Read this post to the end to discover top 5 best natural ant killers that kill ants naturally.
Some species of ants can cause damage to our homes but most are just obnoxious to have around. No matter the species, signs of an ant infestation mean it’s time to take action.
There are options full of toxic chemicals on the shelves of just about every home and garden store, but if you’d prefer to use a natural ant killer, we’ve got plenty of ideas to take care of your pest problem.
- Top 5 Natural Ant Killers
- 1. Borax
- 2. Diatomaceous Earth
- 3. Farina (Cream of Wheat)
- 4. Baking Soda
- 5. Natural Insecticidal Spray
- Store-bought Options
Top 5 Natural Ant Killers
The natural ant killer borax is a mineral that is a highly effective pest control agent used by both homeowners and professionals. It’s a great option that is inexpensive and easy to use.
Borax is generally considered non-toxic for humans and animals but isn’t without some risk. When ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and other digestive trouble so be sure to keep kids and pets away from it.
Simply sprinkling borax can be useful in killing some insects but for ants it’s best to combine it with something like sugar. They’ll be attracted to the sweetness and take the food back to the colony not realizing that it’s poisoned.
This method is typically very successful but it can take a few days to see effects since the contaminated food has to spread throughout the colony.
Borax and Sugar Powder
- Combine 3 tablespoons of white sugar with 1 tablespoon of borax in a container you don’t use for food. Something like an empty yogurt container is perfect.
- Divide the mixture across 4 to 6 disposable plastic container or jar lids.
- Place the baited lids in areas where you’ve seen ants.
Borax and Sugar Water
- Combine ¼ cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of borax, and ¾ cup of warm water in a container you don’t use for food.
- Dip cotton balls or pads into the liquid to soak it up.
- Place the soaked cotton in areas where you’ve seen ants. If you’re concerned about the cotton leaving stickiness behind, place each ball or pad on a disposable lid.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Made from the remains of organisms called diatoms, diatomaceous earth (also called DE) is a type of sedimentary rock. It appears to be a very fine powder to us but it has tiny sharp edges to ants and will cut them, dehydrate them, and ultimately kill those affected within a few days.
There’s more than one grade of DE that you can buy but for this purpose you want to look for food grade diatomaceous earth. It’s a great choice for indoor use if you have young kids or pets because it’s so safe for humans that some people actually take it as a health supplement.
And if you need a natural ant killer outside, DE is safe for your yard as well. It won’t affect your lawn, gardens, or animals in the area—just ants and other insects.
Doorways and Window Sills
Sprinkling DE across doorways leading into your home and along window ledges will not only result in any ants that come across it dying, it will discourage them from coming into your home through those openings.
Carpets and Rugs
If you’ve noticed ants on your carpet or rug, sprinkle some DE on the area to kill any ants on or hidden in the fibers. Let it sit for a few days and then vacuum it up.
If you have an excess of ants or if they’re protecting aphids, you might want to try DE as a natural ant killer for garden use. Sprinkle some on the soil when it’s dry and leave it for a few hours before you water the plants.
Going right to the source is ideal. Putting down a light ring of DE around anthills will force any ants coming and going to contact the powder and this ensures that many of them will be affected.
3. Farina (Cream of Wheat)
Though cream of wheat is enjoyed by many people at breakfast, uncooked farina is deadly to ants. It expands inside them after they eat it which results in their deaths.
Since it’s a common food item, using cream of wheat as a natural ant killer outdoors or indoors is completely safe which makes it a great option if you’ve got kids and animals around.
Put about a tablespoon of farina (uncooked cream of wheat) on a disposable container lid and place it wherever you’ve noticed ants. Mixing it with a little bit of powdered sugar can help attract the ants to it more quickly.
Surrounding Ant Hills
Sprinkle a thin ring of farina around the ant hill so that the ants can easily access the food and bring it back into the nest quickly. Be sure the ground is dry when you do this and that there is no rain forecast as the farina has to be dry to kill the ants.
4. Baking Soda
This is another example of a substance that is commonly found in our kitchens and is completely safe for people. When ants ingest baking soda, it causes a reaction in their bodies that kills them shortly after ingested but setting it out doesn’t put people at risk at all.
As a natural ant killer baking soda is effective but it’s not very attractive to ants so it has to be combined with something that is, like a sweetener. Powdered sugar is ideal since it has the sweetness that ants like and is the right texture to blend in perfectly.
For the baking soda to be lethal, it has to be used dry so do not mix it with anything wet like maple syrup or honey. Giving them this combination will be simply feeding them.
Combine baking soda and dry sweetener in equal parts and place on disposable container lids anywhere you’ve seen ants. As mentioned, powdered sugar is an ideal option.
Surrounding Ant Hills
Combine baking soda and dry sweetener in equal parts and sprinkle it in a ring around any ant hills you’ve seen so that the lethal substance is easily accessible for the ants. Be sure to do this when the ground is dry and there is no rain in the forecast.
5. Natural Insecticidal Spray
A natural ant killer spray is handy to have for when you spot a trail of ants and want to stop them dead in their tracks. Using a spray made from multiple ingredients that are known to be harmful to ants ensures it’ll be effective.
Popular DIY sprays include vinegar and water, soap and water, or essential oils and water. For a more potent spray, combine all of these ideas into one.
Use this spray directly on ants when you see trails of them to kill them on contact. Spraying the area where the trail was will also cover the pheromones that helped them find their way and will prevent them from coming back.
Be aware that even though the ingredients are natural and generally safe for people, it could still cause illness if ingested because of the essential oils in it. Tea tree is toxic for dogs and cats so avoid using this spray around your pets.
Ant Killing Spray
- Pour 2/3 cup of vinegar and 1/3 cup of water in a spray bottle.
- Add 30 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tsp of liquid castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s is a popular choice.
- Attach the lid and sprayer and shake vigorously to combine.
- Spray on ants and ant-infested areas to kill and repel them. Shake occasionally to ensure the solution is properly combined.
Not every insecticidal product available in stores is loaded with dangerous synthetic chemicals. There are natural (and mostly natural) products that will kill ants without the risk of exposure to harmful toxins.
TERRO Ant Control Products
TERRO’s products for ant control use borax as the active ingredient so they’re popular among people looking for store-bought insecticides with more natural contents.
The company sells liquid ant baits in pre-filled stations, in large bottles for use around the perimeter of your house, and as sprays for spot treating areas with a lot of ant activity. They offer products for both outdoor and indoor use.
Pest Soldier Organic Pest Control Spray
Pest Soldier’s spray is effective on a number of common household pests including ants. It uses essential oils like peppermint in a vinegar base to kill ants that come into contact with the solution.
Hot Shot Natural Products
Hot Shot is a brand found in most home and garden stores that offers a variety of pest control product with conventional ingredients. They now also have a line of natural insecticidal products available, including ones that target ants.
There are two main options for ants: Hot Shot Natural Home Insect Control which comes in a spray bottle and Natural Ant & Roach Killer which is an aerosol. Both use lemongrass oil as the key ingredient to naturally kill ants.
Both of these products are safe to use around children and pets. The spray can be used indoors or outdoors and the aerosol is intended for indoor use.
With ants being such common household pests, it’s no surprise that people have found a multitude of solutions to get rid of them. And of those solutions there are plenty of natural ant killers to choose from that are free from toxins that could be risky for your family.
So choose an option that appeals to you and give it a shot. And remember, to really eradicate pests, it’s helpful to use a couple different natural ant killers to attack the situation from multiple angles and ensure greater success.