How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Naturally Forever (and Never See Them Return) (2023)

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Naturally Forever (and Never See Them Return) (1)What do sugar ants and humans have in common? A sweet tooth. You, I, and sugar ants could bump into each other sneaking up at midnight in the kitchen trying to satisfy our sugar crave.

How To Repel Ants Naturally: Non To...

How To Repel Ants Naturally: Non Toxic Ant Killer Recipe

(Video) A Natural Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your House

However, unlike us, sugar ants never get diabetes, don’t get obese, and most definitely they’re never on diet. Regardless of how much sweets they eat, they look perfectly slim, lucky bugs! That is why you see (in panic) sugar ants keep marching back for more sweet stuff in long trails of tiny sugar-lifting thieves.

How to get rid of sugar ants, you wonder?

I know what bugs you and I also have the solutions. Keep calm and keep reading to discover the best natural ways to get rid of sugar ants.

Interesting Facts about Sugar Ants

  • Sugar ants (or banded sugar ants) are actually named Camponotus consobrinus.
  • Sugar ants love all sugary things such as flowers nectar, sweet plants sap, fat and oil, proteins, and they surely have a thing for your white sugar.
  • They are small in size (between 2-15 mm)
  • Male sugar ants are black and females are orange
  • Each colony of sugar ants has a queen, who is the only one to mate and lay eggs. A sugar ant queen can lay thousands of eggs in just a day. She can live up to 30 years.
  • They build nests and start colonies inside wood holes, under stones and pavement, in the soil, and inside walls.
  • A sugar ant can lift 50 times its own body weight! It’s like you would lift a whole car and then carry it effortlessly for several miles.
  • They leave a trail of pheromones behind them (like Hansel and Gretel just that instead of bread crumbs, sugar ants leave a trail of scented chemicals to find their way back to food).

Enough about these sugar thieves. It’s time to find out how to kill sugar ants efficiently using only natural ingredients.

Top 10 Sugar Ants Natural Repellents

No Crumbs, No Ants

First things first. Ants can track food as though they would be FBI agents.

So, things are pretty simple. No crumbs, no sugar crystals, and no dairy spots left unwiped on the kitchen’s floor means no ants at all.

Keeping your floor and table clean and wiped off is the first and most important step in not having sugar ant in your house. And also, one of the most important steps in getting rid of them. It may be the most important sugar ants repellent if you ask me.

If you have an ant parade going on in your kitchen, check to see where is the spilled food that attracts them. Check your cabinets, cupboards, or pantry. Then clean it all up.

Find Their Nest

Follow the long trail of sugar ants to see where they go and find their nest. Once you’ve been able to locate it, you can take the next steps and see how to kill sugar ants using natural, plant-based insecticides and repellents.

(Video) A Natural Way to Get Rid of Ants in House Permanently (In 1 Minute)

Lock the Sugar Away

Another natural way to get rid of sugar ants is to store your food, especially sugar, candies, raisins, flour, pasta, rice, wheat, oatmeal, almonds, coconut flakes, cereals, etc. in airtight containers.

Ants are very nosy (with their big sensitive antennas) and have a fantastic sense of smell, so if you store the sugary food in closed containers, then they won’t be able to track the smell and won’t have free access to it.


Vinegar is a natural way to get rid of sugar ants.

  • Mop the floor with it
  • Spray the tiles, doors, walls, cupboards, table
  • Spray the marching ants with it

This remedy against ants works as long the vinegar scent lasts (because vinegar cuts the smell of food and sugar and the ants’ trail of pheromones that led them to the food places in your house).

Undiluted vinegar will kill them. So, vinegar is an ant-killer if you spray it directly on sugar ants and in their nest, too.

Diatomaceous Earth

Make the ants bite the dust using food grade diatomaceous earth against them. It is a safe, effective, non-toxic, and cheap sugar ants killer.

This natural mineral is actually fossilized phytoplankton. This white powdered mineral destroys the outer layer of the sugar ants causing them to dry out and die.

Sprinkle this powder where you have seen ants marching: on the floor, along the walls, around the fridge and furniture in the kitchen, under the table, on the windows, and on the thresholds.

It is safe for kids and pets.

(Video) Make Your Yard ANT FREE FOREVER In 3 Easy Steps

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another natural remedy for sugar ants. Preparing a deadly mixture with baking soda and any sweet stuff like syrup or sugar. Put it in a bowl or on a piece of cardboard and place it somewhere for them to reach. They will eat it and die.

