Sugar ants are small. Male ants reach a length of about 1,5-2 mm, and female ants can reach 4-4,5 mm. But despite its small size, sugar ant is one of the main pests on all the continents.
The sugar ant has 3 pairs of legs and long moving antennae. These antennae are the most sensitive organ that can recognize aromas, ground motions, and air currents. Using their antennae, sugar ants recognize each other, signal danger, find their way to the anthill or food. If the ant loses its antennae, it will not be able to perceive any information or even find its way back home.
Sugar ants have spread across all continents, except for Antarctica. They were brought with stuff and products from Asia to all countries on ships. This gave them another name – ship ants.
Sugar ants settle only next to humans in houses, apartments, restaurants, hospitals, food factories, greenhouses, etc. The sugar ants love warmth. Therefore, they live only in heated premises. They build their anthills in cracks, under plaster, and along heating pipes.
Sugar ants can be found behind skirting boards, in crevices between panels, in outlets, switches, in old books, in a wardrobe amidst your stuff and a heap of clothes, in pantries among foodstuffs (especially if sacks and bags are rarely revised there).
Anthills occupy a small space – only 3-4 square cm. But numerous passages and tunnels lead to this nest.
Sugar ants are social insects and live only in colonies. A colony has a sugar ant queen, reproductive male ants, and non-reproductive workers. They find food and bring it to the queen.
One sugar ant colony has up to 350 thousand individuals, among which there are 100-200 adult females except for the sugar ant queen. They can leave the colony and create their own family at any moment. Sugar ants grow quickly: it takes only 38 days for an insect to develop from an egg to an adult reproductive female. But sugar ants do not live long.
Worker ants live about 60 days, male ants live only 20 days, and female ants live up to 10 months.
Sugar ants transmit information through the pheromones. Their chemical signals are developed better than in any other insects. Ants mark the food they have found with a particular odor, which they use to orient and find their way back to the anthill. They catch such smells at great distances. One sugar ant that has found sugar or sweets in your cupboard will bring all workers to take the food to the anthill.
Thanks to this feature, sugar ants can cover distances of 35 meters in search of food and return home.
Sugar ants got their name from their food preferences: they like sugar, sweets, jellies, jam, candies, as well as bread products, fish, fatty foods. They can also eat food remains, waste from your trash can, fish and meat remains. Even if these insects find a little breadcrumb on the floor, they will immediately surround it and drag it bit by bit to the anthill.
In addition to the obvious harm in the form of spoiled food, ants contribute to the spread of bacterial and viral diseases in humans. These insects can find and eat something from the trash can, contact with the waste, feces, they can even eat carrion. Sugar ants carry helminth eggs and other infections that are dangerous to human health on their feet: streptococcus, staphylococcus, dysentery, etc.
Even the very idea that sugar ants contact with the waste and then they come to your dining table and contact with your products makes you feel disgusted.
There are spoiling food remains, rot, and mold in the ant nests. All this worsens the epidemiological situation, as well as causes allergies in the owners of the house.
If sugar ants settle in inter-floor ceilings, it will be difficult to get rid of them. And if the ceilings are wooden, the insects can destroy these beams, causing damage and breaks.
Do sugar ants bite? No, but they pose a real threat to people with open wounds. The insects react to the smell of blood. Sugar ants can even get under the bandage and infect the wounds.
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How this product works
This kind of a sugar ant killer should be applied to the places where the insects enter the house. A deterrent effect is achieved by using strong-smelling substances. Ants have a good sense of smell, so they can smell the sugar ant bait in a few meters, just as they smell something unpleasant and scary.
Home remedies for sugar ants.
If you are against the use of chemicals and poisonous substances, you would like to know how to get rid of sugar ants naturally. We can advice you some home remedies to gain your goal. In this case getting rid of sugar ants will be long but safe. This is especially acceptable when there are pets, children or allergy sufferers in your house. Some of these methods lead to positive results.
The use of boric acid is effective for the destruction of insects. But ants will not eat this product. Therefore, you have to make a special mix of borax and sugar for ants. You can also mingle boric acid with boiled egg. Prepare small balls of borax and sugar for ants and spread them in the areas where the pests tend to accumulate. Workers will not only eat the sugar ant bait, but they will also bring it to the nest, which will lead to the death of the sugar ant queen.
To get rid of sugar ants, you can use water and vinegar. Spray the ant habitats and the anthill with this mixture. The smell will deter the pests, but it will not destroy them.
If you find the anthill, you can get rid of sugar ants with boiling water (if the area allows to do this, i.e. there is no wiring, and the water will not damage the furniture).
Borax is poisonous for these insects, but sugar ants will eat it only mixed with minced meat. Small pieces should be placed near the ant habitats. This home remedy for sugar ants is dangerous for animals. Therefore, you should place it so that cats and dogs do not find and eat it.
Wild chamomile can be used as a decoction for washing the floors and places where sugar ants usually walk.
The Pyrethrum powder (consisting of chamomile flowers) is a safe and effective remedy causing paralysis and death of the insects.
Ammonia, kerosene, and birch tar will help deter the pests. But it is difficult to take such radical measures in the house. It will take much time for the smell to go away.
There is another way – you can try to treat the sugar ants with oatmeal, which they cannot digest.
Homemade sugar ant traps can easily be placed next to the nest. Pour water into a glass, and then add some sugar, honey or jam. When the sugar ants smell this bait, they will immediately come and try to eat this sweet thing, but most of them will fall into the liquid and drown. This method will work against workers, but the sugar ant queen and reproductive ants will remain unharmed and quickly replenish the population.
You can vacuum a large number of sugar ants, but this will not solve the problem, because they multiply with great speed.