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Sugar ants are a common household problem in the greater Oregon City area. These creatures — commonly known as sugar ants, coconut ants, or odorous house ants — are very small in stature (about 2.5 to 3 millimeters in size) and are typically black in color. This variety of ant has special glands that, when smashed, release the foul, faintly coconut-scented odor that gives them several of their nicknames.  Of course, these pests are called “sugar ants” due to their love of all things sweet. All they need to survive is food, water, and shelter, and it should come as no surprise that your home offers all three in abundance. Let’s learn a little more about how we can effectively deal with these physically harmless but no less burdensome pests. 

How do I exterminate sugar ants from my home?

There are many products available to homeowners advertised to kill ants. While these may be effective to kill the ants coming into direct contact with the products, often times they are more of a band aid than a cure. This is because the ants are dying on contact but no product is making it back to the colony. The worker ants will die and you may see improvement for a short time, but the queen, still alive and healthy, will quickly produce replacements and the infestation will flare up. So while there are several DIY methods that can be applied to a sugar ant invasion at your home, most infestations are simply too far along to be effectively managed without professional intervention. In addition, sugar ant colonies can contain multiple nests with multiple queens, meaning that the colony in its entirety must be dealt with in order to bring the manifestation to an end. This is a process that can take several weeks to break the egg cycle and multiple treatments to really get them under control. It is recommended to then follow treatment with a regularly scheduled maintenance to prevent their return.

Why should I call a professional to exterminate sugar ants from my home?

Store bought bait and DIY methods used to treat ants are often not as potent or effective as commercial grade products, allowing the colony to grow because the root of the infestation has not been properly addressed. At Aspen Pest Control, we’re proud to provide our friends and neighbors with free, no-pressure inspections and consultations. We’ll have the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the affected areas of your property and offer our best recommendation, and you’ll have the opportunity to get to know our team better, with the ultimate decision of how you’d like to move forward in your hands.  

If you choose to move forward with an inspection and consultation, our method is a simple but effective one: 1) Our technicians will arrive on-time and ready to work; we’ll inspect the home for pests, entry points that need to be dealt with, and any damage that may have been caused by infestation, using that information to build the best treatment plan for your budget, lifestyle, and need based on the extent of the pest situation you’re facing. 2)  Secondly, we’ll apply the appropriate products needed to kill the sugar ants at their source. For the sugar ant, we use a commercial-grade treatment that ants can neither smell or taste, allowing their pheromones to remain unaffected (pheromones act as a signal for locations of food sources). When the product is undetectable, the ants are unaware that they are picking it up on their bodies and carrying it back to the colony. Ants are very social creatures so when they groom themselves and each other, the product is then transferred to other ants and eventually the queen. This increases the effectiveness and allows the egg cycle to be broken.  3) Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, effectively managing an ant infestation takes patience. That’s why we include ongoing observation in our treatment management program. Regularly monitoring your home’s infestation and the identified entry points are crucial in achieving success. We have years of experience in successfully treating sugar ants for your friends and neighbors, so we’re confident that our methods will produce the results you’re looking for. 

Because we’re so confident in our treatment methods, we offer our customers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. When you choose Aspen for your pest control services, you’re not only getting great pest control treatment and management, you’re getting the peace of mind of working with a company who is committed to providing results. When you choose our Four Seasons Home Protection Plan — the plan over 90% of our new customers choose — you’re provided a quarterly service that is perfect for our Pacific Northwestern climate (in that it deals with all different sorts of pests at varying stages of their life cycles). In addition, if the ants ever return in between regularly scheduled quarterly service, we’ll come over and treat the problem free of charge. 

How do I effectively prevent Sugar Ants from returning to my Oregon City home?

Professional treatment of a sugar ant infestation is important, but just as crucial are the preventative measures you’re taking in and around the home to ensure they don’t (or aren’t encouraged to) come back. You’ll find that through just a few, key measures, in combination with Aspen Pest Control’s top-notch services, you and your loved ones experience with sugar ants in the home will be a thing of the past. 

LOOK TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: Remember, dealing with an ant infestation means dealing with the whole colony — the nests, the queens, etc. — not just those ants that you can see out in the open. Spot treating ants, so to speak, can actually cause more problems if you end up accidentally fracturing the colony, making your infestation even harder to manage. While the main colony may be outside, smaller satellite colonies will establish themselves in the wall voids. When the incorrect products or methods are applied, the problem has the potential to get worse. 

REVIEW YOUR HOME FOR CRACKS, LEAKS, AND OTHER ENTRY POINTS: When was the last time you gave your window or door seals a once-over? How about your foundation for cracks? Areas such as these, as well as those areas of the home where utilities enter the home — think plumbing; cable, internet, or phone lines, dryer vents, etc. — are perfect entry points for sugar ants and other pests. Remember that sugar ants are incredibly small creatures, so tiny cracks in your foundation or any of the above areas can be used by pests to enter the home. Fixing these breaches will not only help keep pests out, but they will also improve your home’s energy efficiency!

KEEP KITCHEN AND OTHER FOOD AREAS FREE OF DEBRIS: As the name implies, sugar ants thrive on sugar and other glucose-rich foods. Kitchens, pantries, and other food storage areas are exactly where a sugar ant and its cohorts want to be, so it’s up to you and your loved ones to give them very few reasons to want to be there. Wipe up any spills in the kitchen, regularly sweep crumbs off of the floor, and make sure all shelf stable food is stored in sealed, airtight containers. Relatedly, make sure your recycling is washed as directed by your waste management company, and that you’re regularly removing trash, recycling, and compost from the home as regularly as possible. In doing so, you’re removing the ant colony’s source of food and making your home less desirable to them. 

REMOVE STANDING WATER AND EXCESS MOISTURE FROM YOUR HOME: Sugar ants, like many insects, thrive on moisture. Areas like laundry rooms, bathrooms, and areas under sinks are some of their favorite places for finding a reliable water source. If you have a leaky pipe, we recommend you or a professional fix it. If you have pipes that are often covered in condensation, there are absorbent pipe wraps that we find effective. Dehumidifiers may do the trick also. Be sure to regularly run and empty your dishwasher, as well as run your garbage disposal to ensure that all food and water waste have been removed from the areas. These methods will not only keep your home cleaner and better organized, but will stave off the variables that create a desirable environment for sugar ants and other pests. 

Interested in learning more about keeping your home pest-free and regaining your peace of mind? Then call Aspen Pest Control today! We’re happy to provide you a hassle-free consultation from one of our trusted pest control experts. We’d love to show you why your friends and neighbors all over Oregon City, Portland,  and Southwest Washington choose Aspen Pest Control for their extermination needs!