How to Get Rid of Pissants in the Kitchen – Your Guide to Pest Freedom

Piss ants can cause significant damage to your kitchen and home when left alone. After all, they are prolific breeders, creating several colonies in short periods. And once established, these ants can be challenging to remove. So, you may be wondering how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen?

I’ve created this thorough guide to help you solve your piss ants issue at home. Read on to see which method works best for you.

What are Pissants?

micro photography of two black ants on white panel
Photo Courtesy of Thomas Kinto

Piss ants, also known as sugar ants, are famous for loving sweet elements and having an unusual odor. These particular ants produce a urine-like smell. Hence their name.

And the distinctive scent of these ants comes from the presence of formic aside inside them.

Aside from their odor, these ants also have something in common: they’re pretty small.

Measuring between 1/6 and 1/8 inches, these ants are tinier than other ant species.

But despite these similar traits, piss ants still come in different shapes and sizes. For instance, you may see some piss ants colored yellow while others are entirely black. Regardless, you’ll never spot a piss ant alone. After all, they like working in groups, creating larges colonies.

Piss ants can create large colonies during the spring, where their queen can live up to a year.

Identifying Pissants

As mentioned earlier, piss ants can come in different shapes and sizes. And to get rid of them effectively, you’ll need to know what type of piss ant you’re dealing with in your kitchen. So, to make it easy, check out the three most common piss ants:

🐜 Pharaoh Ant

Pharaoh Ant - How to Get Rid of Pissants in the Kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Do-It-Yourself Pest Control

You can find pharaoh ants foraging and nesting in internal structures.

They usually hide in homes in quiet places and are difficult to reach. And these include wall voids or under cabinets. 

Moreover, they likely live in kitchens as they prefer to be near food and water resources. 

You can distinguish pharaoh ants from other piss ants by taking note of the following:

  • Size & Shape: 1/16 inches to 1/8 inches and segmented
  • Antenna: Slightly bent
  • Color: Yellowish, red, or light brown
  • Pattern: They don’t have any pattern
  • Nodes: One
  • Food preference: Sweets, other insects, and protein
  • Common nest areas: Near water and food sources, indoors

🐜 Odorous Ant

Odorous Ant
Photo Courtesy of Extension Entomology – Texas A&M University

This type of piss ant is versatile, infesting indoor and outdoor areas. However, odorous ants usually migrate indoors during colder climates or when raining. After all, these ants prefer living near water sources. 

Also, since water attracts odorous piss ants, you can find them inside kitchens. 

You can distinguish odorous ants from other piss ants by taking note of the following:

  • Size & Shape: 1/8 inches and segmented
  • Antenna: Bent
  • Color: Dark brown or black
  • Pattern: They don’t have any pattern
  • Nodes: One
  • Food preference: Human foods, ranging from salt to sweets
  • Common nest areas: Shallow mounds or inside wall voids

🐜 Ghost Ant

Ghost Ants
Photo Courtesy of Arrow Exterminators

This piss ant is one of the most prevalent ants worldwide. Ghost ants are flexible, establishing nests in indoor and outdoor areas.

Aside from this, they’re also versatile regarding their eating habits. So, even if they prefer sweet substances, they can also eat protein or grease when needed. 

Ghost ants have a generally translucent body, resembling a ghost. Hence, their name. And they’re one of the few ant species that develop more than one queen. So, expect ghost ant colonies to grow fast!

You can distinguish ghost ants from other piss ants by taking note of the following:

  • Size & Shape: 1/2 inches to 3/4 inches and segmented
  • Antenna: Bent
  • Color: Dark brown thorax and head, translucent legs and stomach
  • Pattern: They don’t have any pattern
  • Nodes: One
  • Food preference: Sweet substances and other human foods like grease, dairy, or protein
  • Common nest areas: Shallow mounds or inside wall voids

Knowing the most common piss ants is ideal. However, I suggest knowing more about identifying ants in general. With this, learning how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen should be a breeze! To help you out, here’s a brief discussion on identifying piss ants:

✔️ Appearance

There are many ways to examine an ant’s appearance. But the best way is by capturing one and using a magnifying glass to check it out. It’s best for those looking to identify ants on a whim. If you don’t have one, you can take a photo of the ant using a macro lens. 

Either way, looking at the appearance is one of the best ways to see ants’ unique characteristics. 

✔️ Food Preference

Although ants are famous for liking sweets, they have a more diverse diet than you think! Some like protein better than sweets, while others love some grease. For example, piss ants usually like sweet substances better. On the other hand, carpenter ants prefer protein over sweets. 

