Sugar Ants

sugar ant pictureSugar Ants are probably the most common nuisance pest that we face in NW. These ants do not do any damage to a home, but they sure can be annoying to have to deal with and they can be extremely tricky to get rid of as well.  Although they are commonly referred to as “sugar ants”, they are actually a type of a soil ant called an “odorous house ant”.  If  you are wondering how they get that name, you can squish one with your finger to find out.  They give off a distinct smell kind of like gasoline or rotting coconut that is unmistakable.

Portland and Vancouver Pest Control CouponsIf you are dealing with this type of ant, you are probably seeing them in your kitchen swarming around any scrap of food that is left behind (particularly sugary foods).  However, they can be found in other areas of the home as well.  The reason they are so tricky to get rid of is because over-the-counter products are so ineffective on them.  In fact, many of the products that you buy at the store are even counter productive!  For example, any spray that you buy at the store is almost always repellent based and repellents have a very negative effect on sugar ant colonies.  Since these ants can sense the repellent, it causes panic in the nest which sets off a process called “budding”.  Basically, this is a process in which the ants break off into separate colonies and reproduce at a higher rate to replenish the nest.  If you have ever used a can of Raid on these guys, it might seem like you got rid of them for a week or so and then they come back stronger than before!

What Can You Do?

Probably more than any other pest, it is critically important to keep your home clean when dealing with sugar ants.  We recommend doing a deep cleaning of your kitchen and pulling out the oven and the fridge and making sure there is no grease or other food sources behind them.  Since sugar ants need to be near a water source, make sure to wipe the counter and sink and keep them dry.  Lastly, be sure to not use any repellents!

What Can We Do?

With sugar ants, we start by doing a free no-obligation inspection of your home.  After our inspection, we prepare a custom treatment plan that is specific to your home.  If you do choose to allow us to start treatment, we carry the highest quality products on the market, including several “non-repellents” which are essential in treating sugar ant colonies.  We utilize a pest control approach called “integrated pest management” which focuses on targeting our treatments to have a maximum effect with as little environmental impact as possible.

If you are struggling with getting rid of your sugar ants, we would invite you to contact us.  We would be happy to schedule a free inspection of your home or at least answer a few questions for you.