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How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in a Car

Ants and picnics seem to go hand in hand, but when they show up in a car, it can be quite another story. Here is how to get rid of sugar ants in a car:

  1. Check for an antifreeze leak
  2. Identify the ant
  3. Remove the food source
  4. Use baits to draw them out
  5. Use dusts or sprays according to label
  6. Call in reinforcements

Ideally, you will take care of the issue before completing the list. Nevertheless, here are the details for each step.

Check for an antifreeze leak

The sweet smell of antifreeze can attract a lot of different creatures. Making sure this is not part of the equation is not only going to help if it is drawing ants in but will also be better for your car and the environment.

Identify the ant

The most common ant referred to as a sugar ant is the little black ant. The little black ant is very small measuring about 2mm long. They have 2 node segments between their thorax and abdomen. If it is a little bit larger (3.5mm), 2 node segments, and a grooved head, it is likely a pavement ant. There are many other ants that could be culprits, but these are the most likely. If you need help identifying the invader, don’t hesitate to reach out to our associate certified entomologist for assistance.

Understanding exactly what type of ant is invading will give clues indicating where the ants originated, what drew them in, how many queens in each colony, and how big of a colony is involved.

Remove the food source

If an ant is being referred to as a sugar ant, the food source is typically known. Look for sweets that may need to be removed. Keep in mind that sticky residue left in seat fabric or carpet may be enough to draw them in. If you are unsure as to where the food is, take some time to watch the ants and where they are going. They will show you where to focus your search.

In addition to sugary sweets, ants will also feed on carbohydrates and proteins. Don’t be surprised if you clean up one or two areas of food extraction and they find another one nearby. Just keep removing the food source until completion.

Removing the food source is how to get rid of sugar ants in a car the fastest.

Use baits to draw them out

In some cases, the ants will persist beyond the removal of food. In these instances, applying a bait outside of the car will help draw them out and reduce the population. Keep in mind the baits should be close to where ants are already trailing. If ants are in the car already, they are going to have a path they follow back to the nest. It won’t necessarily be a straight and obvious line like “The Ants Go Marching” kids song, but it will be there.

Use dusts or sprays according to label

Rarely will this step come into play, but could be necessary for certain situations. Read the directions on the label and ensure the product is ok to use in an automobile. In addition, be cautious with where and how it is applied. Keep the following exposure routes in mind:

  • inhalation – make sure you don’t inhale the product being applied
  • immediate exposure – it is easy to work yourself into a corner in small places, start in the middle and work out
  • residual exposure – consider whether kids, pets, or adults will have regular contact with the area

Call in reinforcements

Getting help doesn’t have to be the last step. In many situations, having a professional step in and help identify the culprit and the best solution can save a lot of time and stress. The ant experts at Rove Pest Control are happy to get the ants marching two-by-two, hoorah hoorah away from your car for good.