How to Repel Sugar Ants

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A tell-tale sign of a sugar ant problem is a line of minuscule ants marching toward an area in your home. Sugar ants, or pharaoh ants, are one of the smallest species of ants, and are big nuisances in some areas. The sugar ant is native to northern Africa and they are highly adaptable, with populations spreading to numerous countries. Because these ants thrive in warm climates, they have flourished in southern states such as Florida and Texas. These nuisances quickly build colonies of sizable proportions, infesting houses, apartment buildings and hospitals. Because they are attracted to soiled hospital bandages, sugar ants have the potential to spread bacteria such as staphylococcus, clostridium and salmonella.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels or dish cloths
  • Broom
  • Plastic or glass storage containers
  • White vinegar
  • Bay leaves
  • Cinnamon or black pepper
  • Whole cloves
  • Clean up food crumbs. Wipe your counters frequently, paying special attention to crumbs under and in your toaster. Sweep the floor to remove any crumbs. Until your ant problem is under control, eat only in one room. This will make clean-up easier and will keep the ants in one place.

  • Store food in containers that are ant-proof. Don't leave opened bags of chips, cookies or cereal in your cupboards. Instead, store these foods in resealable plastic or glass containers.

  • Deter the ants by using scents they don't like. Wipe counters with white vinegar. Line the ant trail with bay leaves, or sprinkle cinnamon or black pepper on the ant trail. Place whole cloves on door jams and window sills to prevent them from entering your home.

  • Remove debris from the outside of your home. Sugar ants are attracted to decaying leaves and sticks located on the periphery of your home. Once they set up colonies there, they will wage an assault on your home.

  • Cut off the ants' access to your house. Seal cracks in the exterior structure to make access to your house more difficult. Likewise, seal cracks in walls to prevent the ants from escaping to find food.

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