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Getting Rid of Sugar Ants

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Closeup of Ants Eating Sugar

Sugar ants can take over an area in a very short amount of time. They are an annoyance to have in the house. This is a guide about getting rid of sugar ants.


Solutions: Getting Rid of Sugar Ants

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Cinnamon for Ants

Sprinkle ground cinnamon along cracks, windowsills, or wherever you find the ants. It doesn't take much, and it makes your house smell good while getting rid of the ants.

Source: Probably a "green" living website.

By schoolmarm from Macon, GA

Tip: Deter Sugar Ants From Coming Inside

Sugar ants are a real nuisance and hard to get rid of. We've fought them off and on for the last 4 years. I've even posted on here before (as have many others) about using a solution of Boraxo/boric acid mixed with sugar for them to take back to the nest. Unfortunately, I have found that this is usually a temporary fix, as they just keep coming back. I've even heard they'll build nests in your walls.

To get rid of them on a more permanent basis, you're going to have to treat outside around your house too. The summer before last, we had a real problem with them. We'd get rid of them, but they'd be back in a few weeks in another area of the house. Finally, I bought a bag of insecticide granules and sprinkled it completely around the foundation of the house out to about a foot away, making sure to get it right up against the foundation too. To easily sprinkle, put the granules in an empty Pringles-type container and poke holes in the lid. Be sure to read the directions on the insecticide to see if you need to wet it afterwards.

I also continued to "feed" the little monsters in the house. Also, doing as I usually do, I kept a spray bottle of soapy water on the kitchen counter to spray any I saw. Within days, they were completely gone and never came back the rest of the year!

This spring, we didn't treat around the house and as soon as it warmed up, here they came. By mid-summer, they came back with a vengeance. I'd never seen it so bad! I'd spray, kill, and wipe ants away every time I'd go in the kitchen, but when I went back in, there'd be more. At one point, I sprayed more than 50 ants on the counter and 15 minutes later, there were more than 50 more, for hours! They spread from one counter to the other and into my stove. It was a nightmare!

And no, my kitchen was not dirty and I had everything in plastic. We've had a major drought here and they were coming in for water (one year we even had them build a nest in the dishwasher).

It took me a month to remember that we hadn't sprinkled around the house; they were coming in through the foundation. I was outside at midnight with a flashlight and my insecticide taking care of it! Within days they were almost all gone and within a week we didn't see another ant and haven't seen one in months!

This spring, I'm going to be shaking my can as soon as it stops snowing!

By Lyonpridej from OK

Tip: Boric Acid and Sugar for Ants

I mixed an equal amount of sugar and dry Boric Acid powder and place the mixture in a secure place; safe from children and pets. The ants carry it into their homes, and it kills the queen ant.

Keep this mixture away from animals and kids.

By Marie from Gainesville, TX

Tip: Espresso Grind for Ants

Very finely ground (espresso fine) caffeinated coffee, before brewing, works wonders on killing and eliminating ants. Apparently their systems cannot handle the caffeine and they die. We applied ground coffee to a few trouble spots in our organic produce and foods store, left it for a couple of days and haven't had problems with ants since.

We used organic coffee since that's what we had, but I doubt that it makes a difference. Buy cheap espresso beans, grind them very fine, sprinkle on and around the trouble spots, leave it alone for a couple of days and Voila! No more ants.

By Mama Sheri from Spokane, WA

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Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Sugar Ants.

Question: Getting Rid of Sugar Ants

How can I get rid of sugar ants that have been appearing on my body? I usually see one at a time 4 or 5 times daily. Are there any soaps or solutions to apply?

By Charlie from Pompano Beach, FL


Most Recent Answer

By Suzanne [1]12/18/2009

We use Neem shampoo and soap for our body. Works for all kinds of different critters, bugs. We also use it on our dogs. As far as getting the bugs to stay out. We do NOT use chemicals what so ever and have had great luck with cinnamon and diatomaceous earth. I even put that stuff in the couch to keep out the kissing bugs, works great! Sprinkle both together along the windows and doors and anywhere critters get in. I've seen the Diatomaceous earth kill black widows! We also use it in our chickens food and dogs food to rid of internal parasites and worms. For some reason, even if your house is clean, bugs still find it nicer to come in!


