Piss ants can cause substantial damage to your house and garden. They are prolific breeders and establish multiple colonies in a short time.
How to get rid of piss ants? Ant baits are one of the most effective ways to eliminate piss ants. First, seal all the cracks, holes, and entry points, then position the baits where the ant trails are and as close to their nest as possible. Practice good sanitation of the house.
Natural methods and home remedies can be applied to control the piss ants. We will share some simple, easy, and eco-friendly methods to control the piss ants infestation.
What Is a Piss Ant? | Information and Facts
These ants are named piss ants because they produce urine (pis means urine) like odor when squeezed, and their nest gives the same odor due to the presence of formic acid. Also, piss ants are sometimes called sugar ants or pharaoh ants. These are some of the smallest ants when compared with some other types.
How Do Piss Ants Look Like?
Piss ants are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long in size and have a wide range of colors from light yellow to reddish-brown and even black. Piss ants have long antennae to sense aromas and 3 pairs of legs. With the help of antennae, they sense danger and search for food.
Female ants have orange-colored bodies, and males are black-winged. The piss ants have three segments, a darker end, and markings or bands on the abdomen. Due to their small size, they can easily travel in small cracks. They are mostly found in warmer and moist areas, near grocery stores, hotels, apartments, hospitals, and outdoors.
Life Cycle of Piss Ants
Piss ants have different castes, workers are smaller and slender, and soldiers are larger. Their colony has mostly a single queen, reproductive male-to-mate, and non-reproductive wingless female workers. The female worker does all the work and defends their colony.
The queen lays eggs that develop into larvae, pupae, and adults in about 45 days. A single queen can establish a new colony after fertilization which can lay hundreds of eggs. They arise in large numbers during springtime. The queen can live up to 12 months, the male up to 3 to 5 weeks, and workers for about 10 weeks.
Can Piss Ants Damage My House?
Piss ants can cause significant damage to your food supplies and household. These pests can spoil food as they carry bacteria and viruses from trash cans and waste materials to your food.
The piss ants can infest your furniture, cupboards, wooden ceilings, and other wooden items. They can do this easily as they multiply rapidly.
How to Get Rid of Piss Ants: Different Methods
If the infestation of piss ants goes undetected in the early stages, you can use various methods to control these pests. These are the most popular ones.
Ant Killer Spray
Orange Guard is an organic insecticide. You can use it to control several varieties of insects. Spray the chemical in cracks, in the kitchen, and around your house. Follow the company instructions for the effective application of the spray.
The other insecticides you can use inside the house are BASF Alpine PT Insecticidal Aerosol, but this is not an organic spray.
The use of ant bait is one of the best methods to control piss ants. You can select greasy protein-based baits, fats-based baits, or sugar baits to lure ants. Once the ants, including the queen, take the bait and ingest it, the insecticide in the bait will cause the colony’s death.
Most of the sweet baits contain Borax in them. You can easily purchase these baits from stores.
Terro Liquid Ant Bait is a good indoor bait. You can apply it near entry points and wherever you see piss ants. It will destroy them in a short time period.
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Boric Acid (Borax)
Application of boric acid at crevices, cracks, and entry points of piss ants will help to control their infestation. The powder sticks to the antennae and legs of ants and causes stomach poisoning, which leads to their death.
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Insect Repellent Plants
Planting herbs can help keep piss ants away from your house. Put sage, peppermint, or tansy plants in your kitchen. You can also place cinnamon strips, turmeric, or bitter pepper around your house to prevent the piss ants from entering. The phytochemicals released from these plants act as insect repellents and keep them away.
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Make dilutions of essential oils of orange, cinnamon, or peppermint. To prepare an insecticide spray, you can add 20 drops of essential oil in 8 ounces of water.
Diatomaceous earth is an organic, harmless, efficient, and eco-friendly way to control piss ants. You can spread the powder evenly at the entry points or on colonies of ants.
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Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Piss Ants | Natural Methods
White Vinegar or Lemon Juice Spray
Mix equal parts of water and vinegar to prepare a piss ant spray. Spray it near entry points or directly on the insect. This will discourage ants from coming into your house.
Similarly, prepare lemon juice spray by adding 4 tablespoons to 8 ounces of water. Spray it like vinegar spray, and it will cause the same effect.
Boric Acid and Sugar
In 1.5 cups of water, add 1.5 tablespoons of boric acid and half a cup of sugar. Mix them gently to prepare a solution. Dump a cotton ball in the mixture until it becomes saturated. Place the cotton near the colonies of ants to kill them.
To make the soap mixture, add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap to 1 cup of vegetable oil and mix it. To finally prepare this insecticide spray, add 2 teaspoons of this mixture to one cup of warm water. Spray it in the cracks and entry points of piss ants, and ants will slowly die.
Dust corn starch near the cracks and nest of piss ants. If they will ingest it, the powder will cause their death.
Use of Aromatic Plants
Piss ants do not like the odor of cucumber, garlic, cloves, or bay leaves. The aroma of these plants will discourage the piss ant from establishing their colonies in your place.
Honey and Boric Acid Mixture
Make a homemade ant bait by mixing an equal quantity of honey and boric acid and apply the paste near the entry points of piss ants.
Piss ants do not like the smell of ground coffee. You can spread coffee near shelters and outdoors to discourage them.
How to Prevent Piss Ants From Invading Your House?
To avoid the infestation of piss ants, you should take early measures before they establish their colonies. Since the piss ants rise in the springtime, that is the perfect time to take preventive measures
- These insects like dark and moist places like pipelines, bathrooms, kitchen sinks, and waste material. Therefore, keep your place clean, tightly seal your pipes and wipe off the wet places.
- Piss ants are primarily attracted to leftovers, sweets, honey, fruits, drinks, cakes, jams, and other eatables. Make sure to clean your kitchen and remove leftovers that can attract ants. Sweep your kitchen floor and counters regularly.
- Do not leave your garbage bags in the house. The ants can sense the food leftovers and garbage. The garbage bags should be sealed and should not have holes.
- Keep a close eye on any cracks or holes in your house, then seal them.
Are Piss Ant Bites Dangerous?
Piss ant bites are not a threat to humans. However, the soldier ants can give a painful bite with their strong jaws. During this bite, ants secrete formic acid on the skin. The acid irritates and, in some cases, even causes an allergic reaction.
Piss Ant Bites Treatment
To treat piss ant bites, apply cold compresses on the bitten spot for about 20 minutes. It will reduce swelling. Take an antihistamine if you have a minor allergic reaction.
Piss ants are attracted to sugary foods, leftovers, or moist places, and if squashed, they smell like urine. Piss ants can cause significant damage to the household by spoiling your food, and like every type of ant, they can transmit bacteria and diseases.
Early prevention of the piss ants can be done with good sanitation practices. Various insecticides and ant baits are available commercially to help control piss ants’ infestation. Whatever you choose, always read the product instructions and be careful. If you are dealing with a more extensive infestation, we suggest you call exterminators.
List of Sources
Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Nyamukondiwa, C., & Addison, P. (2014), Food preference and foraging activity of ants: recommendations for field applications of low-toxicity baits. Journal of insect science.
Potter M., Ant Control for Householders, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
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