Essential Oils

I’m not going to tell you to perfume the sugar ants with Rose or Vanilla oil. Some essential oils are excellent sugar ant repellents and insecticides. They are so strong that they cut the trace of pheromones the sugar ants leave behind to track back the goodies.

The best essential oils against sugar ants are:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Clove oil
  • Lemon oil
  • Citronella
  • Bay leaves oil
  • Sage oil

Essential Oil Sugar Ants Repellent

In a spray bottle add

  • 2 cups of water
  • 20 drops Clove essential oil
  • 15 drops of Lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops Sage oil

Shake and spray the sugar ants trail. Spray everywhere you’ve seen ants.

Repeat every 3 days until you see no sugar ant anymore.

Keep Sugar Ants at Bay with Leaves of Bay

Bay leaves are a natural sugar ants repellent.

Ants hate the way bay smells. So they will avoid it. It is a natural sugar ants remedy that is not messy, smelly, sticky, or complicated to prepare. Plus, it doesn’t kill ants, it just chases them away.

(Video) Get Rid of Ants: Fast, Cheap and Easy

So, take advantage of this compassionate method.

  • Simply place bay leaves on the floor, along the walls, under your fridge and table, in the garage, on the windows, and everywhere you have seen ants.
  • Put sachets with dry bay leaves in your cabinets and places where you store your goodies.
  • Make bay powder and sprinkle it along the walls, in the walls or doors cracks, in sugar ants nest (if you spot it).

Wash Ants Away with Soap

This is another natural remedy for the ants that invade your house. Soap attacks the waxy carcass of sugar ants.

Dilute castile soap in water, I put them on a spin in the food processor until all soap is dissolved. Put it in a spray bottle, add some anti-ants essential oils and you’ve made a simple and effective sugar ant repellent.

Sugar Ants Repellent Lemonade

Squeeze 2 lemons and add the juice in a spray bottle with water. You may also add 20 drops of Lemon essential oil (or any other repellent essential oil).

Lemon (and lemon essential oil) contains d-limonene, which is toxic to ants and it also disrupts their pheromone trail.

Eat this, pesky ants!

Chase Away the Sugar Ants Thieves with Natural Remedies

Let’s recap now. How do you kill sugar ants? Using these natural remedies for sugar ants that are tried and true.

Some of them are even vegan-friendly, for those of you who are compassionate and don’t want to kill the little bugs but want to secure an insect-free area in your house. And keep the sugar only to yourself.

Did you have problems with sugar ants in your house? What methods did you try to kill sugar ants? Please, let us know in the comments below.

(Video) Ants in your house? Do this.


How do you keep sugar ants from coming back? ›

One natural remedy for sugar ants is white vinegar. With a solution of 100% vinegar or a 50/50 mixture you can safely spray this around your home and in the areas where you see these sugar ants. This will not only kill them but it is a natural repellent that will help prevent future invasions.

What do sugar ants hate the most? ›

Place natural repellents in areas where you've spotted sugar ants. These can include items like peppermint oil or lemon juice, which contain strong smells that will drive away these insects. You should also try placing Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers around your home since sugar ants hate the smell of plastic.

What keeps ants away permanently? ›

Two of the best ways to eliminate ants are Borax and diatomaceous earth. Essential oils, including peppermint and clove, are a natural way to repel and kill ants. Food and moisture attract ants, so keep your home clean and dry to get rid of ants permanently.

Do sugar ants eventually go away? ›

Will Sugar Ants Go away on Their Own? No, they won't. Sugar ants are drawn to an environment because it is either conducive for them to set up a colony or some food they can take to their colonies. As long as there is something that draws them to that house, they will stay.

Does killing sugar ants attract more? ›

It is advised not to squash ants, doing so will only release pheromones and trigger more ants to come to the location and cause more trouble to you and your family.

What kills ants sugar or salt? ›

Use Table Salt + water OR no water. This solution does “kill”. It dehydrates them.

What food attracts sugar ants? ›

The number one food that attracts ants is sugar. Unfortunately, sugar is found in most foods and beverages. They love to feast on drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup and other sweet-smelling foods. Food crumbs and spills are especially productive for the ants' well-being.

What smell makes ants go away? ›


Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that may effectively deter ants and other bugs, such as mosquitoes. To use peppermint essential oil as an ant deterrent, complete the following steps: Mix 10 to 20 drops peppermint essential oil with 2 cups water in a clean plastic spray bottle.

