You’ve probably heard the term “sugar ants” thrown around, but in Pennsylvania, this label is used to describe a number of small ant species that invade your home and look for sugary sweets.
From odorous house ants that may just be a nuisance to more dangerous species, like the Pharaoh ants, here’s what West Chester homeowners should know about the potential dangers of sugar ants, the best way to get rid of them, and how you can keep sugar ants out of your home in the future.
Are Sugar Ants Dangerous In West Chester, PA?
When it comes to how dangerous sugar ants are, it depends on the species you’re talking about. Like the odorous house ant, most species are a nuisance to have in your home, but they aren’t a health concern. Still, most sugar ant species are incredibly difficult to get rid of because they build their nests behind baseboards or voids in your wall, and their numbers can easily grow into the thousands.
However, one species of sugar ants has the potential to be dangerous, and that’s the Pharaoh ant. As one of the smaller species with light yellow to red coloring, Pharaoh ants have the capability to spread a variety of different bacteria and pathogens – including staphylococcus and salmonella. Before they enter your home, Pharaoh ants tend to spend a lot of time in unsanitary places, like trash cans, toilet bowls, and even dirty drains. When they crawl across countertops or surfaces in your home, Pharaoh ants may leave harmful bacteria behind or contaminate your food directly if they can. Outside of homes, Pharaoh ants also have a reputation for invading hospitals and infesting IV tubing, incubators, and other sensitive medical supplies that make them incredibly dangerous.
How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants In West Chester, PA
Whether you’re dealing with a nuisance sugar ant or a more dangerous species like the Pharaoh ant, dealing with an ant infestation requires a delicate touch. Over-the-counter ant bait and traps are often ineffective, and wasting your time with them can allow more time for the colony to grow (and spread harmful bacteria).
When it comes to sugar ants, the best solution is a professional one – and that’s where Masters Touch Pest Solutions can help. Our reliable, effective treatments and the personal touch we provide for our clients is the reason why we’re the trusted pest management service for the West Chester area.
If you’ve got a sugar ant infestation, especially a Pharaoh ant problem, taking over your West Chester home, there’s no reason to wait any longer. Contact us at Masters Touch Pest Solutions for more information about our ant control services.
How To Prevent Sugar Ants In West Chester, PA
While professional assistance is the most effective way to deal with active sugar ant infestations, there are some actionable steps you can take to prevent these critters from coming back, such as:
Don’t leave open containers of food out: While some people may assume sugar ants are only after your sweets, these ants will consume most fatty, greasy foods that are left out. It’s important to keep any food items tightly sealed in airtight containers.
Clean up after spills and meals: Even if you’re putting leftovers away, sugar ants are crafty and may still find crumbs or sticky spills left on tables, counters, or floors. After cooking and preparing meals, be sure to wipe off kitchen surfaces and floors.
Do a deep clean of your kitchen: Even with cleaning up after meals and practicing proper food storage, sugar ants are extremely resourceful about finding food scraps. It’s usually a good idea to perform regular deep cleans of your kitchen and get those hard-to-reach spots.
Get rid of their access points: Ants need a way to get inside, and the tiny cracks and crevices in your walls and foundation can often serve as access points. You can use a sealant like caulk to seal these tiny gaps and prevent sugar ants from entering.
Seal your trash cans: If they can’t find food in your kitchen, sugar ants may seek out the next best thing: your trash can. Keeping your garbage bins tightly sealed and regularly disposing of full trash bags can eliminate another potential food source.
If, despite these efforts, sugar ants make their way into your West Chester home, don't hesitate to call the experts at Masters Touch Pest Solutions for advice or assistance.