The Truth About Sugar Ants – True sugar ants are large, bi-colored ants native to the continent of Australia. They are much more aggressive than the pesky little guys that we refer to as sugar ants, and are prone to shooting an acidic liquid out of their abdomen area toward anything perceived as a threat.
When threatened on the home front, the troop will move and attack with force, overtaking and overwhelming their target.
Quite contrary to this strain of ant are the small variety of ants native to North America, generally the Pharaoh and Pavement strains, that we refer to as sugar ants.
The Pavement strain is a little black ant, and the Pharaoh strain is a small reddish color often mistaken for the red ant. These ants, however, are prone to very mellow behavior, using no defensive sting or bite techniques, and are reputed as an unwelcome guest in many homes.
They are like tiny magicians, sneaking in to even the cleanest and most well sealed places, in search of the scent that they picked up 25 feet away.
They are nimble and tricky, and it is not merely sugar that they are after. In fact, these insects will eat just about anything, up to and including other insects.
With their keen sense of smell and direction, they can find sticky, salty, stuck-on goodies anywhere within a 30 foot radius, and they will scale any obstacle to get to it.
Sugar ants live in colonies, and like most other strains of ant are capable of carrying up to one hundred times their own weight.
The colony is often built in rotten wood in cool, dark places, or under ground. It is comprised of long, interwoven tunnels where larvae are nurtured in cells and food storages are kept.
These insects are foraging machines and hard workers. It is thought that sugar is sought by most ant species for the instant energy it provides.
A specialized pheromone shared by the colony is an advanced form of communication between the inhabitants of the colony.
The ants use it to signal clan identification, danger or alert, and foraging finds. Once the pheromone signal that food has been found is sent to the other workers, they gather and realign quickly to feed and gather.
These ants seem to enjoy sinks over most other places, as so often food particles and residue mingle here with a touch of moisture. This is a great treat to the sugar ant, and rinsing them down the drain may not be a feasible solution.
Resourceful and hardy, these ants can tolerate water for a good length of time, and given the proper foot hold within the drain tube, they will climb back up and get back to business.