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We Pacific Northwesterners live for the summer. That warm, not nearly long enough sacred stretch of sunlight practically erases the cold, constant drizzle of winter almost completely from our memories. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the seasons, it’s that summer must be cherished. And cherish it we do. We host barbecues and see old friends and plant gardens and take every opportunity we can to keeps our lawns and yards looking great.

Hospitality is a big deal to us, and while we’re always happy to have guests over, little critters, — namely sugar ants — have a tendency to invite themselves unannounced, bring along thousands of their friends, and are, it seems, on permanent vacation. In our houses. In the cabinet, under the sink. In the trash can. In the recycling bin. Anywhere and everywhere they want to be.   

Why are sugar ants in my Lake Oswego home?

Sugar ants (also known as odorous house ants, stink ants, and coconut ants) are insects of a singular pursuit: to find and consume glucose (sugar) so that they may have the energy to establish and expand their colony in order to further find more glucose so that they may further expand their colony. And so on and so on.


Sugar ants have exceptionally sensitive receptors on their antennae that enable them to detect sugars from great distances. These extremely resilient creatures are so driven to consume sugar that even harmful bodily injuries are unable to prevent them from seeking out what they desire. And with so few environmental factors needed to set up shop (soil and structure is basically all they need), ant infestations in Lake Oswego are not only common, they can be expected, regardless of how clean you might think you keep your home and lawn.

A tree’s sugary sap, for instance, is all a sugar ant needs to detect before beckoning its colony to take advantage. A few such trees on your property will bring an infestation right to your house, and detecting the possibilities for nourishment inside the home means it won’t be long before they start looking for ways to get in.

How did sugar ants get inside my house?

Yes, sugar ants are driven by instinct, but it doesn’t take much effort for them to get inside under the right circumstances. Cracks in the foundation, gaps under siding, openings for utilities, houseplants, or poor seals on windows and doors are just a few of the ways ants can enter your house. Once they get in, they’ll not only seek out means of nourishment, but they’ll also be seeking out dark, moist areas of the home in order to expand their colony, making bathrooms and kitchens favorites places for these ants to establish themselves.

Are sugar ants harmful?

Unlike termites, carpenter ants or fire ants, sugar ants aren’t the type of insect that are prone to property damage or to biting people. Biologically speaking, this isn’t what they are born or driven to do. Only in rare instances where someone is highly allergic to this type of ant would there be a cause for concern, otherwise sugar ants do not cause physical harm. What sugar ants are capable of, however, is their ability to seek out every source of nutrition in your home and almost endlessly expand the size of their colony.

Can I get rid of sugar ants myself?

There are certainly a wide variety of DIY ant extermination treatments on the market. It’s our view that these methodologies are only effective up to a point. Most store-bought killers fall into two broad categories: quick-kill and bait. But before we get into that, please remember:

USE CAUTION. BEFORE USING ANY STORE-BOUGHT EXTERMINATION PRODUCTS, PLEASE CAREFULLY READ AND FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS AS DIRECTED. THESE PRODUCTS CONTAIN POISON AND COULD CAUSE HARM TO PETS, CHILDREN, AND MORE VIA CONTACT OR CONSUMPTION.

As far as DIY sugar ant removal goes, we prefer baiting to quick-kill methods. Quick-kill methods tend to only exterminate the ants that you see, vs. those ants of a colony that might not be visible. Furthermore, quick-kills have a tendency to fragment colonies, inadvertently creating several colonies you’ll have to tend to when you thought you were actually fixing the problem.


We prefer baiting because it takes the poison directly to the heart of the colony, and is designed to exterminate your sugar ant infestation at its source. Of course these methods simply aren’t as strong and therefore aren’t as effective as professional grade solutions. For total peace of mind, go with a pro.

How do I prevent sugar ants in the home?

You may have an extremely clean home, but sugar ants are determined to seek out glucose in any way they can. Staying on top of a few simple things on a day-to-day basis can be the difference between an ant-free and ant-infested household.

  • Get rid of any standing water on your property
  • Fix broken seals on your windows and doors
  • Empty your trash and recycling — as frequently as possible
  • Keep all food prep and eating surfaces — above and below — free of crumbs, spills, and debris
  • Wash your dishes and empty your dishwasher promptly

Where can I find professional ant control in Lake Oswego?

What do we really recommend to get rid of sugar ants? Call a professional. And if you do, we’d love if you called us. Our technicians are adept at treating sugar ant infestations for folks just like you, and we provide long-term treatment solutions to keep your Lake Oswego home ant- and worry-free.

Aspen Pest Control’s specialized treatments that are designed to eradicate colonies at their source, and are more reliably effective than DIY methods. We’re so confident in our approach, that we proudly offer Lake Oswego homeowners a free re-service guarantee — if your sugar ant problem comes back, we’ll come back, too, absolutely free of charge.

We offer free, no pressure estimates and same day service for no extra charge. Our results are 100% guaranteed and we use EPA approved products that are safe for your family and pets.

Contact us discover why your neighbors in Lake Oswego are loyal customers of Aspen Pest Control.