Why Sugar Ants Love Your Home?

Like all pests, ants are looking for food, water and shelter. Early on, you might only see a few ants but when those scouts find something they like, they leave scent trails to alert others to their discovery. It’s only a matter of time until a small ant problem blows up into a full infestation. Here are some of the main reasons for sugar ants in your house:

Food Residues and Spills

Honey, syrup, fruits or even a small sugary spill on the counter can quickly become an ant magnet. Wrappers and soft drink containers left out or in waste bins can be an enticing snack.

Pet Food

Because ants also love proteins and fats, they can find pet food highly attractive. Leaving pet food out, especially overnight, can invite a trail of ants.

Water Sources

Like all living beings, ants need water to survive. Leaky faucets, damp sponges, musty basements or even a water dish can be enough to attract their attention.

Grease and Protein Sources

These can range from crumbs under the microwave, residues in unwashed dishes or a splatter in the oven. Any food left out is fair game.

Common Hotspots in the Home

Sugar ants tend to congregate in certain areas based on the things they’re attracted to. To make sure you find all the ants in your home, check these hotspots:


This is sugar ant central due to the abundance of food. Pay special attention to areas around the sink, appliances, garbage bins and pantry.


The constant moisture and potential water residues make bathrooms a hotspot for sugar ants looking to hydrate.

Pet Areas

If you have a designated area for pet bowls, it’s a likely target, especially if water and food are left unattended.

Outdoor Areas Close to the Home

Fruit-bearing plants, compost heaps or even trash bins close to the house can be attractants. These may encourage ants to investigate your home further and find their way in.

7 Ways to prevent Sugar Ants

Understanding what draws sugar ants to your home is half the battle. Let’s look at seven ant prevention tips:

  1. Put food away when done eating and clean spills immediately.
  2. Store food in airtight containers.
  3. Regularly check for and fix water leaks.
  4. Keep pet areas clean and avoid leaving pet food out.
  5. Seal trash bins and compost areas and store them away from the home entrance.
  6. Identify and seal access points where pests can enter your home.
  7. Use natural deterrents like vinegar, peppermint, tea tree oil or bay leaves to keep ants out.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

If you already have ants in your home, you have several options for eliminating them. If you have small children or pets, you’ll want to consider an approach that will ensure the health and safety of your family.

Baits and Traps

  • Boric Acid Baits: Effective but toxic. Use with caution and keep out of reach from children.
  • Sticky Traps: Place them in those ant hotspots we mentioned above.
  • Vinegar and Sugar Traps: A mixture of both can trap ants effectively and be less dangerous to other members of your home.

Organic Pesticides

  • Neem Oil: A natural pesticide and repellent.
  • Insecticidal Soaps: Effective against ants and other pests when you clean your home with them. Washing away scent trails can reduce ant traffic.
  • Plant-Based Sprays: Many organic sprays utilize plant compounds such as peppermint or lemon to deter ants.