Knowing an ant’s food preference is a great way to make pre-bait. It gives you a baseline of the best thing to use for your bait treatment. 

✔️ Nest Location

The final thing to look for is nest locations when identifying ants. You can do this by following their trails, which often leads to their nest. Keep in mind that different ants thrive in various environments. So, it pays to know more about their common nest areas. 

For instance, piss ants like living in more secluded areas near food and water resources. On the other hand, carpenter ants like living inside wooden void walls or wood in general. However, it’s not easy to see where ant nests are. After all, they often settle in hard-to-reach places. 

Either way, you can always focus on the ant’s appearance and food preferences if you can’t find their nest. 

How to Get Rid of Pissants in the Kitchen?

Now that you know what piss ants are and how to identify them, here’s how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen:

🚫 Eliminate 

how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen - white and black kitchen counter
Photo Courtesy of Sidekix Media

Remove any items or conditions that might be attracting piss ants to your kitchen. Although there are many factors to consider, I suggest focusing on water and food sources.

After all, these are where ants thrive the best. 

The best way to get rid of food and water resources from your kitchen and home, in general, is via cleaning. It’s best to focus on the kitchen as it’s the number one moisture and food source.

Here are a few of my proven tips to eliminate food and water sources in your home:

  • Vacuum under kitchen appliances to remove unseen crumbs, spills, and other debris. 
  • Never leave dirty dishes on your sink or table for too long. 
  • Wipe down your kitchen countertop, shelves, and other joint surfaces like the sink. 
  • Store pet food in airtight containers, and always clean your pet’s bowl after their meals. 
  • Put your leftovers in airtight containers and store them inside your fridge. 
  • Address spills fast or wet surfaces, in general, to avoid creating excess moisture. 

🪤 Pre-Baiting

brown and black ants on white surface
Photo Courtesy of Macro Neri

One of the best ways to eliminate pissants in your kitchen is by pre-baiting them. It lets you kill ants while helping you learn more about your particular infestation.

In short, it’s a great way to scout what kind of piss ants you’re dealing with and how to remove them effectively. 

Pre-baiting involves setting up baits around your home to attract these ants. I recommend using standard sugar-based baits as most piss ants prefer sweet substances.

On the other hand, you may also use protein-based alternatives as most piss ants like them.

Here are some pre-baits that you can whip up at home:

  • A honey solution is a sugar-based bait you can make at home. It consists of 50% honey and 50% water. 
  • Protein-based baits are single food items like meat or peanut butter. 

I suggest testing each bait to see what the piss ants’ you’re dealing with like the most. Also, ensure to place them in places where you’ve seen ants in the past. That, or you can directly place a bait beside active ant trails. 

Either way, pre-baiting helps you get rid of ants from the surface. And it lets you locate their nest as fast as possible. 

✅ Prepare the ‘Main’ Baits

brown and black fire ants on brown sand - how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Amit Talwar

After pre-baiting the piss ants, you can now whip up the actual ‘main’ baits. It’s an efficient way of getting rid of any ant. 

These baits should be laced with insecticides to kill off ants slowly but surely. Not to mention, these help you take advantage of an ant’s everyday eating habits. After all, ants share their newfound food with the rest of their colonies. 

So, that means one food source is enough to kill numerous ants at once. And yes, these baits let you kill piss ants that aren’t even inside your kitchen or home! 

Over time, these poisoned baits should kill the whole colony. 

However, to benefit from this baiting strategy, you need to focus on three factors:

Type of Bait

Pick one with the same base as your pre-bait when choosing bait. For example, if you see the piss ants flocking to your sugar-based pre-bait more, stick with that. 

Aside from that, you also need to consider what kind of bait works best for your situation. After all, some baits don’t work well, depending on the location. For example, gel baits can’t survive long in outdoor areas. Hence, they’re best for indoor infestations. 

You’re stuck with two choices when preparing ant bait: indoor or outdoor baits. Here’s a brief explanation about them:

🏠 Indoor Bait 

When dealing with piss ants inside, most spray the trails with insecticide spray. And though this is a great way to kill ant trails, they don’t eliminate the nest. So, indoor baits are your best option when handling indoor piss ants. 

They let you kill the whole colony with minimal effort. And for indoor baits, your best choices are gel bait or bait stations:

  • Bait station. This consists of a small cartridge with potent bait that ants can go in and out from. They kill the ants without putting your kids or pets from harm as they have a safety barrier.
  • Gel bait. This is the looser form of a bait station. Gel baits come in syringes, allowing you to place tiny drops around your house. They’re easier to monitor and apply in hard-to-reach areas. 

