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What To Do About Sugar Ants You Find In Your Ventura County Home

Let's start by pointing out that sugar ants are not a specific species of ants here in the United States. It is a term used to describe a type of ants that feed on sugary things. If you have a hummingbird feeder with sugar water in it and you notice thousands of ants crawling up the side of your home to get to that sweet liquid, those are sugar ants. But sugar water is far from the only thing that will attract sugar ants to your Ventura County home. Today, we're going to take a look at a few facts every Ventura County resident should know about sugar ants.

ants on sugar

What Is Not A Sugar Ant

There are some ants that are attracted to protein sources. They'll feed on dead animals, the grease on the sides of your oven, sources of meat inside your home—namely dead bugs in your walls. If you attempt to control ants that prefer protein by putting down a sugary bait, you're not going to have any success.

Drawing The Attention Of Sugar Ants

When addressing sugar ants, you need to consider what these ants prefer to eat. The most effective way to target sugar ants and eliminate colonies is to put down a sugary bait. These products are often in a gel form. But there are some challenges to applying baits to get rid of sugar ants. Sugar ants can become bait averse. If you apply the wrong bait, in incorrect amounts, in locations that are inappropriate, your ant control can fall short.

Why It Is Important To Get It Right The First Time

There are several pitfalls to sugar ant control. What happens when your control efforts fall short?

  • There are many species of sugar ants. The most notable is the Pharaoh ant. This species feeds on the wounds of livestock, pets, and other animals. Their feeding behavior exposes them to harmful bacteria and pathogens. If you attempt to control Pharaoh ants and fail to do so, you can leave yourself and your family exposed to a health concern.

  • If you use the wrong bait, you can cause a sugar ant colony to split. This is called budding. A colony that has more than one queen can split into two or more colonies when a fast-acting ant control product is detected.

  • If you apply bait incorrectly, the ants will be alerted to your plan and they can begin to avoid the bait you're placing down. This can make your ant infestation more difficult for a professional to control, and there is a chance that this can add to your treatment cost.

  • If the sugar ants you're attempting to control are a carpenter ant species, you could put your property at greater risk when you fail to control them. Carpenter ants are destructive ants that chew galleries inside wood.

What Works To Control Sugar Ants?

It is possible to get complete control of a sugar ant infestation without using a single ant control product. These ants can be managed naturally. Here are a few tips:

  • Trash management is key. There are many potential food sources for sugar ants inside a bag of trash. Keep your receptacles as clean as possible to avoid attracting these ants. Keep your trash in plastic bags to mask the scene of the rotting food matter inside. Remove your trash weekly to prevent strong odors from developing.

  • If you have recycling items in a bin, make sure they are clean and maintain a clean bin.

  • Clean honey jars and other containers that sit on your kitchen or pantry shelves.

  • Wipe down your shelves to remove food particles.

  • Keep your kitchen and your pantry as clean as possible.

  • Put dishes in soapy water until you have the time to clean them.

  • Do a routine check of your home to make sure your kids aren't leaving fruit in waste paper baskets.

  • Inspect the exterior of your home and seal gaps, cracks, or holes. A caulking gun is the perfect tool for this job.

  • Replace damaged weatherstripping, ripped screens, and rotted wood.

  • If your exterior doors don't have sweeps, install them. Door sweeps don't just prevent your temperature-controlled air from escaping, they help to keep pests out.

Professional Sugar Ant Control

There are several ways a pest control provider can help you with sugar ant control. A licensed technician knows how to properly identify the ant pests you're dealing with and will select appropriate products to achieve colony elimination. Your technician will also apply these products in the correct quantities and in areas that will achieve the best results. Once your infestation is arrested, a professional can help to prevent future infestations by providing routine exterior protection for your home.

If you live in Ventura County, let Ventura Pest Control help you keep your California home ant-free. We use well-established strategies and best practices for ant control and colony elimination. We have the solution you're looking for. Connect with us today. We're here to help.