What's The Difference Between Pavement Ants And Sugar Ants?
Updated: Apr 5
Any pest professional will tell you that ants are possibly one of the most common nuisance pests that they're called in to remove - and that's because the sheer variety of ant species means that ant control methods need to be equally varied. Take for example pavement ants and sugar ants: while both are house ants that can infest houses, there are differences in how they can behave.
So what are the differences between pavement ants and sugar ants? Pavement ants are actually sugar ants, but not all sugar ants are pavement ants. Sugar ants are actually more numerous than you may think, which means you can roughly use the same tactics when trying to get rid of them.
What Are "Sugar Ants?"
First, it's important to establish that "sugar ant" is a catch-all term for certain types of ants, which is a wide variety of different insects. There are actual sugar ants, which usually refer to the banded sugar ant - but this particular type of ant is usually found in Australia, not the United States.
The term "sugar ant" is used to refer to the common types of ants that specifically go after sugary food sources. Sugar by itself is the strongest draw for sugar ants, but some specific species of sugar ants can also snack on different varieties of food if there are plenty of potential food sources available. Any sweet substance - artificial or natural - is immensely attractive to these species of ants.
This also puts them in direct contact with most humans, since their food preferences are directly in line with most of the foods that can be found in kitchens. If you've been noticing a lot of ants lately inside your home, you're most likely dealing with a sugar ant infestation.
Different Types Of Sugar Ants
So what are the different types of ants that are attracted to sugar? Here are the most common species that you'll encounter in and around your home:
Named for the nests that they build in the cracks between the pavement, pavement ants generally keep their nesting sites and forage for food when they can. Since they settle near urban areas, they're some of the most common nuisance pests that you can encounter, appearing if you have any exposed food in the area.
Pharaoh ants are some of the more resilient ant species that you'll encounter since this type of ant can have multiple nests and multiple queens. They're especially common in places like hospitals and clinics, which can be a serious issue since they can easily contaminate surfaces with their numbers.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are some of the most common culprits of ant activity inside homes and kitchens, as their keen sense of smell directs them to food sources - even the ones that may be sealed. Odorous house ants aren't dangerous since their bites don't really hurt, but their sheer numbers can easily contaminate any food that you have laying around.
A carpenter ant infestation is a serious matter that you should attend to urgently since it can cause significant structural damage if left unattended. Similar to termites, these ants often target wood structures - though they only use the wood as a nesting site and not as a food source. Without early intervention, a colony can quickly spiral out of control and cause significant damage to any building.
Argentine ants are naturally drawn to waste products like garbage, and are an extremely aggressive species that will often kill other insects or ants in the area. They can quickly multiply if supported by a huge enough food source and can cover a large area with their colonies even with the presence of pesticides.
What's The Best Way To Get Rid Of These Ants?
Now that you know the common sugar ants that you can encounter, what's the best way to get rid of them? The answer is sugar baits. This method takes advantage of the food preference of these ants - while they can eat from a wide variety of foods, they will always prefer sweet baits over anything else.
By using sweet baits and baiting stations, you're able to control these ants' access to food, which means your baits have a greater chance of affecting the entire colony. With enough baits and a consistent baiting schedule, you'll be able to put a significant dent in the numbers of these ants - and possibly eliminate the entire ant colony itself if your infestation is small enough.
Baiting is also particularly effective with certain sugar ant species like Argentine ants since these ant types feed by passing food from mouth to mouth. With an attractive enough baiting station and some patience, it's not uncommon to have plenty of dead ants within the first few weeks of using baits.
Contact A Pest Management Professional For Ant Infestations Today
Different methods can get rid of different ant species, and it's important to know these differences so you can prevent the ant colony from growing any bigger or infesting the rest of your house. Once you've seen an insect in your vicinity, it's important to identify it so you can prepare the right pest control solutions, saving you valuable time and money.
If your household pests have gotten too out of hand, it's time to call in a professional pest control company to help. Midway Pest Management has extensive experience with pest issues of all kinds and has an effective method of control for any ant species you may have. We make sure the entire ant colony is removed from your property, with the option of coming up with a treatment plant to prevent similar activity in the future. To learn more about our services and what other annoying pests we can remove, contact us today for a consultation.