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Small Ants & Sugar Ants Pest Control in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Small Ants & Sugar Ants

The most prevalent kinds of small ants in Portland, OR; Vancouver, WA; & Camas metro areas are the odorous house ant, the moisture ant, and the pavement ant.

Sugar Ant Description

Sugar Ant Up-Close View in Portland OR and Vancouver WA


The sugar ant is very small—measuring about 2.4-3.3mm long. They are typically about as small as a pencil eraser. Although they are small, they quickly become noticeable as they swarm around food or stream through your home in a line. 


Sugar ants are typically black in color.


This might sound strange, but when crushed, sugar ants release an unpleasant, coconut-smelling odor. Sugar ants have a gland that releases this smell and it’s why they are called the odorous house ant.

What are sugar ants?

The odorous house ant, or “sugar ant,” is the most common house ant found in the Pacific Northwest. If you notice a stream of small ants, odds are, you’re looking at a sugar ant. Most of the ant problems our technicians treat are related to sugar ants.

How did I get sugar ants?

The two main reasons ants are attracted to our homes are water and shelter. This is why sugar ants often appear in kitchen and bathroom areas or adjacent parts of the house.

What do sugar ants eat?

Sugar ants are opportunistic. They’ll usually take advantage of any food they come across, and the more food left out, the more ants will be attracted, leading to a massive ant infestation. Keeping food and water from being left unattended is a good first step to ensuring sugar ant problems do not continue to occur.

Additionally, ant scouts leave pheromones or “scent trails” for their friends to follow—hence the infamous marching ants. Thus, when one sugar ant discovers food or a potentially sheltered area to be colonized, more are sure to follow.

Where are the sugar ants coming from?

Sugar ants typically invade homes via houseplants, small holes where outlets or utilities enter your home, tiny cracks in the moulding or foundation, or through windows or doors that are poorly sealed.

Sugar ants like areas with moisture

“Satellite” colonies are usually established in wall voids within the home and are most often found near moisture (e.g., kitchen, bathroom areas, and the laundry room).

Still not sure if you’re looking at a sugar ant?


Sugar Ant Tips

Are Sugar Ants Harmful?

Are Sugar Ants Harmful Icon
Generally speaking, sugar ants are harmless to humans and property structures.

Are sugar ants poisonous?

Sugar ants are not poisonous. They do not sting.

Do sugar ants bite?

While sugar ants have mandibles that allow them to pinch, it’s uncommon and not very painful. The only concern from a bite would be if someone were highly allergic.

Will sugar ants damage my home?

Sugar ants are unlike termites and carpenter ants as they don’t damage property. They will get into and ruin your food, however. Otherwise, they won’t cause structural damage.

Are Sugar Ants SEASONAL?

Are Sugar Ants Seasonal Icon
Sugar ants are primarily active from early March to late October.

Due to the Washington and Oregon state area’s temperate climate, the outdoor foraging cycle in the Pacific Northwest lasts much longer than in other areas. The cycle ranges from early March to late October. Sugar ants, therefore, have more time to enter your home, populate, and continuously create a larger ant problem.

Why do sugar ants move indoors?

Indoors, ants in the Northwest can continue their life cycle year-round. This gives ants plenty of time to find a home to seek food and shelter in and let their entire ant colony know to join them as well.


can i treat Sugar Ants on my own?

DIY Sugar Ant Treatment Icon
Most DIY treatments do not have the strength to disrupt sugar ants’ egg cycles.

While many over-the-counter pesticides are available, they never get to the source of the sugar ant problem. Consequently, we strongly recommend meeting with one of our pest control technicians for a free inspection and consultation.

Do repellent sprays work on sugar ants?

Repellent sprays will kill sugar ants in the immediate contact area but not break the sugar ants’ egg cycle.

Are DIY sugar ant baits effective?

Sugar ant baits will kill a few ants inside the nest but often lack the strength to disrupt the egg cycle and terminate the sugar ant colony.


Sugar ant extermination with guaranteed results


Why should I call professional pest control?

Too often, homeowners delay calling a pest control professional because they are worried about the price. Contact us for a free, no-pressure inspection and consultation.

Prevent a sugar ant infestation

Odorous house ants in the Pacific Northwest frequently move their nests indoors, causing an ant infestation to occur. What’s more, an odorous house ant colony has multiple queens and nesting sites, which can make ant control and removal in the Pacific Northwest a headache for homeowners because multiple nests are spread out across the house.

Early intervention is crucial for sugar ant termination.

Leaving any ant problem unattended invites a more extensive ant infestation. Ant colonies inside a home may also become well-established over time, making effective control arduous. That’s why early intervention is so crucial. Homeowners should bring in professional ant removal and control specialists to address the problem, as many of the over-the-counter solutions may cause the ant problem to worsen by fracturing the colony.

Sugar Ant Treatment



Aspen Pest Control’s technicians will arrive at your home punctually and work with you to identify the issue. Our technicians will inspect the house for pests, their entry points, and the damage they may have caused. The technician will then build a treatment plan based on your needs and budget.

Aspen Pest Control Technician Treating the Floorboards of a Portland OR Home


Apply products

Aspen Pest Control uses commercial-grade “non-repellent” pest control products on sugar ants. These products are specifically designed to be undetectable to ants (no odor or taste). Consequently, because ants can’t detect products, they can’t avoid them. The pheromone or scent trails remain intact, and our products are gradually taken back to the nest, ultimately breaking the sugar ants’ egg cycle.

Aspen Pest Control Technician Treating a Vancouver WA Yard with Green Pest Control Product



Regaining control of your house is usually more of a process than an event. Continually examining the sugar ant infestation and corresponding problem areas is required to stop the ant population. Aspen has used its proven method on sugar ants thousands of times successfully. Your sugar ant infestation doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to our professional treatment.

Aspen Pest Control Technician Setting Pest Bait Trap While Talking to Vancouver WA Homeowner

Secure your home from sugar ants 


Aspen Pest Control Technician Giving a Free Pest Control Consultation to Vancouver WA Homeowner

100% satisfaction guarantee

Regaining control of your house is usually more of a process than an event. Continually examining the sugar ant infestation and corresponding problem areas is required to stop the ant population. Aspen has used its proven method on sugar ants thousands of times successfully. Your sugar ant infestation doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to our professional treatment.

Call Aspen Pest Control today and get rid of your sugar ant problem.

Talk with an expert pest control technician 


Vancouver Office:


12104 NE 95th St.

Vancouver, WA 98682


Portland Office:


8305 SE Monterey Ave

Suite 220 Q

Happy Valley, OR 97086

Mailing Address:

19215 SE 34th St

Suite #106-155

Camas, WA 98607

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