home. Many times, homeowners may find sugar ants in their basements, bathrooms, and closets. Any source of food and water can attract sugar ants. That could be:

  • A pack of chewing gum on your night stand
  • An old candy wrapper in your bathroom trashcan
  • A leaky bathroom sink
  • A leaky tub
  • Moisture forming in your crawlspace

To find the source, look for where the ants congregate. Follow any ant trails that you see. They will end at either the food source or the entry/exit point leading to the colony.

Leaking appliances or tubs can be an easy fix. Crawlspace moisture may need the help of an expert. Whatever the attractor is, removing it will deter sugar ants from making your home their home.

If you are looking to quickly eliminate ants that are in your home, you can use Cy-Kick Aerosol. Cy-Kick Aerosol eliminates visible worker ants. It also leaves behind a residue for a few weeks after application. The residue continues to kill any ants it comes into contact with the pesticide.

It is important to note that killing working and foraging ants with poison may not permanently solve the infestation. Cy-Kick features a fast-acting pesticide. The pesticide kills ants outside of the nest but may does not target the queen.

To kill the entire colony, you'll need to find the nest. If you can follow the ants outside your home and find the nest, treat the nest with Cy-Kick fast-acting poison. If you cannot find the nest, you need to use an ant bait like Advion Ant Bait Gel.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants In the Garden

Getting rid of sugar ants in your garden should be a priority for gardeners and homeowners alike. Much like getting rid of sugar ants in your kitchen or home, removing the pests from your garden will follow the same principles. The first step is to remove any sweet or starchy food sources that the ants may enjoy. That means looking for things like:

  • pet food or treats
  • birdseed
  • deer corn or other animal foods

Remove excess water sources and habitats from the gardening area.

Remove any leaky hose and address any place that holds water after a rain. If water is not available, the colony will move to an area where it is.

Undisturbed objects are a great housing option for sugar ants. Therefore, remove unused gardening materials, such as wood, boards, pots, or watering cans. Removing habitat options will make your garden a less desirable pit stop for a sugar ant colony.

For outdoor sugar ant infestations, we recommend using a granular ant bait. Maxforce Complete Granular Bait is perfect for neutralizing sugar ant colonies. Just apply several teaspoons of Maxforce around areas where sugar ants are present and wait for the bait to work its magic.

Granules are ideal for gardens as they will not affect fruits and vegetables. If applied to the manufacturer’s specifications, they will not taint any food being grown.

The manufacturers of Maxforce formulated it to be attractive to ants seeking carbohydrates and sweet foods. Maxforce will eradicate the ant colony in 4-6 days.

Sugar Ant FAQ

Q: Do sugar ants bite?

Sugar ants do have mandibles but very rarely bite. It is incredibly uncommon for sugar ant bites to leave a welt or mark. Most humans do not even know that they have been bitten by a sugar ant.

Q: Do sugar ants have a queen?

Sugar ant colonies rely on a queen for reproduction. Sugar ant colonies have workers, protectors, foragers, and a queen. It is essential to eliminate the colony’s queen to eradicate the infestation.

Q: Do sugar ants eat wood?

Sugar ants do not consume wood. Sugar ants consume sweet carbohydrates for sustenance, not wood. Sugar ants also do not boreholes in wood or typically nest in wood.

Q: Do sugar ants go away in the winter?

Sugar ant colonies are located in the ground, which means that they can remain active any time of year. Activity may be reduced during the colder months, but sugar ants are dynamic and exist during the winter months.

Q: Do sugar ants fly?

Sugar ants do not fly, nor do they have wings.

Max Force Ant Poisen
Max Force is our recommended poison for sugar ants in your garden.
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