Ants are among the most common insect pests you could find in your homes or gardens. Sugar ants often infest homes in search of food, especially sugary foods.
Sugar ants are less malevolent as they don’t bite like fire ants neither do they cause severe damage as carpenter ants. However, they are still a nuisance as they could infest and spoil foodstuffs such as cheese, bread, nuts, etc.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with sugar ants;
- Endeavor to keep your countertops, sinks, and cabinets clean.
- Ensure you keep your floors free from food crumbs.
- Avoid keeping foodstuffs open.
- Store your food in a refrigerator or in airtight containers.
- Use strong trash bags that are difficult to puncture.
- Endeavor to clear spills, foods, and drinks as soon as possible.
- Strive to vacuum your floors, especially carpeted floors, as often as possible.
- Strive to empty your garbage bin regularly.
- Seal up crevices and other openings around the house and strive to keep the windows closed or you could use window nets to prevent insects from gaining access to your home while keeping your home well-ventilated.
Below are natural ways to get rid of sugar ants from your homes and gardens;
1. Peppermint Oil
Besides emitting a fresh fragrance and enhancing your mood, peppermint oil would help in warding off those pesky sugar ants. Simply add a little peppermint oil to a cotton swab or a cotton cloth and wipe the areas that are mostly visited by these ants. You may also place some cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil in their entry points, kitchen cabinets, shelves and cupboards to keep the sugar ants away.
Sugar ants love to eat cornmeal, without knowing the fact that they will not be able to digest it. Therefore, we can use cornmeal as a bait to deal with these problematic ants. Place some cornmeal in a dish in the areas where you find sugar ants in a huge number. They will munch on this bait and will die because of indigestion. In this way, you would be able to kill the large population of ants at one time in a cheap and easy way.
3. Boric Acid
Boric acid is a white powder which is non-toxic to humans but can act as a poison for sugar ants and other insects. Creating a bait using boric acid can effectively kill sugar ants, thus, getting rid of them from your home. All you have to do is mix boric acid with peanut butter or fruit jelly. Place it in areas of high ant traffic. They will get attracted to the trap because of the presence of peanut butter or fruit jelly and will eat the boric acid unknowingly. Boric acid can also be sprinkled safely near food areas to kill the ants.
A regular cleaning, of your home, would greatly help in removing sugar ants from your home. They only invade an area where they can get enough food to survive. Keeping your house clean, by mopping it on a regular basis, may remove the fallen food and keep the ants away. Also, avoid piling up used dishes in your sink for hours as it may attract the ants. Clean your dishes as soon as possible to prevent sugar ants.
Cloves are one of the most effective remedies for sugar ants. These ants hate the smell of cloves and get deterred by their presence. Moreover, it is easy to use cloves to ward off these small creatures. All you have to do is take a handful of cloves and place the cloves all around places that are invaded by the ants. You may also place some of the cloves in your drawers and wardrobes to prevent the ants from damaging your clothes.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another aromatic remedy for sugar ants. They cannot stand the pungent smell of tea tree oil and get disturbed by the smell. Just put some tea tree oil in a cotton ball and place it in areas where you see these ants. Also, dab a number of cotton balls with tea tree oil and place them in areas of high traffic or near their entry points.
7. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a white powder that works by damaging the exoskeleton of the ants and dehydrating their body. For this remedy, sprinkle diatomaceous earth in a ring around the ant hills or near the ant hill foundation. This strategy would ensure that the ants come in contact with the diatomaceous earth when trying to invade your property and get killed by the substance in an effective way.
The strong smell of vinegar helps in masking the trails left by the ants. This makes them lose their sense of direction and they are no longer able to find the right track. You can make a solution by mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water and fill it in a spray bottle. You may also add a little amount of an essential oil with a strong scent such as orange oil to increase the efficacy of the solution. Keep spraying around your house and near food areas to stave off the sugar ants.
