How To Identify Banded Sugar Ants?

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Banded Sugar ants will begin to invade homes in the spring in quest of food and water. Though these ants aren’t harmful to people, they are bothersome pests that can be tough to manage.

In this guide, we will learn all you need to know about identifying Banded Sugar ants, their basic characteristics, and how to get rid of them as well as prevent them from returning.

How to identify Banded Sugar Ants?

The Banded Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus) is a native Australian ant that can be identified by its two black bands on its thorax.

They are commonly found in the eastern states of Australia and build their nests in trees, under logs, or in other sheltered areas.

banded sugar ant

The color difference between male and female sugar ants is quite small. In fact, the only way to tell them apart is by their antennae.

Male ants have larger, bushier antennae than their female counterparts.

However, the female Banded Sugar Ants are the easiest to identify because they have a blackhead, and the rest of their body is orange-brown.

The thorax and band around their gaster (abdomen) are both orange-brown.

The males have an entirely black body except for their antennae, which are pale brown.

The Banded Sugar Ants range in size from 5 to 15 mm, with minor worker ants being the smallest, major worker ants being somewhat larger, and the queen being the largest.

Understanding Sugar Ants


Banded Sugar Ants are nocturnal by nature and prefer a mesic environment with a moderate or well-balanced moisture supply. They thrive in urban settings as well and are considered a pest.

Sugar ants are more active during the warmer seasons. They’re most typically found within the house in:

  • Food pantries
  • Cupboards with sweet food stocks
  • Sidings and walls
  • Kitchen counters and sinks where left-over food is usually found

Because Banded Sugar Ants are mostly found in or around- Outdoor plant boxes, they are usually located outside the house in:

  • Areas with a lot of loose dirt
  • Some woodlands and forests
  • Heathlands and grasslands


Sugar ants are a common household pest and can be identified by their banded coloring.

Banded sugar ants are mostly nocturnal creatures; this means that they are most active at night, preferring to stay inactive and hidden during the day.

They are generally timid and will avoid contact with humans if possible. However, if they feel threatened or their nest is disturbed, they can become quite aggressive.

You can usually find them near moisture sources such as leaky faucets, sinks, and drains.


Banded sugar ants are an omnivorous species that mostly feed on sweet substances. They are also known to feed on insects, meat, and other sugary items.

The minor workers generally leave a scent trail to guide the rest of the colony to food or the colony’s new home.

Interestingly, these ants are also attracted to the smell of garlic and sugar, so keeping your kitchen clean and sealed off from their entry points is important.

Do Sugar Ants Bite?

Contrary to popular belief, sugar ants do have stingers. However, they use them only to attack other insects.

Moreover, sugar ants will only bite humans if they feel threatened, and even then, it is usually not very painful.

In fact, the bites are rarely serious and only cause significant discomfort in highly sensitive individuals.

How to identify a Banded sugar ant infestation?

Background, ants running, ants cord, many ants fast on dirt road.

You likely have an infestation if you observe an increasing number of sugar ants in your home or office.

Banded sugar ants are very small and black or brown. They build their nests in warm, moist areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Signs of an infestation include:

  • An increase in the number of sugar ants crawling around in your home. The sugar ants will not leave once they have discovered a handy food supply. So concentrate on thoroughly checking your kitchen.
  • Sugar ants are known to munch on wood, so look for signs of damage to your wooden furniture.
  • Visible nesting locations, such as crevices or beneath skirting boards, can be found outside or inside your home.

Banded sugar ants, as previously stated, are physically similar to a variety of different ant species.

This makes determining whether you are being attacked by sugar ants or carpenter ants, for example, more challenging.

The most reliable method to find out is to contact a professional as soon as you suspect there is an infestation.

They can distinguish between different species and use the most efficient remedy to protect you from the infestation.

Are Sugar Ants Dangerous?

Sugar ants are a common type of ant that can be found worldwide. They receive their name from their fondness for sugar, which is why they are frequently seen in kitchens and other food storage facilities.

While sugar ants are not dangerous, they can be a nuisance because they can quickly grow to more than 50,000 ants.

These can munch through paper and plastic containers, quickly destroying a perfectly fine food container.

Furthermore, banded sugar ants can also attract other pests such as centipedes and spiders, which can cause havoc in your home.

How to get rid of sugar ants?

Banded Sugar Ant crawling on the ground at Red Hill Nature Reserve, ACT, Australia on an autumn evening in April 2020

You can get rid of banded sugar ants using a variety of methods. The most important part is to choose an appropriate method for your specific situation.

Some popular methods include using bait, traps, or sprays. You should also consider the environment and the specific species of ant you are dealing with.

Cut out their food source.

When it comes to getting rid of sugar ants, the most important thing is to cut off their food source. Ensure that all your food is sealed and in a safe place so the ants can’t get to it.