When dealing with piss ants, places to watch out for indoors are the following: 

  • Baseboards
  • Window sills
  • Wall voids
  • Under the kitchen sink
  • Cabinets
  • Door hinges
  • Door sills
  • Underneath kitchen appliances
🌲Outdoor Ant Bait

Although piss ants usually thrive indoors, it doesn’t mean they can’t live outdoors. After all, most infestations come from outside. So, outdoor ant bait is also a viable option to consider. 

For outdoor ant baits, I recommend using refillable bait stations. They let eliminate incoming piss ants from every direction. 

When dealing with piss ants, places to watch out for outdoors are the following:

  • Gardens
  • Sprinklers
  • Ant mounds
  • Trees 
  • Bushes
  • Driveway

Location and Placement

When discovering more about how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen, you’ll see how crucial location and placement are. After all, this determines how efficient your baits will be.

I recommend placing your baits in all the areas where you’ve seen piss ants before. Doing this makes it easier to eliminate the ants at once.

▶ Other Food Sources

The final factor that determines the success of your baits is other food sources. And these include leftover foods, crumbs, or the pre-baits you made earlier. Either way, don’t forget to remove these! After all, baits are only efficient when they’re the only food source available.

💨 Non-Repellent Spray

person holding sprayer
Photo Courtesy of Towfiqu barbhuiya

If you’re looking for a swift killing of an ant infestation, use non-repellent spray. It’s a no-frills method of eliminating piss ant trails in your kitchen.

Non-repellent sprays consist of slow-acting insecticides that slowly but surely kill ants. And the best thing about non-repellent sprays is that they’re 100% undetectable to ants. They’ll often walk over the spray and unknowingly bring the poison to their nest.

So, apply a barrier treatment around your kitchen for fast results. I recommend using non-repellent sprays with residual effects. After all, these keep the insecticide active for a long time after application!

🍃 Natural Remedies

yellow lemon fruit beside clear glass bottle
Photo Courtesy of Precious Plastic Melbourne

If you don’t want to handle chemicals, there are plenty of ways to naturally get rid of piss ants. Here are some of the most accessible and efficient home remedies to try:

Make a Vinegar Spray

Make a vinegar solution by mixing 1:1 parts of water and white vinegar. It’s best to spray this near entry points or directly on invading ant trails.

Either way, this is an excellent deterrent for piss ants. However, this will leave a foul odor for a while, so there are other home remedies to try if this isn’t for you. 

Make a Lemon Juice Spray

Opt for lemon juice instead if you don’t want to stink up your home with vinegar. You can make this by adding around four tablespoons of lemon juice to at least eight ounces of water. Then spray the solution to the affected areas. 

Boric Acid + Sugar Combo

Mix a cup and a half of water to half a cup of sugar and one and a half tablespoons of boric acid. Mix the ingredient thoroughly until smooth. You can apply this natural insecticide using a cotton ball and place it near ant nests. 

Soap and Vegetable Oil Spray

Grab your dishwashing soap and oil for a quick and efficient home remedy! Add around a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap to a cup of vegetable oil. Dump the solution into a cup of warm water and spray it in affected cracks, holes, and other entry points. 


If you don’t want to go through making the sprays and solutions above, grab your cornstarch! All you must do is sprinkle some of the cornstarch in affected areas. The piss ants will ingest it, slowly killing them over time. 

🚪Close Off Points of Entry

photo of floor tiles between wall -
Photo Courtesy of Daniel Tseng

How to get rid of pissants in the kitchen? One of the best ways to eliminate pissants in your kitchen is to close off entry points.

To begin, target the most common entryways ants use to invade homes. And these range from electrical sockets to cracks in door sills. 

Either way, here are some of the best practices in closing off points of entry:

  • Seal cracks or holes outside of your house with caulk. 
  • Block off gaps around your window sill and door sills. 
  • Install weatherstrip on your doors and windows. 
  • Invest in door sweeps. 

When blocking off entry points, check your entire home carefully! After all, piss ants are small and can go through the tiniest cracks. So, don’t forget to check your home’s foundations, wall edges, windows, and doors. 

Getting Rid of Pissants (Preventive Measures)

Although it’s easy to learn how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen, prevention is still key! So, take a couple of steps ahead of time so you don’t have to deal with piss ants in your kitchen ever again.

Here are my tried-and-tested prevention techniques:

✔️ Remove Food Sources

When dealing with piss ants, food is the most crucial factor. After all, these ants love their food! So, to keep them outside of your kitchen and home in general, eliminate any potential food sources. 