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Tiny Sugar Ants

Tips for getting rid of ants. Post your ideas.


Archive: Tiny Sugar Ants

I have these small beige ants in my pantry. They are about 1/8" long. I have caulked around cupboards, put down new liners, everything is stored in Rubbermaid, Tupperware, and sealed bags. Today I took a can of sauce out of pantry and the ants were everywhere on it, and in the granola bar box as well.

What can I use to get rid of them? They are nowhere else in the house. The cat food is now stored in a container in the garage as well. I even used Windex thinking it would de-grease. Help.

By joycelgt from Turlock, CA

RE: Tiny Sugar Ants

I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I just read this person's response right before I read your plea for help and it sounds like this might be helpful for you. I live in North Carolina and I use borax. I don't know if it would work for you or not, but here's the other person's post that I mentioned. (notice your both for CA.)

"RE: Infestation Of Tiny Ants The type you describe is probably "Argentine". They are a big pain where I live in California. They came from South America, but were accidentally introduced to the USA (plus many other areas) where they've thrived. The colony/nest often spans entire city blocks underground, and out here they're also all related so there's no inter-colony warfare to reduce numbers like elsewhere. They usually start sending "scouts" into houses in search of food (or water, if it's a dry climate) from late Spring through Fall, and invade (often with a double-size queen) if they find anything attractive. They're not poisonous as far as I recall, rarely bite, taste extremely hot to most animals, and (weirdly) are the cobweb/daddy-long leg spider's favorite food.

As far as getting rid of them is concerned, I've tried every darn trick I read about, because I don't dare use anything that might trigger my (severe) asthma or hurt my cats. As far as I know, almost nothing works, they're super-hardy little buggers. I finally found a brand with safe ingredients called "Poison-Free Ant Killer" that works really well. I spray any trails I find back to their entry points, they die instantly and those spots seem to stay ant-free for another year or two. Their website seems to be There's a useful FAQ about what's in it there, if the person you know is curious. Hope this was useful." Posted on 05/06/2009

By the way, I check and the web site that he/she lists is valid and looks like a great site. They boast their products as being organic. Gotta love that if it's true. Good luck. (07/21/2009)

By shellyscorner

RE: Tiny Sugar Ants

I live in a wooded area and I get those little ants as well. What I did was get some sidewalk chalk and crushed it up till its a powder and then I put a line of chalk on my window sills my doorways anywhere they will get in and it stops them. I got this idea from my sister when I called her and asked her what she was doing she said she was playing with an ant by drawing a line and the ant was not crossing over it no matter which way she drew the line simple huh and it works. Try it. (07/23/2009)

By Margaret S.

RE: Tiny Sugar Ants

I had these things that sounded like what you have. Mine were maybe a tiny bit smaller than 1/8th in and very light tan. I live in a very old house and the caulking around the sink was cracked. They would come through these tiny holes and get all over my dishes. They seemed to like meat and grease. I also found them in my living room, climbing from the wood window frames onto my bird's perch, with the seeds and whatnot on the bottom from stuff she dropped. I used Raid Ant and Roach spray. Got it into the cracks and soaked the wood underneath. They were a pain. (07/24/2009)

By C T

RE: Tiny Sugar Ants

I too live in a wooded area and usually when we have a lot of rain out come these ants. I found the product called Terro at Home Depot. It's a small bottle of poison. There are homemade versions, but this is not expensive and it works. It works quicker when you find their source of entry into your home. It's usually near a window. It's just a few drops left on pieces of cardboard and they will be attracted to it and die. (07/24/2009)

By kghsave

Archive: Getting Rid of Sugar Ants

I have what I was told are sugar ants. I have put all foodstuff in jars, etc. Now I found out they are in my carpeting in the living room.