How to Get Rid of Piss Ants: A Complete Guide

Piss ants attack can be a great cause of frustration, if not handled carefully. They can cause substantial damage to your house or garden. They are prolific breeders and establish multiple colonies in a small period of time.

Once established, it can be difficult to get rid of piss ants. In a few months, you will find them everywhere, in cupboards, with food, in sweet jars, waste cans, near pipes, dark areas, etc. To unravel the problem and avoid the expected damage, we have designed a complete guide that will help you get rid of the piss ants.

We have went in-depth on their prevention, management techniques and natural and synthetic methods of getting rid of them. Let’s start!

How to get rid of piss ants? Poisonous ant baits are one of the most effective ways to get rid of piss ants. There are also many natural and more chemically heavy methods to choose from. Also, with bigger piss ant infestations it is always recommended to call professional exterminators. Early precautions should be taken to stop the infestation of piss ants by not letting them inside your house. Seal all the cracks, holes and entry points. Practice good sanitation of the house. If it is not controlled in the early stages, then stronger measures need to be applied to prevent the damage.

You can also follow the trail of piss ants when they take food in their nests. After finding their nests you can also use insecticides to eliminate the colonies of piss ants. Most of the time they shelter under rocks, in cranks, dark places or yards.

To avoid hazardous effects of chemicals or insecticides you can also use natural insecticides or other natural methods to get rid of piss ants.

There are various natural methods and home remedies that can be applied to control the piss ants. We are going to share some of the simple, easy and eco-friendly methods to control the piss ants in order to avoid any problems.

However, to effectively control the piss ant colonies, first, you must have a clear idea about how they look, their life cycle and what damage they can cause you. Now let’s give you some info about these ants!

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 in them. Also, piss ants are sometimes called sugar ant or pharaoh ant. 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, have wide range 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.

Females 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 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 then to adults in about 45 days. A new colony can be established by a single queen after fertilization which can lay hundreds of eggs. They arise in large numbers during springtime. The queen can live up to 12 months, male up to 3 to 5 weeks and workers for about 10 weeks.


Can Piss Ants Damage My House?

Piss ants can cause great damage to your food supplies and household. These pests can spoil your food. Piss ant can carry bacteria and viruses from trash cans, waste materials or even from other harmful sources to your food.

The piss ants can infest your furniture, cupboards, wooden ceilings and other wooden items. They can do this easily due to their rapid growth.


How to Get Rid of Piss Ants: Different Methods

If the infestation of piss ants goes undetected in the early stages then you can our various methods to control these pests. These are the most popular ones.


Chemical Methods


Ant Killer Spray

Orange Guard is an organic insecticide, you can use it to control a number of varieties of insects. Spray the chemical in cracks, kitchen and around your house. Follow the company instructions for the effective application of the spray.

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  • Indoor/outdoor insecticide
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The other insecticides you can use inside the house are BASF Alpine PT Insecticidal Aerosol but this is not organic spray.

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Ant Baits

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 death of the colony.

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 really destroy them in a short time period.

TERRO T300B 2-Pack Liquid Ant Baits
  • Kills the ants you see and the ones you don’t
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Boric Acid (Borax)

Application of boric acid at crevices, cracks and entry points of piss ant 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.

Ecoxall Chemicals Number 1 Multi-Purpose Boric Acid Granular Powder 99.9% Pure Anhydrous 1 Pound Bag
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Biological Methods


Insect Repellent Plants

Planting herbs can be helpful in keeping 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 that get released from these plants act as insect repellents and keep them away.

Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil, Pure and Natural, Therapeutic Grade Peppermint Oil, 4 fl. oz.
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Make dilutions of essential oils of orange, cinnamon or peppermint. You can add 20 drops of essential oil in 8 ounces of water to prepare an insecticide spray.


Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is the 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

Piss ants can also be controlled using home remedies or natural methods. Here, we are going to share some of the efficient home remedies to control piss ants.


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 to come into your house.

Similarly, prepare lemon juice spray by adding 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in 8 ounces water. Spray it like vinegar spray, it will cause the same effect.


Boric Acid and Sugar

In 1.5 cups of water, add 1.5 tablespoons of boric acid and a 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.


Soap Spray

To make the soap mixture, add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap in 1 cup of vegetable oil and mix it. To finally prepare this insecticide spray you can add 2 teaspoons of this mixture in one cup of warm water. Spray it in the cracks and entry points of piss ants and ants will slowly die.


Cornstarch

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 to establish 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.


Ground Coffee

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?

How to Prevent Piss Ants From Invading Your House

To avoid the infestation of piss ants, you should take early measures before the establishment of their colonies. The first step to control and manage these pest attacks is to take preventive measures. Since the piss ants rise in the springtime, so, you must be extra careful in that time period.


  • These insects like dark and moist places like pipelines, bathrooms, kitchen sink and waste material. Therefore, keep your place clean, tightly seal your pipes and wipe off the wet places.
  • Do not leave your garbage bags in the house and dispose of them. 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 your house and if you find any cracks or holes then make sure to seal them.

Are Piss Ant Bites Dangerous?

Piss ants bites are not a threat to humans and they cannot sting. 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 causes irritation and in some cases even 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 the swelling. Take an antihistamine, if you have a minor allergic reaction.


Summary

Piss ants are easily get attracted to sugary foods, leftovers or moist places and if squashed they smell like urine. Piss ants can cause great damage to the household by spoiling your food and like every type of ant they can transmit bacteria and with that different diseases.

Early prevention of the piss ants can be done with good sanitation practices. Various insecticides and ant baits are available commercially that can be helpful to control piss ants infestation. Whatever you chose, always read the product instructions and be careful. If you are dealing with a bigger infestation, we suggest that you call exterminators.

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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

Ants, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida