Do Sugar Ants Bite?

Sugar Ants are little brown and black insects with semi-transparent bodies that invade homes, ceilings, walls, and kitchen. But, do Sugar Ants Bite? Do Sugar Ants Bite

The short answer is: YES, sugar ants will bite humans but; NO, they’re not poisonous. Sugar ant bite order to defend itself. Thy’ll first puff up their abdomens and flash their mandibles to express irritation. 

Related: How Sugar Ants Look

Do Sugar Ants Bite?

Sugar ants can be invasive and stubborn household critters. Although they are omnivores, they love nothing more than to lap up the sweet white nectar that has earned them their nickname.

Sugar ants can also describe any household ant ranging from 2 to 15 mm in size that have a sweet tooth that draws them to your pantry.

If you have these unsightly buggers in your house and you have kids or pets, you may be worried and asking yourself whether they bite.

Thankfully, sugar ant bites are relatively minor and don’t hurt nearly as much as the bites of their carpenter ant or fire ant relatives.

With the exception of the case of a rare allergy, sugar ant bites are also far less likely to produce any lasting reactions or unpleasant symptoms.

When it comes to insect bites, it is common for people to confuse bites with stings, and thankfully sugar ants, unlike their carpenter and fire ant compatriots, are not capable of producing stings.

Sugar ants bite and pinch with their mandibles while fire ants actually inject venom into the skin with their stingers.

What should I do if I’ve been bitten by a sugar ant?

In the event that you are bitten by a sugar ant, there is a small likelihood that you may experience some slight inflammation or heat in the area around the bite. This is because at the time of the bite the sugar ant spews a small volume and weak concentration of formic acid.

If this happens, relieve the inflammatory effect of the bite and any itchiness the same way you would with any other common insect bite: disinfect with an antibacterial ointment and apply ice, hydrocotisone or antibiotic cream to the affected area until the swelling decreases.

In the unlikely event that the discomfort persists and the small pimple-like bite swells into a blister, and/or you begin to experience breathing difficulty or lightheadedness, contact a medical health professional.

How to Get Rid Of Sugar Ants?

So, here’s how to get rid of sugar ants. But for a summary, you’ll need to clean up, use natural ant control solutions – including diatomaceous earth (DE), peppermint oil, mint plants or eventually call your trusted exterminator.

1. Clean Up Food Debris and Dirt

To get rid of sugar ants, first make sure that your kitchen is consistently tidied up. Keep all perishable foodstuffs refrigerated; regularly dispose of garbage and keep all compost outside.

Do not leave your unwashed dishes in the sink overnight, especially if they contain remnants of food; and ensure that all containers and bags of food in your pantry are tightly sealed at all times.

Most sugar ants come from outside, but some, especially if you are living in an older house, take up residence in disused objects and neglected corners inside.

Make sure to regularly vacuum your floors, carpets, and furniture to disrupt and get rid of any potential colony hiding places. You should also check your home for any crevices and cracks that might allow the ants inside: seal them up as needed.

2. Get Rid of the Problem with Ant Traps:

If regularly cleaning your kitchen and house and being vigilantly on the lookout for colonies doesn’t get rid of the problem, you may want to consider purchasing ant traps and laying them near affected areas.

Commercial ant traps come in a variety of sizes and brands and can be bought in hardware stores and grocery stores. The ants you see around your kitchen are worker ants: they are the ones in charge of the food supply and they bring provisions back to the colony and queen.

The traps lure the workers to partake of its “food,” which is then transported back to the colony, effectively poisoning and eradicating them in one fell swoop.

Although they are inexpensive and effective, keep in mind that most conventional ant traps make use of pesticides and chemicals and should be kept away from human food. Keep them on the floor, not the counter!

3. Bite back with Natural Solutions:

If you are unable to secure a non-toxic, organic ant trap and are wary of bringing chemicals into the home, try out some natural remedies.

One option is to eliminate the scent trail that attracts ants to your food. Try filling a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water and spraying it upon affected areas as well as door-frames and windowsills that may be serving as inadvertent portals to your home.

Directly spraying the vinegar and water mixture directly onto the ants will also kill them; wipe away the mess with a tissue or paper towel.

Diatomaceous earth is also effective: try sprinkling it beneath your fridge, around the garbage can, and other affected areas. The tiny blade-like particles of Diatomaceous earth shear through the exoskeletons of ants, and their bodies soon dry up.

A less deadly solution is to fill the aforementioned door-frames,windowsills, and pantries with mint sprigs, mint plants, or cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil: insects detest the smell of mint, and in addition to sugar ants, this may take care of insect issues altogether!

4. Call the dreaded Exterminator

If cleaning up, ant traps, and natural solutions fail, you may have to consider looking into the services of an exterminator.

Luckily, professionals are increasingly discrete, and are typically able to resolve to situation in mere hours so you can get back to worrying about the things that matter and not another bite from an unwelcome guest!


  1. Banded sugar ant – Wikipedia
  2. Life-history evolution in ants: the case of Cardiocondyla – NCBI
  3. Black-headed sugar ant – Wikipedia 
  4. Food preference and foraging activity of ants – NCBI

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