9. Borax Trap
Borax is readily available and can be effectively used to get rid of sugar ants from your home. Borax acts as a poison when ingested by the ants and helps in killing them fast. Take some borax in a dish and mix it with a little sugar as a bait. The sugar will attract the ants and they will eat it. They will also carry some of the borax to their colonies. In this way, you will be able to decimate a large population of the sugar ants that are in hard to reach areas of your home.
Fresh cucumber is highly disliked by the ants. They can’t stand its taste and stay away from it. Therefore, cucumbers can be used as a natural deterrent. Peel a cucumber and cut it into slices. Use the peels as well as the slices to spread around your house, in the kitchen, and near the garbage bin. Cucumber will also keep some other common insects away.
11. Pepper Spray
A homemade pepper spray will irritate the sugar ants and make them move away from your home effectively. Make a solution by mixing black pepper with water. You may also add a little cayenne pepper for increased efficacy. Stir well, until the ingredients are well mixed with the water, and fill it in a spray bottle. Apply it near the areas you find the ants most and they won’t pass that route again.
12. Lemon Juice
The strong scent and acidic nature of lemon juices effectively mask the scent trails of the ants and irritates them. Due to the fact that they lose their way, they would hardly pass that route again. For this remedy, dilute a few teaspoons of lemon juice with equal amount of water and fill it in a bottle with a spray cap. Spray it around the places of high sugar ant population or activity to deter the ants. You may also use orange essential oil or lemon oil with water to make a similar spray solution.
13. Coffee Grounds
The smell of coffee repels the sugar ants. So, do not throw away the coffee grounds after using them. Simply spread these coffee grounds in places where these ants visit most and they will stay away from that place. If you are able to track their entry points, consider putting some ground coffee in the cracks to irritate them and ward them off your house.
14. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another easily available ingredient that you could use to keep sugar ants away from your place. Baking soda is toxic to the ants when ingested. Take some baking soda in a jar and add some powdered sugar to it. Then, mix them and leave the jar in a place where the sugar ants often traverse. These ants will get attracted to the sugar, in the mixture, and die due to poisoning as well as get collected in the jar. You may empty the jar, once in a while, and prepare the trap again until you get rid of all the ants.
Bleach is an effective cleaning agent that will keep ants away for longer. Usually, sugary foods, bread crumbs, and other food are left behind on the countertops and dining areas even after cleaning. Bleach helps in cleaning such surfaces effectively and its strong pungent smell destroys the trails of ants. It also prevents ants from invading those surfaces as they do not like such pungent smell.
16. Citrus Spray
A simple and cheap way to get rid of sugar ants is to prepare a citrus spray. All you have to do is take lemon and orange peels and boil them in water until they steam. Then, let them steep for a few hours before you strain the liquid. Fill the resultant liquid into a spray bottle and spritz it around every corner where you suspect these ants traverse. This citrus spray would also keep your rooms smelling fresh all day.
17. Soapy Water Spray
Spraying soapy water over the scent trails of sugar ants will help in masking these scent trails effectively and make them lose their sense of direction. Furthermore, if the ants come in contact with the solution, their exoskeleton gets destroyed and they get dehydrated. Consequently, it leads to their death reducing their presence in your house.
Sprinkle powdered cinnamon in places where you notice sugar ants most. Cinnamon has a strong scent that is disliked by the sugar ants. As a result, they stay away from places sprinkled with this readily available spice. You may also make a spray by mixing cinnamon oil or powdered cinnamon in water. Fill up a spray bottle with the mixture and spray around the ant’s entryways and other places of infestation.
19. Mint Plants
Placing pots of mint plants around the house, especially in the areas where these sugar ants are present in high population can be extremely helpful. The scent of mint is irritating to small insects, including ants, which makes the ants leave that area. You may also crush some fresh mint leaves and spread it on the kitchen shelves and counter top to keep ants away from infesting your food.
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