Do Ants Eat Honey? {Honey vs. Sugar Explained}

Are you wondering what types food will attract ants? Do Ants Eat Honey?

Why do some people believe that ants do not like honey? Isn’t honey a type of sugar that ants crave?

In this article, we will the discuss this topic to find out, “Do Ant Eat Honey?”

Do Ants Eat Honey?

Yes. Ants love the sweet sugary nectar of honey. Pure honey without any moisture from the air of dilution from water will be too sticky for an ant to safely approach.

Honey derived from repellant plants like mint, eucalyptus or citrus may not attract ants.

Why Does Honey Attract Ants?

Ants love honey and are attracted to it because of its high sugar availability. Ants are able to detect the most natural food sources compared to artificial additives. Honey is about as pure as it gets.

The problem with very pure honey is that it is not diluted and it becomes too sticky. The scent of pure honey is very attractive but the texture could cause the ant to get stuck.

It’s best to dilute pure honey at 20% mixed with water if you wish to feed it to ants.

Can I Feed Ants Honey?

You can absolutely feed honey to ants. You can mix a drop of honey with water to create a refreshing liquid drink for ants to devour.

If you accidentally drop honey on the floor, it may not take very long for ants to be attracted to its scent.

Worker ants find honey and alert their counterparts to the destination. Ants then begin drinking the honey and transporting it to their nest in order to feed their queen and the rest of their colony.

Why Don’t Ants Like Honey?

Ants not liking honey is a misconception. The only reasons why an ant would shy away from drinking honey would be if it is:

  • too pure
  • it comes from a repellent plant source.

Too Pure

Pure honey smells great for an ant, but why won’t they drink it? Pure honey doesn’t contain enough moisture to take a nice sip.

Instead, it may act like glue and an ant may not be able to get out of the thick nectar or successfully drink from it.

Repellent Plant Honey

Honey bees do not distinguish between different sources to obtain their nectar. They will look towards multiple plants that will help them in their production.

Some plants are natural repellents for ants. If the honey comes from the plants in the list below, they answer me not wish to eat it:

  • Mint leaf
  • Citrus
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rose leaf

There are plenty of other repellant plants that serve as the source for the honey production process. Ants have a keen sense of smell and will distinguish the sweet inviting odor of some types of honey while being repelled by others.

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Do Ants Prefer Honey or Sugar?

There are many different types of sugar in nature and in artificially created forms. Researching indicates that ants are able to distinguish between them.

In their quest to find the most natural form of sweet nectar honey that contains no additives while being diluted with enough moisture to drink without being stuck in it, is more appealing to an ant than processed sugar.

Unfortunately, many types of honey in the market at the moment contain artificial additives. Depending on the substances that create the end product, ants and their sensitive sense of smell might be able to determine which form of sugar has the least amount of additives.

Overall, honey has more fructose than sugar. This make honey sweeter and more appealing to ants.

How Do I Stop Ants From Eating Honey?

Sealing all containers and jars that contain honey is your first step. If you are eating at the moment or preparing the table with an open container or bowl of honey, you will need a solution to prevent ants from entering.

Honey is incredibly addictive and appealing for an ant due to its high fructose content. Instead of relying on natural repellents to place around the honey that you have on your table, simply drop water around the container.

You can place droplets of water all around the jar of honey. The water will be like the moat surrounding a castle. It will guard and protect the honey since ants do not wish to venture through the water.

Can Ants Get Drunk On Honey?

Ants do not get drunk on honey alone. If there is alcohol content within a mixture that contains honey to attract ants, they will drink from it.

At this point an ant will definitely become drunk from the effects of the alcohol. You will notice them struggling to walk straight or acting like they don’t know where they are.

Ants are extremely attracted to sugary liquids. Many cocktails and alcoholic mixed drinks contain high levels of sugar, which may appeal to ants without knowing that it will make them drunk.

What Are Ants Favorite Food?

The favorite food of an ant is definitely anything that contains sugar. Ants have an inept ability to become attracted to any substance that is naturally sweet with sugar. This includes honey, maple syrup, or raw sugar.

Ants prefer to ingest sugar as a liquid food source. This is why ants prefer drinks that contain sugar over solid foods. The sweet smell of sugar will appeal to the sensitive smell of an ant.

Any sugary drink that contains high fructose corn syrup will soon become the next best thing compared to honey or sugar for an ant to devour.

You will also notice ants eating crumbs of food or dead insects, but none of these compare to the sweet nectar of honey.

How Do You Catch Ants With Honey?

We are a pest management website that focuses on getting rid of nuisance insects or rodents from your home. We also respect the intelligence of ants.

This article is dedicated to anyone who wishes to keep ants, but we also have to direct our focus on those who are suffering with ant infestations.

You can catch ants with honey. The smell of the fructose in honey will clearly attract ants to any liquid solution that you have created with other killer substances mixed in.

Here is one method of catching ants and eradicating them with honey:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of honey with two tablespoons of warm water.
  2. Add one teaspoon of borax. You may also use diatomaceous earth.
  3. Stir the contents together with a spoon. 
  4. Spread the substance across the lid of a jar or a piece of cardboard.
  5. Place your trap anywhere you have noticed a group of ants in your home.
  6. Replace the trap after 1 or 2 days

Can I Eat Honey that Ants Have Touched?

We do not recommend eating any food that ants have been in contact with. This is because ants can carry pathogens and fungal infections on their hard exoskeletons without even noticing.

Ants use formic acid they secrete from their abdomens to clean off these pathogens, but we are left susceptible to ingesting remnants of contamination on our food.

Throw out the honey that an ant has fallen into. Unfortunately, it isn’t safe for consumption anymore.

Tips For Honey Eating Ants

You can use honey to attract ants that you wish to take care of or you can create honey traps.

If you wish to trap an ant in honey, simply mix Borax or baking soda with it. Ants will ingest the powdery substance that will dry out their bodies from the inside out.

Here are a few tips to draw in ants with honey:

  • Make the honey solution as watery as possible.
  • Dilute the honey to 20% purity mixed with water.
  • Seal and clean the lids of jars and containers to keep ants away.
  • Use tiny drops of honey mixed with water if you wish to feed an ant.
  • Place the droplets on a piece of foil or inside a tube.
  • Ants like to hydrate themselves from food sources rather than drinking from standing water.
  • Liquid food sources are more nourishing for ants.
  • Honey mixed with water is the favorite liquid food source for an ant.


Ants love the scent and taste of honey. If the honey is pure, it’s too sticky for them to drink. They may get stuck in honey instead of being able to bring it back to their colony.

Honey that comes from plants like mint, eucalyptus or other naturally occurring ant repellants may not contain the attractive honey scent.

Diluted honey is the best method of feeding ants this delicious nectar. One small droplet is all it takes for ants to be satisfied for the next 2-3 days.

It’s the fructose in the honey that keeps them coming back for more. Sugar doesn’t match up when you weigh the fructose content with each other. Honey takes the cake and remains a favorite food source for ants.


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Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable