Due to their fondness for food with a high sugar, fat and protein content, this species is most commonly referred to as sugar ants. These insects do not bite or sting people nor do they pose any serious health danger to humans or pets. Their danger lies in the fact that sugar ant infestation can grow out of proportion and are notorious for being difficult to control.
What is Sugar Ant, Anyway?
Sugar ant or pavement ants is a common name for any small ant that is attracted to sweet things. However, the sugar ant is actually the species Camponotus consobrinus.
- Size: Sugar ants range from 2 to 15 mm in size or ⅛ inch in length.
- Color: Either black or brown. Winged male sugar ants are completely black, while female workers have orange-colored bodies.
Sugar ants are also known as odorous house ants and they are called that because they give off a strong smell when squished.
Sugar Ant Habitat
Also known as the banded sugar ant, sugar ants prefer to live and forage for food in suburban areas. They like warm and humid climates.
In the wild, they normally dwell in heaths, woodlands and forests found in or around:
- The twigs of trees or shrubs
- Holes in wood
Sugar Ant Diet
Sugar ants prefer honeydew from aphids and protect aphids from other predators to ensure the safety of their food source. These insects also feed on:
- Secretions of various plants
- Sugary foods
- Small animals
- Plant-eating invertebrates such as caterpillars
What Attracts Sugar Ants?
Sugar ants are attracted to a lot of things and it’s really frustrating when you realize that your home has been infested. Understanding why they’ve invaded your home is of the essence.
- While sugar ants are attracted to sweets and a variety of sugary foods, they also consume protein, plant pollen and fats.
- Odorous house ants have a greater odor receptors than other insects, meaning they’re likely tempted by the smells of food in your home.
- Ants are always searching for food, which is why they’re commonly in your kitchen feasting on crumbs, unsealed food, garbage, fruit, and more.
Do Sugar Ant Bite?
Yes, sugar ants do bite. The sugar ant is a rather mild-mannered ant that does not sting. When disturbed, the insect may defend itself by using its mouthpart to bite, their bites don’t usually cause big problems unless a person is highly allergic to them. Symptoms include skin irritation or even pimples, it can worsen and look like a huge blister or welt.
How Do Sugar Ant Bites Compare to Other Ant Bites?
Sugar ant bites are minor compared to other ants. For example, bites from fire actually stings because the fire ant uses a stinger to inject venom into its victim. While sugar ants, on the other hand, use their mandibles and mouth to pinch human skin. Still, other species of ants don’t actually bite. Instead, they spray formic acid.
Treating a Sugar Ant Bite
If a sugar ant bites you, you usually don’t need to take action. If it is bothering you, try washing the area and apply some antibiotic cream on it. Reduce any pain by icing the bites. Reduce any itching by applying a topical treatment. You can buy over-the-counter antihistamines and steroid creams at your local drug store.
Of course, if you are covered in bites or develop an allergic reaction to a sugar ant bite, it’s best to seek medical advice. Talk with a healthcare provider about your situation.
Professional Sugar Ant Removal
If you have an ant infestation in your house, call a professional exterminator to help you identify exactly which type of ants you have in your home. That’s the only way to get rid of ants quickly as some ants can be a big problem for homeowners.