We fight the small sugar ants very often, and as eco-friendly operators, we rarely spray poison for these little guys because it alone doesn’t work!! Fortunately, we have a few other things that do.
Ant baits are a kind of poison that these ants take back to the nest. In most cases these method’s are not 100% environmentally friendly, but provided the the poison can be kept in good area’s that are close to monitoring (discreet locations: away from water, pets and where they are most effective: inside the ants). This area’s includes areas where kids won’t find them: behind the washer and dryer, for example because ants will most likely go where kids, pets and potential predators can’t. On your own you can search the Internet for boric acid bait recipes or, for not a lot of money we can solve your problem a lot easier and effectively. We do not recommend buying the tiny tin ant baits from home hardware type stores. In the end you will more than likely spend a similar amount to what a professional charges.
Here is a brief take on types, and how to get rid of Sugar Ants:
1) Pavement Ants: Sweet boric acid based ant baits should do the trick for pavement ants over a period of 7-10 days depending on the size of colony and a few other factors. The pavement ant is the most common sugar ant to invade local home and businesses in the area as well as across North America. In different continents sugar ants have different behaviors and the species in Australia where ants, spiders, and termites are in huge numbers pavement ants are amongst the largest insect species known. This being said, you may be familiar with these tiny dark little pavement ants excreting small mounds in the sand near sidewalks, driveways, and sides of buildings. Above is a picture:
2) Pharaoh Ants: Sweet baits, again, should suffice as proper ant control. This ant is particularly obnoxious because of its persistence in getting what it wants, and it will eat just about anything: sugars, proteins, you name it. In some instances, these ants are found in hospitals where sterilization standards are not good. The Pharaoh Ant is often blamed for transferring dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus and Psuedomonas, according to different medical offices. Again sweet baits placed near trails or high ant traffic areas are the most efficient form of control.
3) Argentine Ants: A combination of protein-based and sweet baits may be effective ant control. It is believed argentine ants were accidentally imported by coffee shipments to New Orleans circa 1891. These little feisty critters have since been destroying North America’s environmental and ecological balance by killing off native ant species, thereby starving the natural predators of these species. They also form a symbiotic relationship with aphids (a common garden pest), tending to and even transporting aphids in return for the sweet secretions the aphids produce. Argentine ants will eat just about anything they can get their grubby hands on, and they are a particularly social species of ant that “teams up” with other colonies nearby. Broadcast baiting with insecticide granules seems to be the most effective way to get rid of argentine ant colonies outside, while sweet baits help to control Argentine Ants inside.