Do Ants Eat Honey

Do Ants Eat Honey

Do you have an ant farm, or do you need to get rid of some ants that are taking over our home? Whatever the reason, the facts are the same.

Ants are opportunistic and when scouter ants find a food source, they create a trail from the food back to the nest. It won’t be long until you have ants swarming the food. Sugary foods are a favorite, but do ants eat honey too?

Ants will eat honey because they are attracted to the sugar in sweet food. From house ants to larger outdoor carpenter ants, honey is a great source of glucose and fructose which gives them energy for their daily activities. Honey that is diluted with water is more appealing to ants because it reduces some of the stickiness and is easier to eat.

Why Do Ants Eat Honey

Ants are attracted to sweet and sugary foods, and this includes honey. Honey that is diluted is more attractive to ants as it reduces some of the stickiness.

If you have honey on your cupboards, you can keep the ants away by keeping the outside of the container clean. Otherwise, they will be attracted by the sweet smell.

Ants eat honey and other sugary substances for the same reason we do. They need energy and carbohydrates, and sugars are the best source of this energy.

Honey contains both glucose and fructose which gives ants the energy they need for their daily efforts. Ants are opportunistic so will seek out any source of energy which is why it is important to keep containers clean.

Because ants appear around open containers, many people mistakenly think they smell the sugar and start swarming. But this is not true.

Ants send out scouters at random to search for food. When this small group comes across a viable food source, it carries some of it back to the nest.

On the way back these scouters leave a pheromone trail, which leads other ants back to the food source. By the time you see that line of ants, you can be sure that several groups have already been through the area.

Can I Feed My Ants Honey

Ants are always looking for energy sources, so you can feed them honey. They like sugar and a liquid form is best such as honey and syrup.

It is a good idea to dilute the honey so that ants do not become stuck and die. The more sugar there is, the thicker the liquid will be which increases risk to the ants.

There are different ways to feed your ants diluted honey. You can fill a test tube that is plugged with cotton. They can absorb the liquid through the cotton without a risk of drowning.

You can also pour a small amount of honey on aluminum foil which acts as a plate to keep the ants safe.

Do Carpenter Ants Like Honey

Carpenter ants are larger ants primarily found in and around wood. Just like other ants, carpenter ants will also be attracted to sugary energy sources like honey.

These ants live outdoors and are rarely found in houses, so they mostly eat insects. However, if you are outdoors, camping, you are likely to see these ants around.

They will be attracted to any foods you have that are sweet. This is because they are attracted to the honeydew that small insects like aphids produce.

Honey that is left out, resembles that smell and will attract carpenter ants. Carpenter ants can become trapped in a house in which case they will seek out food and this usually ends up being honey, sugar, jelly, and other sweets.

Does Genuine Honey Attract Ants

Genuine honey attracts ants. How quickly the ants are attracted will vary according to moisture, humidity, and the location.

Moisture can affect different types of honey. Processed honey contains more added sugars so will be much stickier than pure honey.

Honey that is pure is waterier which allows air and scent molecules to circulate more freely. This brings in more ants.

The more moisture and humidity in the air, the more scents will travel so pure honey stored in a non-dry location will be an easier target for ants.

Does Pure Organic Honey Attract Ants

There is a common misconception that ants are not attracted to pure organic honey because it is not as sweet as processed honey. This is not true.

While ants are attracted to fake honey with added sugars, there is still enough natural sugar present in organic honey to attract ants.

Ants are opportunistic and will feed on anything they think is nutritious. The natural sugars in pure honey are full of energy and therefore nutritious to hungry ants.

Anyone that has spent time around ants will know that they are attracted to things that are good for them. His includes food in its most natural state, like pure organic honey.

Does Eating Honey Kill Ants

Honey is good for ants so eating it will not kill them. The danger to ants comes with getting stuck in the honey and drowning.

That is why many use honey to attract and trap ants they want to remove. If you have ants that you want to feed, then you can use honey, but it is best to dilute it first.

Adding water to the honey reduces the stickiness. It is also best to only use small drops of honey at a time, as the more there is, the larger the risk for drowning.

Do Ants Prefer Honey or Sugar

Ants like sweet foods and will seek it out in multiple forms. The more liquid the sugar is, the easier it is for ants to consume.

Even though honey is technically a liquid, it holds very little water. Because ants get their water from the food they consume, they prefer food sources that also contain water.

This is why ants prefer sugar water over honey. Sugar water is also not as viscous which means less risk of drowning.

Ants have to work really hard to absorb water and sugar from thick liquids like honey. Sugar water makes the job much easier for them.

This does not mean they will not be attracted to or eat honey. By adding water to small drops of honey you can create an alternate version of sugar water. This will give ants the water and sugar they seek.

Helpful Tips To Know About Ants Eating Honey

Knowing how ants react around honey is important for one of two reasons. Either you have ants you want to feed, or you want to trap ants.

Whatever the reason is, there are a few tips to remember when it comes to attracting ants with honey.

  • Ants get water from their food sources, so liquid food sources are better
  • Dilute honey to reduce stickiness and risk of drowning
  • If you do not want ants, keep all containers sealed and clean
  • Smaller amounts of honey work better, especially when served on a piece of foil or in a tube

Final Thoughts

Ants may be small, but they require a lot of energy. They get food and water from the same sources, which makes liquid foods like honey an ideal find.

If you need to trap ants or have ants you are feeding, honey will provide what they need. But remember if you are taking care of the ants, dilute the honey first, so they don’t drown.

The bottom line is that if you leave honey, the ants will come.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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