Seven ways to get rid of sugar ants naturally and prevent them from entering the house
Sugar ants and their colonies can be difficult to get rid of. However, there are several safe ways to eliminate them at home and prevent them from entering the house with the help of natural, nontoxic solutions that are easily available and that don’t add chemicals or toxins to the home and environment. These methods can also be used to help get rid of other species of ants.
- Eliminating their food source and habitat: Making sure no food sources are readily available for sugar ants can reduce the number of ants entering the house, which also increases the success rate of completely getting rid of ants with home remedies and preventing an ant problem before it starts. Food should be tightly sealed in containers. Food crumbs should be cleaned from the house, and garbage should be disposed everyday or every other day. Ants are also attracted to pet food (including bird food); hence, pet bowls should be removed and cleaned as soon as the pet has finished eating. Eliminating damp spots and rooted wood is also necessary, as they provide ants a good habitat to invade, nest, and live.
- Combining glass cleaner and liquid detergent: Combination of glass cleaner with liquid detergent or dish soap can be sprayed directly on sugar ants or in the areas where they seem to commonly congregate or originate from. The areas may be wiped down after spraying, leaving a light residue to prevent them from entering. If the scent of glass cleaner is too strong for some, plain hand soap mixed with water may be used.
- White vinegar: White vinegar kills sugar ants and repels them. A solution of vinegar or diluted vinegar (50:50 vinegar and water) can be sprayed directly over the ants to kill them or into ant holes. Diluted vinegar may also be used to clean surfaces, including floors and countertops around the house to repel sugar ants, preventing them from entering the house. Ants can still smell the vinegar even after the vinegar dries and even when humans can no longer smell it. Vinegar is also an effective disinfectant and can repel other insects.
- Essential oils: Peppermint, tea tree, neem, and cinnamon are natural insect repellents. Ten to twenty drops of peppermint essential oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, or neem oil can be mixed with two cups of water; it could then be sprayed around the house and left to air dry. This can also be effective against other insects such as mosquitos.
- Lemon eucalyptus oil: Lemon eucalyptus oil is extracted from the lemon eucalyptus tree, a natural bug repellent. A cotton ball maybe be saturated with the undiluted oil and placed in areas where sugar ants have commonly been seen to prevent them from entering or outside the anthill. The cotton ball may be changed every few days.
- Boiling water: Boiling hot water can be poured into sugar ant holes in and around the house to effectively and immediately kill ants inside. Anthills appear small, but the ant colonies beneath them are wide, so pouring boiling hot water one time won’t kill all the ants inside.
- Boric acid: Boric acid is a type of poison that can kill sugar ants, including their queen within three weeks of exposure by eroding their outer shells and stomachs. A solution can be made with half a teaspoon of boric acid, eight teaspoons of sugar, and a cup of warm water and stirred till the contents dissolve. Saturated cotton balls with this solution can be placed around the house, especially in areas where ants are commonly seen. The solution may be poured into ant hills as well. An ant trap can be set up using boric acid by mixing the powder with something sweet, such as maple syrup or corn syrup, which will attract the sugar ants. This trap can be set up in areas where ants are seen. Boric acid should be kept away from pets and children, and gloves should be worn while working with it.
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