Those little ants that form long lines across your kitchen wall and counters are called house ants or sugar ants. They usually gather in very large numbers, and while they may not cause any damage, they make your home look unsanitary and unwelcoming, and you probably want to figure out how to get rid of them. We’ll show you what you should look for when you buy ant eliminating products as well as review some of the best product on the market today.
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Why Are Sugar Ants So Hard to Get Rid of?
You may have some trouble getting rid of sugar ants. Just killing all those that are visible won’t be enough, as they usually make their home inside your walls or in other places that are hard for you to reach. You need to find their nest in order to get rid of them.
Pest Control Management suggests following them back to their nest. If you see a line of ants in your kitchen, try to avoid squishing them or spraying them right away. Instead, follow the trail back to where they come from to ensure you know where to focus your efforts.
These insects also reproduce very quickly. A queen ant can lay thousands of eggs over a short period of time, so if you don’t get the queen, then you can expect lots of these ants to be running around again shortly after you eliminate the ones you can readily see.
On top of all that, they can be hard to notice. You may have gotten rid of sugar ants for a while and not realized that they have come back into your kitchen because they were scurrying behind your appliances and blending in with the countertops.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for these insects coming back into your home once you start to eliminate them. If you don’t deal with the resurgence quickly, you can have a full infestation again in short time.
Best Rated Sugar Ant Killers Reviewed
There are a few products we highly recommend for getting rid of sugar ants. Read on to see our reviews.
TERRO T901-6 Ant Killer Plus
You can use this inside or outside, it has a large effective range and it penetrates deep to get rid of ant colonies. It is also something that ants will carry back to their nest and poison their colony with. You can use it to kill far more than just ants, and the powerful formula is effective against cockroaches, fleas and other pests.
- Affects the entire colony.
- Kills many different kinds of pests.
- Residue kills ants for a long time after you apply it.
- Contains toxic chemicals, use with caution.
Demise Fire Ant and Insect Killer
You can spread this ant killing solution with ease, but its effective range is a little on the short side. It kills ants by rapidly dehydrating them. This can kill them quickly, and it may not leave them alive long enough for them to go back and poison the nest. One of the best things about Total Solutions’ product is that it lasts for a while. You won’t need to apply it every few days to keep the ants at bay or to ensure that you got them all.
- Very potent.
- Long lasting.
- Easy application.
- Contains toxic chemicals that may be unsafe for children and pets.
- Effective range and ability to penetrate the nest is limited.
Bugs R Done Fly, Cockroach and Ant Killer
This is one of the safest pesticides you can use. It is made from fully natural ingredients, and made to be safe to use near children, pets or food. It repels ants better than it kills them, as you need to spray it directly on ants for it to have a lethal effect, in most cases. That extra work can be worth it, however, to have a pesticide that is so environmentally friendly and safe.
- Safe for the environment.
- Safe for people, pets and food.
- Kills a wide variety of insects that may invade your home.
- Can lack effectiveness and isn’t as potent as some of the other products listed.
Quest Specialty 426001 Stormtrooper Fire Ant Killer
This Stormtrooper spray is one of the most effective ant killers on the market, but it is also one of the most expensive. It releases a fast-acting foam that penetrates deep into the ants’ nest and takes out bugs you could not otherwise reach. This pesticide is meant to be used directly on the nest though, so if you don’t know where the nest is, you may be wasting your time spraying this around your house.
It kills bugs very fast, and they usually won’t have time to take the poison back to their nest, so finding the nest is important. Even though this product is super effective, using it may be a bit of a hassle, since you will have to track down the nest by following the ant trail.
- Super powerful; kills bugs fast
- Foam covers the nest quickly and effectively, penetrating deep inside.
- Very expensive.
- Needs to be applied directly. This may prove to be a hassle when tracking the nest location.
Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Home and Patio Spray 32 oz Lemongrass
This is another good solution for your mild to moderate pest and flea infestation. It works well against ants, ticks, bugs and mites. Results show usually pretty fast. You will notice that after a short time, your house and yard will have been freed from pest infestations.
A great feature of the Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Home is that it isn’t packed with dangerous chemicals. No poisons, insecticides or harmful substances used. It provides an environment-friendly solution for driving ants, fleas and ticks away, and can be easily sprayed on furniture, bedding and mattresses. Since this product is not the most potent one out there, you will have to use it on a regular basis though. That means more frequent application compared to other products on this list.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Has a great fresh citrus scent.
- Reviews state that this product worked great, even though it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
- Some staining of floors reported.
- Not very potent compared to other products on our list.
What to Consider Before You Buy Any Product
There are some things that you should bear in mind as you are trying to shop for the right method of eliminating sugar ants:
- Seasonal Conditions- Ants tend to come out more during the warmer months of the year, so if you are only seeing a few ants in your home in the winter, that could be a sign that you will have a big infestation by summertime. It is advised to check your home seasonally for signs of ants, so you can get a head start on the infestation before it gets out of control. In other words, don’t expect it to only take a little bit of chemical spray or other treatment method to get rid of the ants when the problem could be larger than you realize.
- Attack the Nest- You may not be able to spray directly onto the nest with whatever insecticide you choose, simply because the nest is inaccessible most of the time. In those cases, you need to find a product that allows ants to die slowly and lets them carry the poison back into their nest. This ensures that the nest is affected and that the queen can be eliminated without you having to locate the nest physically.
- Kills Other Pests- You probably have more than just sugar ants in your home, and it doesn’t hurt to buy something that can kill a variety of insects and other pests. Some ant killers are very weak, as they are only meant to kill ants, but you could go for something a bit more potent that is likely to eliminate other pests as well.
- Environmental Safety- A pesticide can be safe for your kids and pets but unsafe for the environment. You may want to consider this factor when you are buying pesticide.
What to Avoid
You also need to be aware of certain kinds of products or features that are not beneficial to you. Here is what you should be avoiding as you look for the best sugar ant killer:
- Overly Toxic- It doesn’t take much to kill most ants. You can get rid of them with some very gentle sprays that wouldn’t harm you, your pets, your family, your food or the environment. If you are looking to just drive them away, then you can use various essential oils, but even trying to eliminate the insects doesn’t mean you have to use something very toxic.
- Ineffective- On the other hand, you don’t want to use a chemical that doesn’t even affect the ants in your home. There are lots of natural and “safe” ant sprays that do very little to the ants other than scare them off, and that means they will just come back later when the chemical wears off. If you are looking to eliminate ants, then you need something a bit tougher.
- Short Range- You also need an ant killer that can reach all over your house or whatever room you apply it in. Find out what the effective range of the ant-killing product is before you buy if you want to get something that will be effective.
- Residue– A lot of insecticides will leave behind a sticky or foul-smelling residue. This can be great at keeping the bugs away, but it is also potentially harmful for you, your family or your pets, and you have to be careful not to spray it near your food. Read the labeled instructions carefully to see how long you need to keep children and animals away from the spray area.
You may want to give one of these products a try next time you see ants moving through your home. Or you can have them stocked for when ant season comes around.
With the tips and reviews we have provided, you should have no trouble keeping ants out of your house. It should be noted that the efficacy of any ant pesticide depends on a number of factors, such as weather or the type of ants you have around the area you live.
Therefore, sometimes one product may be great, while in another case it may be useless. The important thing is to notice whether it’s having an effect or not. If not, just try another product. One of the solutions we have on our list will get the job done eventually.