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Small Ants & Sugar Ants

The most prevalent kinds of small ants in Portland, OR; Vancouver, WA; & Camas metro areas are the odorous house ant, the moisture ant, and pavement ant.

Pest Information

Of the three, the odorous house ant (2.4-3.3 mm long)–aka “the sugar ant”–is by far the most widespread house ant found indoors in the Pacific Northwest and the cause of the most ant problems in our region. The odorous house ant is small and black and has a gland that releases a coconut-like odor when crushed.

Due to the temperate climate of the Washington and Oregon state area, the outdoor foraging cycle in the Pacific Northwest lasts much longer than other areas, ranging from early March to late October. Indoors, ants in the Northwest can continue their life cycle year round. This gives ants plenty of time to find a home to seek food and shelter in and let their entire ant colony know to join them as well.

Odorous house ants in the Pacific Northwest frequently move their nests indoors, causing an ant infestation to occur. An odorous house ant colony has multiple queens and nesting sites, which can make ant control and removal in the Pacific Northwest a headache for homeowners because there are multiple nests spread out across the house. “Satellite” colonies are usually established in wall voids within the home and are most often found near moisture (e.g. kitchen, bathroom areas, and the laundry room).

Leaving any ant problem unattended to can cause a larger ant problem to occur. Ant colonies inside a home may become well established over time making effective control a real process. That’s why early intervention is so important. Homeowners should bring in professional ant removal and control specialists to address the problem as many of the over the counter solutions may cause the ant problem to worsen by fracturing the colony.

Why my home?

The two main reasons why ants are attracted to our homes are water and shelter. This is why sugar ants often appear in kitchen & bathroom areas or adjacent parts of the home. Because ants are “opportunistic,” they’ll usually take advantage of any food they come across and the more food left out, the more ants will be attracted, leading to a massive ant infestation.

Keeping food and water from being left unattended is a good first step to ensuring ant problems do not continue to occur.

Ant Treatment

How Do I Get Rid Of Small Ants & Sugar Ants?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long before most homeowners realize ants are persistent invaders and often require professional ant control help. Ants, specifically ants in the Pacific Northwest, have a longer “active” season due to the temperate climate and therefore have more time to enter your home, populate, and continuously create a larger ant problem.

Ant scouts leave pheromone or “scent trails” for their friends to follow–hence the infamous marching ants.

When homeowners spray ants themselves, they usually spray over the counter pesticides which are repellent to ants. They might also use ant baits. Repellent sprays will kill ants in the immediate area on contact and baits will kill a few ants inside the nest, but these pesticides never get to the source of the problem, which must be done by breaking the egg cycle.

Aspen Pest Control uses commercial grade “non-repellents” on ants. These products are specifically designed to be undetectable to ants (no odor or taste). Because ants can’t detect them, they can’t avoid them. The pheromone or scent trails remain intact, and our products are gradually taken back to the nest, ultimately breaking the sugar ants’ egg cycle.

Gaining control of your house again is usually not an event but a process. A thorough examination of the ant infestation and corresponding problem areas is required to stop the ant population. Trying to treat an ant problem on your own will normally prolong the issue.

Aspen has used its proven method on ants thousands of times successfully. Ant infestations do not stand a chance when it comes to our professional treatment. When Aspen treats an ant problem, results are always 100% guaranteed. Contact our ant removal professionals today.

A pest control technician exterminating ants by treating under the siding of a home in Vancouver, WA.
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When you hire Aspen Pest Control you won't have to worry about whether our service will solve your pest problem. We provide our home protection plan customers with a full satisfaction guarantee. This means that if the pests come back, Aspen comes back in between your regular services absolutely free of charge!

Vancouver Office:


12104 NE 95th St.
Vancouver, WA 98682

Portland Office:


8305 SE Monterey Ave
Suite 220 Q
Happy Valley, OR 97086

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19215 SE 34th St
Suite #106-155
Camas, WA 98607

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