Why do ants keep coming back? ›

Moisture: Ants require a water source to survive and can even store water for later within their colonies, so they will return to the same home again and again if there is moisture available.

How do I get rid of 100% ants? ›

“The most effective method for controlling an ant infestation is using ant baits. Set them out anywhere you see ants and expect a party,” Gangloff-Kaufmann says. “If you still see ants around the house, try a few different brands of baits until you find one that's appealing to this particular colony.”

How do I get rid of ants permanently overnight? ›

Diatomaceous Earth is one of the most effective ant-killers out there, and placing them in the ant entryways can solve the problem of “how to get rid of ants permanently”. Diatomaceous Earth is made from remains of diatoms. Basically, by sprinkling them, ants dry and die.

What will ants not cross? ›

Better Than Hopscotch: Ants will not cross a chalk line. Draw a chalk line in front of exterior doors, to prevent ants from coming into the house. You can also draw a chalk line around tables on the porch or patio, to keep pesky ants away while dining outdoors.

What food kills ants instantly? ›

Baking soda and powdered sugar: Spreading baking soda with powdered sugar mixture with equal parts may disrupt the digestive systems of ants and kill them. Vinegar: Wiping ants with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water or only vinegar may work the best.

How long do sugar ants stay around? ›

Male sugar ants only live about 20 days, mate, then die. Worker ants can live up to 7 years, and the queen can live for up to 15 years.

Can sugar ants live in your walls? ›

Ants become dwellers inside walls and other voids simply as the result of finding a more preferred site for food, moisture and protection than what is available to them outdoors.

Are sugar ants active at night? ›

They're Nocturnal

Like most ants, sugar ants are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are active at night. Sugar ants tend to forage just before sunset and two hours after sunset. If caught during these periods, bait can be laid and used to kill off the rest of the colony.

Why do I have so many sugar ants? ›

Sugar ants and Ghost ants are attracted to your home because there are insects such as aphids, scale, and whiteflies feeding on the plant material on your property. As these sugar ants feed on the plants, they secrete a substance called honeydew which is a food source for ghost ants and other bugs.

How do you find where ants are coming from? ›

Use your flashlight to look for ants behind or under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and cabinets. Ants may also be found in or around floor drains, inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves, behind wall paper, and in cracks and crevices in cabinets and around walls.

What kills sugar ants Besides vinegar? ›

Borax: A mineral commonly used in household cleaners, borax is an effective ant killer, when used in shallow dishes around entryways.

How do you get rid of sugar ants without an exterminator? ›

Use natural ant repellents.

A cinnamon stick, coffee grinds, chili pepper, paprika, cloves, or dried peppermint leaves near the openings will repel ants. You can also squeeze the juice of a lemon at the entry spot and leave the peel there. Planting mint around the foundation of the house will also keep ants away.

Do sugar ants hate vinegar? ›

Do Ants like Vinegar or repels them? Ants hate Vinegar. The smell of Vinegar will cause them to stay away from it or permanently leave the house. Ants crawl in a straight line, marching towards the food sources.

How does Dawn dish soap get rid of sugar ants? ›

If you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50/50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture.

What does baking soda do to ants? ›

Baking soda only kills ants when they ingest it – will quickly kill them within a few minutes if they do consume it. The tricky part is that ants instinctually know to stay away from baking soda, so it's difficult to put it somewhere where they will ingest if they are already in your house.

What is the best homemade ant killer? ›

Try combining three parts powdered sugar with one part boric acid. The sugar will lure the ants in and the boric acid will kill them, Pereira says. Liquid is better—adult ants prefer to drink their food—so water this stuff down a little. “I recommend this to a lot of people,” Pereira says.

What plants keep sugar ants away? ›

Some herbs that will keep ants away are catnip, pennyroyal, peppermint, sage, and spearmint. Scattering the leaves of these plants in areas of your house where you've seen ants may keep them away. Tansy will work on sugar ants — the ones you see in your kitchen.

Does salt attract sugar ants? ›

ARE ANTS ATTRACTED TO SALT? Ants are often attracted to sugar, but can they be attracted to salt too? According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ants that have low access to salt in their daily diet are actually more attracted to salt than sugar.

What does deodorant do to ants? ›

While the propellants and other chemicals associated with deodorants can kill individual fire ants, they definitely do not provide long-lasting and effective control.

Do ants avoid cinnamon? ›

Cinnamon is often regarded as an effective DIY ant control option. It is believed that cinnamon acts as a natural repellent because ants cannot stand the smell. Also, if an ant inhales cinnamon, it can suffocate and die. Ground cinnamon can be sprinkled on an ant's pathway for them to inhale.

