Florida is known for its warm weather, great beaches, and insects. And one of the most common insect problems Florida has is the tiny little black ants called sugar ants. They are called sugar ants but, these ants are called Argentine ants. They are small, black, and, you guess it, loves sugar so much, so they got sugar into their character. Sugar ants are so tiny that you will not be able to notice them right away. But if you leave crumbs or other sweet treats out in the open, sugar ants will surely get to them in no time.
- Getting to know sugar ants
- Sugar Ant Size
- Sugar Ant Behavior
- Sugar Ant Reproduction
- Do sugar ants bite?
- Where can you find tiny black ants?
- Natural treatment
Getting to know sugar ants
Treating an ant infestation requires investigation and knowledge. You need to know what you are dealing with first to plan and stage an effective attack. Let’s check out how sugar ants work to understand how to get rid of them completely.
Sugar ants workers are just around 1.6 to 2.8 mm long, while queens are approximately 4.2 to 6.4 mm long, which is relatively smaller than other species. Sugar ants are in cracks in concrete walls, between boards and timbers, and in the ground. They are so small that they can easily squeeze through cracks inside your home.
Ant Sugar Behavior
What makes sugar ants so successful is because they form mega colonies. Most ants from one territory will attack ants from a different one, but not sugar ants. This behavior is because the genetic makeup of sugar ants is so uniform that colonies can co-exist, forming a mega colony where they can live side by side with each other. And while these behaviors of sugar ants are remarkable for their species, it is nothing but for humans.
Sugar Ant Reproduction
What sugar ants lack in size, they make up in numbers. Sugar ants colonies have many reproductive queens, ranging as many as eight queens for every thousand workers. Since sugar ants form mega colonies, they are among the 100 worst animal invaders across the globe.
Do sugar ants bite?
The answer is yes. But thankfully, sugar ants do not have stingers and only bite humans when provoked. And since sugar ants are so tiny, their bite cannot hurt humans that much. However, sugar ants pose the risk of food contamination as they crawl everywhere and anywhere.
Where can you find tiny black ants?
Sugar ants prefer to build their nest near their food source. So you will typically find them right under your kitchen sink or in plant pots where they can get honeydew from aphids and melee bugs. But, of course, you can also see them building their nests in moist places. But even if your kitchen is far from your living room, sugar ants will eventually find it if you leave your food unattended. And before you know it, there are plenty of them marching into your food.
Sugar ants are aggressive and multiply fast, so most homeowners are worried about treating them naturally. Ants will move their colony when threatened, splitting it. While it means that there won’t be any sugar ants for a time, they are just rebuilding their territories into mega colonies before attacking again. And it would be much worse as by then, they have doubled or even tripled their numbers. Thankfully, there is a solution to prevent that from happening.
Close any point of exit
Before treatment, you need to know where their colony is before attacking. Close off any point of exit the sugar ants may use and regroup. For example, if the settlement is inside your kitchen sink, you need to spread a nice dose of cinnamon powder around the colony to prevent them from venturing outside. Just make sure you coat the perimeter thoroughly, leaving no space unattended. Do this before the treatment.
Workers will forage for food, and they won’t be able to do so since there would be a perimeter of cinnamon around the whole colony. Not getting food will cause panic in ants. Before they know something wrong, place a cotton ball soaked into a boric acid solution. Boric acid is deadly to ants as it erodes their outer shell and upsets their stomach.
Mix a teaspoon of boric acid, eight teaspoons of sugar, and half a cup of warm water. Mixing the ingredients will create a boric acid syrup that sugar ants cannot resist. Dunk cotton balls into the solution, make sure it is well coated, and place a few right next to the ant mound you discover carefully, making sure you do not disturb it. Sugar ants will be attracted to the sweet syrup and will take it back inside the colony. If the nest is not visible, strategically place a few saturated cotton balls into places where you see ants frequently. They will eat and bring back some to the colony, and they will eventually die.
Clean the house
Ants are foraging food inside your house because they see unattended food or crumbs everywhere. Make your home less attractive to ants and other insects by cleaning regularly. For example, wipe the kitchen sink every after use. The spill and splatter after cooking are like a beacon for sugar ants, and they are just waiting for you to finish cooking so they can attack. Wiping it off after cooking with dish soap and water will discourage ants from going further.
Vacuum your kitchen and living room after every use, especially if you have kids that could drop cookie crumbs on the carpet or in your tiles. Put food and food materials into sealed containers. By sealing them off, ants will not be able to smell them.
You may also opt to use chemical treatment when dealing with sugar ants. Just make sure the chemicals you use are commercial grade and always out of reach of children and animals. They can be poisonous, and you do not want them near your kids and pets.
If you are not very confident in using chemicals and think natural treatment is bothersome, you can always call a professional to do the job.