Trick-or-Treat: Four Types of Pests Attracted to Sugar in Candy

Halloween is upon us, and one of the most frightening things you might encounter is an unwanted or unexpected intruder sticking its appendages into the candy bowl. Pests are attracted to a number of things, and sugary candies are right up there at the top of the list. If you want to keep your home safe and your sugar stash protected for trick-or-treaters who deserve it, check out this list of four types of pests that are drawn to sugar in things like candy.


If you have ever accidentally spilled a small amount of a sugary drink like a soda or lemonade and delayed cleaning it up, you have probably experienced how short of a time it takes for ants to descend upon the spill. Within minutes, a single ant can find their way to the mess, and within an hour or two after that, your entire home might be crawling with ants clamoring to get to the sugar so they can collect it and bring it back to their colony.

Cleaning up an ant invasion is an annoying chore, and keeping ants out once they have found their way in is an even more difficult challenge. Once inside, ants will frequently send scouts out to look for other sources of food they can detect. And with their tremendous sense of smell, you can be certain it won’t be long before they find their way into areas like your pantry or refrigerator.

Mice & Rats

Vermin like mice and rats are scavengers that are constantly looking for scraps or any other food source they can consume. With a great sense of smell and the ability to break into homes through gaps that seem like they might be way too small, keeping these critters away from your sugar stock can be a challenge if you have any unwrapped candy.

Mice and rats can be particularly tricky to keep away from stored food purely because they are so incredibly resourceful. They are primarily active during nighttime hours and often move under the cover of darkness (a natural characteristic developed to help them avoid predators). Traps can help you eliminate the problem slowly, but the issue can quickly get out of hand if it isn’t addressed correctly.


Flies seem to find their way into anything with an odor, including trash cans, waste piles, and yes, even food storage. Ants are constantly on the lookout for anything they can use to eat and lay their eggs in, and rotting food is a perfect source of nutrition as well as shelter for their young larvae. This is why both indoor and outdoor trash cans can struggle with the extremely smelly problem of maggots.

Flies are drawn to sugar because sugar emits a pretty substantial odor that flies are able to detect with ease. Flies have the innate ability to detect carbon dioxide sources, and that’s why they are so often drawn to waste and other rotting things that are in a constant state of decay. However, the good news is flies are generally easy to keep away with the use of a bug repellent candle or something similar. A bug zapper lamp can also go a long way toward keeping your front door free from these obnoxious pests.


Much like flies, roaches are in constant search of food. These scavengers are drawn to really anything that gives off a strong smell, and a number of sugary and fruity-smelling candies are irresistible to these pests. Starches, grease, meat, and cheese are also all smelly food sources, and thus incredibly attractive to roaches. And much like rats and mice, roaches seem to find their way in through gaps that look like they should be far too small for them.

Unwrapped candy or candy with holes or gaps in wrappers could very well draw roaches to your home, particularly if the candy is left in a location near one of these gaps that a roach could use to get in. If you want to keep them out of the candy bowl, treating your property with a pest prevention perimeter product will provide you with ongoing protection from roaches that crawl along the ground. However, keep in mind that some species of roach are capable of flying.

Happy Halloween from our family at Hopper Termite & Pest control to yours! If you need help with an obnoxious pest problem, pick up the phone and call us at (479) 332-3745 to learn more about our pest prevention plans today.

Oct 28, 2021

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