Sugar ants – Portland and Olympia’s most annoying kitchen pests – are preventable and treatable using eco-friendly methods. Also called the Odorous House Ant, the sugar ant grows up to 1/8 inch long and is known for the rancid smell it produces when squished. By learning more about sugar ants, Olympia and Portland residents can use simple techniques to control them.
Sugar Ant Profile
- Favorite foods: Sugary substances and dead insects.
- Hunting grounds: Kitchens, pantries, cupboards, bathrooms or anywhere crumbs and water are found.
- Nesting sites: Around houses or inside the walls of a home.
- Nesting habits: Sugar ants are budding insects, meaning they continually split up and start new colonies. The lifespan of a nest is generally 22 days.
Natural Sugar Ant Prevention and Control
Sanitation is the key to preventing a sugar ant infestation. Furthermore, many prevention techniques for sugar ants Portland residents use can double as ant control for a current infestation.
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter. If you can’t get to the dishes right away, rinse them out.
- Wipe down your countertops, tables or any other eating areas to get rid of crumbs.
- Use lidded trashcans, and take out the trash often.
- Vacuum or sweep your floors regularly, especially in the areas where you eat.
- Use a diluted bleach solution to mop your floor, and use the solution to clean your counters to eliminate the pheromone trails that ants leave. If you have an infestation, use diluted white vinegar as a way to repel ants. (Avoid using vinegars that have sugar in them, like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar or any vinegar that has the word wine in its name.)
- Make sure your home is sealed. Ants can enter your home through cracks that are as small as 1/16 inch in walls and around window or doors.
A popular way to control ants is with bait made from boric acid and corn syrup. Before taking this route for sugar ants, Portland and Olympia residents should consult with a licensed pest control company that uses green practices. Here at Western Exterminator, for example, we provide free pest inspections and can recommend the most effective, least toxic ways to prevent and control sugar ants.