At one time or another we have all asked the question, “Why did God make ants?” If not, we have made a similar statement that had a negative feel for these little pests. The insects commonly called sugar ants are among the most troublesome pests.

Before we start trying to destroy any and all ants we see, it would be best to know a little more about the type of ants we are dealing with. Some methods work well with one ant variety but won’t have much effect on another type.

Variety of Ants
There are dozens of ant types. Some of them irritate people in one section of the world and not in others. For example, people don’t see as many fire ants in the northern climates as they do in southern areas. When it comes to getting rid of ants there are some specific methods we need to use to achieve success.

The little fellows known by the common name of house ants may be mistakenly called sugar ants. These are known by biologists and entomologists as pavement ants. (Scientific texts show sugar ants as a type that is specific to Australia.)

Placing the Traps
The best elimination method for the common house ant is bait that has sugar as the prime ingredient. Since these ants invade home and business on a regular basis, companies have come up with some effective bait. Keep in mind that if you see small ants of a brownish color making their homes in small, sandy mounds you may be at risk of an ant invasion.

If you have house ants or another type known as Pharaoh ants you should use sugar bait or traps that use something sweet as the bait. But you must place these traps and bait in the right place. Watch for the spots where ants are getting into the home and find the trails they use when in the home. Place your traps and bait along these trails.

Professional Help
In addition to the available traps and bait mentioned above, there is something else you can do to get rid of sugar ants and other ants. Cover and seal up small crevices and openings so ants can’t get into the home from the outside. Make sure you keep food items covered and sealed. Clean your cabinets and pantry on a regular basis.

If all of these methods don’t work it may be time to call in professional help. There are some ant poisons and sprays available to consumers but these should be used with care. Professional exterminators use poisons more than bait traps using sweets or sugar only. A combination of sweet bait and boric acid in salt form seems to be very effective. Ants are attracted to the sweet bait and are killed by the poison. Keep in mind that some baits and poisons work well with ants that are a problem outdoors. These may not be suitable for indoor use, especially where there food items are stored.

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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.