Are you fed up with the fact that no matter where you hide all your sugary eatables, somehow the ants find it? But how do ants always find sugar? Well, I got annoyed to the point where I took it upon myself to get to the bottom of this mystery, and hence I did. And with all the research that I gathered, I have created this article to answer all the questions that you have. Let us dive in.
What are sugar ants?
Sugar ants are a type of ant that includes Acrobat ants, Argentine ants, Big-headed ants, and Carpenter ants. As the name suggests, the ants that come within this category are dearly fond of sugar and everything that is sweet.
Where do sugar ants come from?
Sugar ants are typically the most prevalent type of ants that are found in our homes. They usually come from outside your home and can be seen traveling in large groups when they first enter a home. Sugar ants will search for sugar, honey, or syrup that is left out on countertops, tables, or floors.
Sugar ants have about five to six times more odor receptors than other pests, and they can detect sugar-based scents up to a mile away. These pheromones are released by the ant colony when it’s on its way back from foraging trips or when there is food around its nest.
If you’ve ever encountered these pests in your home or office, then you know how quickly they move as soon as they smell something sweet!
The sugar ants come from the outside, not inside. It usually so happens that one finds an entry point in our homes, and on detecting something eatable, they invite the others in your house to treat on the cereal box that you left out on the table or even in your pantry.
When Do Ants Go Looking for Food?
Ants need to go foraging for food at night during seasons like summer and spring because the temperature is somewhat cooler. They have a special scent that ants use to help them find each other in order to share food and spread.
However, ants do not forage during the winter season because it is too cold for them, so they more or less become inactive during these times. But when warmer weather returns in the spring, workers ants will go back to looking for food.
Ants find food within the 100-yard radius of their nest. They can do this because they travel great distances and can smell which places have a large concentration of sugar, making it easier for them to locate sufficient food easily.
They also rely on scent trails left by other ants that will lead them towards a place with ample sugar so they don’t get lost while traveling long distances over unfamiliar terrain.
How Do Ants Find Sugary Foods?
It will probably not come as a surprise to you that ants love sugar and everything that contains sugar. In fact, the other day, I had a cookie, and the bell of my house rang.
I went to the door to get my parcel and sign the necessary documents to receive it, and I came back to find my cookie mounted with a handful of ants.
While researching, I found out that sugar is actually beneficial for ants as it provides them with a lot of working energy, which is the primary reason why they are also in search of sugar.
Like all the other insects, even ants utilize this particularly essential structure popularly known as chemosensory to date sugar around or nearby them.
The chemical sensing ability enables ants to pick up chemical substances in the environment. Therefore, when there is sugar nearby, even in small quantities, the ant can pick up and locate the chemicals found in those sugars.
These chemicals are identified as smells by the olfactory receptors found on an ant’s antennae. The ant then follows and finds the sugar.
What Do Ants Do When They Find Food?
Ants need to find food in order for the colony to survive. To do this, ants have different ways of finding and bringing back food. They can use their antennae or feelers to detect whether a potential source is edible through chemical substances called pheromones.
In addition to this, they also communicate with other ants who are already carrying some form of information about where there might be more food sources nearby before making a decision on which way they want to go next- either staying put or moving to a new location.
Ants have their own way of finding sugar in homes. This is done with pheromones that worker ants release as they roam the streets and houses to find food sources.
The workers communicate through these chemicals, allowing them to work together and even form a colony with central leadership figures like a queen.
How to get rid of sugar ants?
Before trying to get rid of sugar ants, the first step is to locate them and then follow their visible trail as far as you can—this will assist you in discovering their access point into your home and offer you a starting point for remediation.
After discovering the trail and entry site, the next step is to determine which type of natural or chemical approach you wish to employ; it is always better to employ natural methods. A few distinct types of ant control are as follows:
If you want to avoid using harsh chemicals to get rid of sugar ants, try the following natural home remedies:
Use a vinegar solution to remove the trail of a sugar ant.
In order to get rid of sugar ants, make a spray by mixing vinegar and water.
Ants are attracted to sweet substances like sugar and corn syrup. If you want your home free from these pests, try spraying these vulnerable spots in your house with a solution of vinegar and water and see the magic. Using vinegar is the most effective way to get rid of sugar ants.
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is used as a deterrent against these insects. Ants are not attracted to the smell and taste of vinegar because it has an acidic nature that leaves them ill-equipped for survival in their natural habitat.
Place used coffee grinds in strategic locations throughout your home.
Because it burns them, ants despise the smell and acidity of coffee. Distribute used coffee grounds around pet bowls and other areas where ants are frequent.
You can also use coffee grounds to keep ants out of your house by sprinkling them around the perimeter.
Layout whole cloves or bay leaves
Cloves and bay leaves are effective options for repelling sugar ants. These compounds produce a strong smell that acts as a sure shot method of repealing sugar ants.
To deter ants, bay leaves are put under the kitchen countertops. These should be placed in a single layer under the counter to prevent them from crawling up into cabinets and drawers.
Hang garlic in your pantry
Hang garlic cloves in your pantry to get rid of ants. Garlic has a strong odor that confuses the ants, and it also throws off their scent trail.
Put your garlic in a place where they can’t reach it. Tie the garlic on strings and hang them from your pantry doorknobs or shelves to prevent ants from getting into your home.
How to remove sugar ant nests?
Ants are attracted to sugar. That’s why they often find their way into our homes. They live and thrive on anything with a sugary substance like honey or jam, so if you want to for once and all get rid of them, just remove the source of food.
However, this could be a temporary solution, and thus if you are looking for a permanent one, then the best way is to get rid of the ant nests because once the nest is gone, the ants would no longer come back.
One easy way is to pour boiling water onto the nest and wait for it to cool down before proceeding any further.
To do this, boil water for 5-10 minutes and dump the pouring hot water along with some bleach onto the ant nest.
If you do not want to be all that brutal, then the simpler way is to just use baking soda and sprinkle it around the nest so that the ants won’t return.