How long does it take to get rid of ants with vinegar? ›

Use this white vinegar solution to spray all entry points of your home, try to spry all windows, doors, baseboards and the common paths that ants would travel within your home. Give about an hour for this solution to take effect, then after a few hours the ants should be dead.

Why wont my ants go away? ›

A final thought to making the ant problem go away is to seal off all points of entry and eliminate all sources of food and water. Ants will not stay in places in which there is no available food or water. Keep all food put away and crumbs and spills cleaned up.

What months do ants go away? ›

Fact is, there is no single “ant season.” Ants may choose to enter buildings at any time of year seeking shelter from the elements, whether that means rain and cold or dry heat. And, of course, food and moisture are always attractants. You don't particularly care whether it's the right season.

Does killing ants cause more to come? ›

Killing ants will, definitely, attract more ants because the dead ants release pheromones that attract or rather alert, nearby ants.

What kills all types of ants? ›

Most Versatile: Raid Multi Insect Killer

This spray kills ants, spiders, roaches, flies, and more whether you apply it indoors or outdoors. Because insects die as soon as they come into contact with the poison, you can even use this killer to target the stray pest you see walking across your floor.

What kills ants slowly? ›

Borax and Sugar

In a bowl, mix together two cups of sugar, one cup of water, and two tablespoons of Borax. The sugar will attract the ants while the Borax will slowly kill them as they wander back to the colony. Place the mixture in small saucers around the house or near any entry points.

What are ants afraid of? ›

Both cayenne and black pepper repel ants. Ants hate cayenne pepper. Black pepper will work just as well too. Locate the source of the ant infestation problem, sprinkle some pepper around that area and if possible, create a wall that will stop the ants from accessing your household.

What smell can ants not stand? ›

Ants hate the smell of strong citrus fruits. Save your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and scatter them around entry points. It's a natural way to deter ants without harming them.

What is the natural enemy of ants? ›

Creatures That Eat Ants

Spiders, such as black widow spiders and jumping spiders. Snails and other hard-shelled organisms. Snakes. Fish and lizards.

What scent keeps sugar ants away? ›

Essential Oils: Cinnamon, peppermint, and orange essential oils are a relatively easy way to keep ants at bay. Dilute around 20 drops of oil within 8 ounces of water, and spray along doorways, windowsills, and any other place where ant activity is present!

How do you find a sugar ants nest? ›

Workers are seen at dusk moving along marked trails in search of food, and they return to their nests at dawn. It can be difficult to locate a sugar ant nest, due to their nocturnal behaviors. When they build their nests in soil, they can be recognized by large dirt hills surrounding the colonies' entrances.

Does salt get rid of sugar ants? ›

That said, when combined with things like boiling water, vinegar, or baking soda, salt can be highly effective at getting rid of ants without having to rely on chemicals. Plus, it's something you likely have plenty of around the house - and it's super cheap!

What color do sugar ants hate? ›

What colour does ants hate? Ants are sensitive to blue light most, following by green and yellow light.

What smell do ants hate the most? ›

Ants hate the smell of strong citrus fruits. Save your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and scatter them around entry points. It's a natural way to deter ants without harming them.

What time of day are sugar ants most active? ›

They're Nocturnal

Like most ants, sugar ants are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are active at night. Sugar ants tend to forage just before sunset and two hours after sunset. If caught during these periods, bait can be laid and used to kill off the rest of the colony.

What time of year are sugar ants most active? ›

Sugar ants, which are native to the Pacific Northwest, are usually most active starting in late February and into early spring.

What eats sugar ants? ›

Creatures That Eat Ants
  • Other insects such as beetles, caterpillars and flies.
  • Spiders, such as black widow spiders and jumping spiders.
  • Snails and other hard-shelled organisms.
  • Snakes.
  • Fish and lizards.
  • Birds, such as sparrows, grouse and starlings.
  • Mammals, such as bears and coyotes.

How do you trace where ants are coming from? ›

Use your flashlight to look for ants behind or under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and cabinets. Ants may also be found in or around floor drains, inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves, behind wall paper, and in cracks and crevices in cabinets and around walls.


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3. 10 Home Remedies For Sugar Ants In Your House
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4. If You Get This Plant at Home, You’ll Never See Mice, Spiders, or Ants Again
5. The Best Way to Get Off Sugar
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6. DIY Ant Trap to Kill and Get Rid of Ants using Borax
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