Customer Question: “Why am I seeing more sugar ants?”

Initially, there were just a few tiny black ants coming in from the gap in the windowpane in one of the bedrooms. These few ants were scouts. Within 24 hours there were at least 30 more. The homeowners emailed Chuck Sullivan Exterminators, and Ryan went to the house.

When the homeowners asked Ryan why they were seeing the ants coming indoors, he explained that sugar ants (aka moisture ants) look for three things all year long: moisture, heat, and food. In the fall and winter, they move indoors specifically to find heat. He went on to share that in fall and winter the thing homeowners and property managers can address most is the food source. Sugar ants “are omnivores and will consume a variety of different substances.”1 They typically search for food at night and are most attracted to sugary items. They seek out spills, stains, or food that’s unsealed and left out.2

While sugar ants can be caught in ant traps, it is important to stop them at entry points. Ryan laid down attractant and killer at entry points inside and outside the room. He then set out ant traps so that the homeowners could monitor the decrease in ants. He advised the homeowners that carpenter ants feed on sugar ants, so if you don’t completely get rid of sugar ants, carpenter ants will follow. He said it was good that the homeowners contacted him right away as it is important to remedy sugar ants so that carpenter ants don’t set in.

Ryan also shared that when you note that you have sugar ants or carpenter ants, you should let neighbors or property manager know, especially when you have treated for them. This is because once the sugar ants find that they can’t enter the one property, they will move to a neighboring property. In fact, it is ideal to have the same extermination company treat the whole neighborhood whenever possible.

It is also important to watch for reoccurrences. In the home described above, the ants returned two weeks later on the opposite end of the house. They called Ryan again. He treated again and asked the homeowners to continue to watch for them. If they returned anywhere in the home within two weeks, he would return and have all residents leave the home for a few hours to allow him to do a more complete treatment. He also said that if yardwork or a home remodel was to be done on or near our property within the next few months, the residents should stay on the alert for the ants. Disturbing ant colonies near the home or in the yard could prompt them to move back onto the property.

Thankfully, the ants have not returned.

How do you get rid of sugar ants?

Customers who have a yearly subscription with Chuck Sullivan will automatically have their property treated once a quarter for all typical pests including sugar ants. If at any time within the next three months the residents start to notice an uptick in pest activity, they can call Chuck Sullivan to have a technician come out to investigate and resolve the concern. Also, customers who refer their neighbors to Chuck Sullivan will be rewarded with a discount on their next year’s subscription. (link to referral page)


“Sugar Ant”. 2019. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
“Sugar Ant”. Backyard Buddies. Retrieved 2020-01-06.