Make sure to clean your home often to avoid leaving food around for too long. So, check to see that there’s no food or crumbs astray in your house. And yes, this includes uncommon areas as well! These include under kitchen appliances, furniture, and corners. 

Aside from regular cleaning, keep your food sealed in airtight containers. It deters ants from invading your kitchen in the first place.

✔️ Don’t Forget the Water

Like people, ants also need water to live. You may notice ants parading around wet areas, like your kitchen sink, even when you don’t have food lying around! So, eliminate any potential water sources to discourage pissants from invading your kitchen and home.

Aside from that, you also need to address excess moisture problems in and outside of your home. These include things such as leaky faucets or pipes. 

✔️ Block Off Entry Points

Keep in mind that the more challenging it is for piss ants to get into your home, the less likely they will invade. It makes sense to seal off entry points around your house. And here are the most common places I suggest you block off:

  • Foundational cracks
  • Cracks or holes on the walls
  • Doors
  • Window sills
  • Around windows and doors
  • Pipes or wires penetrating your house’s walls
  • Edge walls
  • Under your kitchen sink
  • Electrical sockets

I recommend applying dust insecticide into these places before you seal them up. Doing so lets you kill any ants hiding inside them, preventing them from escaping. 

✔️ Cut Off Vegetation

Cut any branches touching your walls, roofs, or windows. After all, they can serve as a bridge for piss ants and other ants like carpenter ants. 

Also, if you have plants in your kitchen or home, I recommend dusting some insecticide around them. It deters ants from climbing and invading spaces like your kitchen cabinets or sinks. 

Aside from that, I suggest keeping your outdoor area clean. After all, having piles of plants or trees give any ant a great thriving shelter. And not to mention, it lets them hide undisturbed. 

✔️ Watch Out for the Mulch

Although we’re focusing on preventing piss ants from invading your kitchen, reducing mulch is still a great idea. After all, having too much can provide these ants with the perfect, thriving shelter. Mulch offers a generous amount of moisture, providing excellent insulation against harsh temperatures.

But if removing mulch isn’t possible, ensure to replace old ones with fresh ones annually. Also, you can replace mulch with rocks, pebbles, gravel, or rubber. They’re easier to replace and maintain, and they don’t emit as much moisture as regular mulch!

Not to mention, rocks and rubber are usually too dense and small for piss ants to go through. As a result, they shouldn’t be able to get into your kitchen—or home. 

✔️ Regularly Inspect Your Home

The one thing I always advocate when discussing how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen is regular upkeep! After all, it keeps your home clean and your kitchen pest-free. So, it’s only natural to add the same ideology to your prevention strategy. And the most effective way to do this is by regularly monitoring or inspecting your house.

But before anything else, I recommend discovering where the ants in your home are located. Knowing this early on helps you find the best treatment method later on. As you monitor your house, take note of any areas you find piss ants enter, exit, or walk around. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I permanently remove piss ants in my kitchen?

A: The best way to deal with piss ants in the kitchen is with vinegar. It would be best to wipe the affected areas with a vinegar solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water. It’s best to use white vinegar as it’s stronger and can repel pissants simultaneously.

Q: Why are there piss ants in my kitchen?

A: You may have food scraps lying around. After all, even the most minuscule amounts attract hordes of piss ants. However, there are also other reasons you may have piss ants in your kitchen

Q: Will piss ants go away by themselves?

A: If you don’t maintain the cleanliness around your home, the piss ants won’t leave on their own. So, you need to be proactive and clean up any food or drink spills. Doing so helps you keep your kitchen and entire home ant- and overall pest-free. 

Q: How can I find a piss ant nest?

A: Ants lay pheromone trails when they find a food or water source, which other ants will follow. So, if you spot any unusual spots with trails of ants, you’re likely near their nest. But to give you an idea, their nests are often located in quiet spaces like inside the walls. 

Q: What time do piss ants come out?

A: Although you’ll be able to spot pissants in the morning, they usually come out at night. After all, ants are nocturnal insects. So, expect worker piss ants to come out in the evening or dusk. And they usually return to their respective nests at dawn. 

Final Words

Whether you’ve recently seen them or have been dealing with them for a while, piss ants can be a menace. And the techniques mentioned can help you solve the dilemma of how to get rid of pissants in the kitchen. There’s plenty for you to explore, from cutting off entry points to using ready-made baits and sprays.

Either way, the methods above are tried and tested, helping you turn your kitchen pest-free in no time.

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