Furthermore, keep your kitchen clean and free of crumbs and sweets. Seal any cracks or crevices in your home, as they may use these as entry points.

If you’re already dealing with an infestation, bait or traps may be used to entice them away from your property.

Investigate the rest of your home

If you find sugar ants in other areas of your home, they are likely attracted to a different food source.

Investigate to see if there is another source of food that the ants are feeding on, and take steps to remove the source of potential attraction.

Remember, Sugar ants typically live in colonies and can be difficult to get rid of completely.

Place an ant bait

When trying to eliminate ants, it’s critical to use bait to keep the ant population under control.

Ant baits can be a slow-release poison that comes in the form of Borax or boric acid. When placed near an ant colony, the bait will kill the ants over time as they ingest it.

This will affect both the roaming ants and those in the nest.

In fact, though it may take some time for the bait to work its way through the colony, there will be a significant reduction in ant numbers once it does.

Be sure to place the bait where children and pets cannot reach it to avoid any potential accidents.

Effective measures to get rid of sugar ants naturally.

If you’re not sure about using chemicals to kill sugar ants because you’re concerned about your family’s and pets’ safety, check out some natural alternatives:

Eliminate the sugar ants with white vinegar

Sugar ants are attracted to sweet substances and can be eliminated from home using white vinegar. White vinegar can be sprayed directly on the sugar ants or poured into their nests.

Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and vinegar and spray any possible entry points and other areas where ants have been detected.

Keep the ants away with coffee grounds.

Sugar ants can be a major nuisance in the home, and one of the most popular ways to deter them is by using coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds are believed to disrupt the chemical trail that ants use to communicate with each other, ultimately preventing them from forming colonies.

It can be used as an ant deterrent in a variety of methods, including sprinkling them around your home or placing them in areas where sugar ants have been seen.

Although this technique will not get rid of a full infestation, it can be used to keep sugar ants away from places such as counters, shelves, and food bowls.

Make your own ant repellant. 

One of the simplest methods for eliminating sugar ants is to create your own repellent.

Pour several drops of lavender or peppermint oil (the more you add, the stronger your solution will be) into a water-filled spray bottle.

Spray the solution around your home’s entrances and on any paths, the ants may be following.

You can also make your ant repellent by mixing water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Then, apply the mixture in strategic places such as your kitchen, front door, and any other entry points where the sugar ants are likely to enter.

Deter ants with cloves, bay leaves, and garlic

Another natural method to deter sugar ants from invading your home includes spices.

These spices will deter ants from entering your house as they will not be able to identify the scent trail. Cloves, bay leaves, and garlic can be placed near doors and windows to keep the ants out.

Kill sugar ants with Diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth is formed up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It is often used as an insecticide as well as a pest deterrent.

The sharp edges of the diatom fossils cut through the exoskeleton of small insects, causing them to dehydrate and die.

In order to kill sugar ants with diatomaceous earth, pour food-grade diatomaceous earth onto areas where ants are seen and leave it there for as long as needed.

Wipe it off after a month or so to kill any remaining ants. Diatomaceous earth is a natural pesticide that works by dehydrating ants.

DE is safe for humans and pets when used as directed, but it should not be ingested.

Make a homemade ant trap.

Another way to eliminate sugar ants is to make a homemade ant trap. Ants are attracted to sweet fragrant, so you can use this to your advantage by putting something sweet in the trap.

Making a homemade ant trap is simple. All you need is some corn syrup, maple syrup, or honey. Pour the desired substance into a jar and place it where you have seen the ants. The flavorful liquid will attract the ants and lure them into the container.

The trap will catch ants and keep them trapped so that they can be eliminated from the home.

What is the most effective method for eradicating banded sugar ants from your yard?

The nest is probably nearby if you’ve seen a swarm of ants outside your house. In this scenario, you need to undertake the following:

However, employing experts to complete the task is the wisest move.

The professional team can rapidly identify all of the pest’s access points and determine the best course of action for eradicating the infestation.

How to prevent a banded sugar ant infestation?

sugar ant control

You can undertake a few simple things to help prevent sugar ants from invading your home. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to keeping those pesky critters away:

  • The best way to prevent a banded sugar ant infestation is by being clean and tidy. Therefore, maintain a clean and clutter-free kitchen.
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Any spills or crumbs should be cleaned right away.
  • Check for sugar ants around your home’s exterior and seal any cracks or openings.

If you observe any sign of an infestation, contact a professional pest control company as soon as possible.


Banded sugar ants invade homes in quest of food and water, especially as the weather warms. Though these ants aren’t harmful to people, they are bothersome pests that can be tough to manage.

However, you can take several steps to eradicate and prevent the invasion. If you have a small number of ants in your home, it is recommended that you use DIY or chemical-based treatments. Professional assistance is strongly advised in the event of a significant infestation.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.