How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the House

These pesky little pests are attracted to the yummy foods we leave in our kitchens, as well as any minuscule crumbs and of course, grains of sugar.

Where there is one sugar ant, there is bound to be an army of them. None of us want these little guys in our houses, especially when there’s food around.

So we have decided to tell you all the ways that you can get rid of sugar ants in the house. Most of these methods actually use everyday items and ingredients that you probably already have at home, too!

So keep reading to find out how to get rid of these critters, and tell them to bug off for good!


Daily Cleaning

No, we don’t mean this in a preachy “you need to clean your house” kind of way, we just mean that a sure fire way of ensuring sugar ants stay away from your home is by cleaning up commonly used food preparation areas as soon as they have been used.

When you make your morning coffee with your eyes still half closed from sleep, sugar can easily be spilled over the counter without you even noticing it. This is like food heaven for sugar ants.

Ensuring you wipe over your counter after prepping any food will ensure that no crumbs are left behind.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the House

Use a specialized product

There are a number of sprays and powders on the market that tackle bug infestations, including ones that are specifically for sugar ants.

Consider buying one of these to tackle the problem head on, especially if you have a huge infestation of them or a colony close by.


As greedy as they are, sugar ants don’t eat absolutely everything in sight. In fact, they are repelled by a great many herbs. Try placing some of these herbs in your kitchen near your fruit bowl, or by any cracks where they may enter your kitchen.

The herbs we would recommend are pepper and bay leaves. These two are extremely potent for those creepy crawlies.

Sprinkle them in corners in your pantry, in doorways, and in the corners of your kitchen windows. This may not be suitable if you have pets such as cats and dogs, though.

Coffee Grounds

If you can handle the messiness that comes with this tip, then go ahead. Coffee is thought to repel sugar ants, so you could try sprinkling this in corners of your pantry, or in your doorways and window corners.

Our favorite suggestion for this though is to sprinkle some outside your kitchen door.

Only do this if you don’t have pets and small children who may try to eat the coffee grounds as it could make them sick.

Soapy water solution

This one is certain to work and has long since been used to rid houses of pests like sugar ants. However, not everyone likes this method as it essentially drowns the ants.

You could mix up a solution of warm water and dish soap, ensuring to use more soap than water. You put that mixture into a shallow dish or saucer and leave it at the areas that the ants usually enter your house.

The sweet smell of the dish soap will attract them and trap them there, ensuring they do not reach your precious food items.

Essential oil solution

We love this method because not only does it have excellent results for deterring these pesky little sugar ants, but it also leaves your house smelling absolutely gorgeous.

We recommend getting an essential oil that is known to deter bugs, such as peppermint, cinnamon, or citronella, and mixing 20 drops of it in a spray bottle with 8 ounces of water.

You can then wash down your surfaces with this, spray it on window and door areas, especially near any cracks where ants can enter through. You could even spray it on the wall if you wish.

Do ensure though, that you test the solution on each surface before you spray it so that you can check if it affects the material or paint. We do not recommend spraying the solution on wallpapered walls, or treated woods.

It is your choice though, and you should test each and every surface.

Citrus, citrus, and more citrus

No, we don’t suggest throwing orange juice all around the house, but we do have to stress that ants hate citrus.

Try putting the dried peels of oranges, lemons, and limes in corners of your home that ants typically enter through.

You could also try getting some citrus essential oils and following the essential oils spray suggestion we listed above, remembering to test any surface before spraying it.

Vinegar and water solution

This tip gets a little bit sciencey, so prepare to be amazed.

Have you ever wondered why ants follow each other in a line? Or why, after finding one ant, a few hours later you see lots more coming in?

This is because wherever an ant goes on a hunt for food, they leave behind a pheromone trail to let other ants know where they found the food source. As cute as this is, knowing they are all looking out for each other, it makes our lives much harder.

However, there is a way to stop this. Look for where the ants are entering your home and then spray that area down with a mixture of vinegar and water.

Use one part vinegar to one part water, so you have equal amounts of each. White vinegar is best to use as it won’t stain. The slight acidness of the vinegar will destroy the pheromone road that the ants have made for themselves, and will actually clean your floor or windows in the meantime!

It’s a win-win situation.

Final word

As you can see, there are lots of methods that can be used for getting rid of sugar ants in your home.

All of them have been tried and tested time and time again.

There is a good mixture of natural remedies out there, as well as there being some specialized cleaning products that you can buy.

As a general rule, you should clean your work surfaces after each use, even if that is more than once a day.

As well as this, keep any food stored adequately, out of reach of creepy crawlies.

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