Sugar ants prefer to make their nests in places where they have access to food and water because these two things are essential for the survival of living organisms.
Where Do Sugar Ants Come From? Sugar ants are commonly found throughout America; however, banded sugar ants are not native to the United States and are present in Australia. These ants can come from anywhere because they live inside tiny crevices, cracks, and gaps in the walls, baseboards, windows, cabinets, or floors and come out when they need food and water.
They invade cracks in the concrete floor of driveways, sidewalks, walkways, and parking areas and leave soil or dirt around the spots.
Where are sugar ants commonly found?
Sugar ants particularly refer to banded sugar ants, but this term can also be used to indicate all the species of these insects that get attracted to sweet food items.
These ants usually occupy indoor and outdoor places and build their nests to live and raise their population. They do not make large mounds, like other species and hide in narrow spaces.
Moreover, you can find these harmless creatures living in areas where they get food and water at short distances. They invade cracks in kitchen cabinets, particularly under the sinks.
This way, they can get moisture and food from the wet sink or countertop and dirty dishes. The wall voids and leaky pipes are also attractive nesting sites indoors for these ants.
In addition, they invade pantries and kitchens after detecting the presence of sweet food items and live there due to the availability of plenty of food.
These ants are pretty small in size and can easily sneak through cracks in the foundation, gaps in windows, and small spaces in the doors to reach the indoor areas.
You can also find their population outdoors, where they find safe and wet places to live. Larger rocks and thick vegetation provide suitable space for these insects to hide and reproduce.
In addition, they select cracks in sidewalks, driveways, paved roads, and parking areas to make their nests. You can identify their infestation by looking at the dirt or soil around the cracks.
Furthermore, some of these ants live around the walkways, under the landscape, or invade a garden, causing damage to the grassy ground and plants.
Why do sugar ants come out of nowhere?
Sugar ants have a strong sense of smell and detect the presence of sweet food items in their surrounding areas. Some species can detect food odor from a hundred feet distance.
However, a few species are not so efficient in detecting odors from long distances, and the food odor is not strong enough to allure their receptors from several hundred feet distance.
These insects can quickly reach the spot where sweet food or a water source is present and seem like they appear out of nowhere because they remain hidden until something attracts them.
Accordingly, they can come out of the wall cracks, baseboards, and floor if there is a candy or chocolate on the countertop and juicy spills on the kitchen floor.
Sweet and rotting fruits in the trash bins and chewing gum on the floor can attract these insects. The children can leave wrappers of chocolates on the table that can draw sugar-loving ants.
A few common reasons for their sudden appearance inside homes is due to the presence of food sources and a nearby nest indoors or outdoors.
In addition, some of them can come out of nowhere during the rainy season because there is a risk of nest flooding after rain. They come out of their nests and reach places to ensure safety.
Warm weather also provokes them to come out of their nests and swarm in open areas. This swarming behavior is common in winged sugar ants because they mate in summer or spring.
Furthermore, they can also reach areas around the sink, bathtub, shower drains, etc., in the bathroom when looking for moisture to hydrate their bodies.
What do sugar ants look like?
Sugar ants include a group of insects sharing a common trait of love towards sugar or sweet food items, which means multiple species of these insects come under this category.
All of these species have variations in body length, color, and behavior, but you can identify these insects by looking at some general features.
Moreover, they are small to medium-sized insects with three body segments, including a head, thorax, and abdomen, in addition to antennae and legs.
Their bodies are smooth, appearing brownish, orange, or black in color, and possess a shiny gaster. Their body length ranges between 2 to 4mm, while drones and queens are slightly larger.
In addition, the small banded sugar ants have a black head or banded abdomen and orange thorax, while their legs are rusty. However, the males or drones are entirely black in color.
Their bent antennae have 12 segments that can help sense chemical odors and secretions. Their abdomen has banded stripes of black, orange, or brown to give them a distinct appearance.
Some of their species include acrobat, cornfield, little black, and honey ants, commonly present outdoors and invade indoors.
Furthermore, some invade indoor places for food and moisture, like argentine, pharaoh, odorous house, carpenters, and pavement ants.
What is the fastest way to get rid of sugar ants?
There are many ways to control the sugar ant population from invading indoors and restricting them from nesting in outdoor places to avoid the risk of damage.
One of the fastest ways to get rid of sugar ants is to spray a solution containing white vinegar or essential oils, baking soda, and water.
The repelling odor or killing effect of vinegar and baking soda can help wipe out their population from indoors. Essential oils leave an attractive fragrance behind after spraying.
Moreover, you can hire professional exterminators to kill the ants quickly because they use insecticidal sprays, which can kill an insect when the chemical touches its body.
I prefer to call professionals whenever there is an infestation because the natural repellents and killers are not so effective and take a long time.
It can be the fastest way of killing these insects, but not a long-term solution as these nuisance pests can invade your place when the residues disappear.
Accordingly, it is better to control their population by dealing with the root cause of the problem. Keep your countertops and sinks clean and dry as they get attracted to moisture and food.
You can also remove the attractant by covering the food, cleaning food spills, and wiping out wet floors or countertops.
In addition, seal the entryways to avoid their undesired entries to the home because their smaller bodies allow them to sneak through spaces in windows and doors.
Place bait stations of boric acid can kill their entire population, which can be a slow process but gives long-term benefits.
One of my friends used boric acid baits to deal with the population of these sugar-loving ants and was happy with the results because these insects did not appear for long.
Furthermore, sprinkle cornstarch and mist it with water slightly, which can kill ants when they eat the powder because it causes stomach swelling.