Ants are one of the most common indoor and outdoor pests. They establish their colonies rapidly and can cause havoc in your life. Multiple insecticides or ant killers are available commercially for getting rid of ant infestations. Most of them contain toxic chemicals that can harm your children and pets.
The best alternative to these toxic ant killers is the use of natural home remedies to exterminate ants. One of the most commonly used natural ant killer methods is the application of baking soda (as a natural ant killer).
In this article, we will share if the baking soda really helps to control ant infestation. In addition, we will provide a detailed guide about effective ant control using baking soda.
Does baking soda kill ants? Baking soda is an eco-friendly and non-toxic way to kill ants. It reacts with the exoskeleton and digestive system of ants and suffocates them to death. To get rid of ants, after careful inspection treat the infested area with baking soda spray, dust, or bait.
In the following section, we have provided the step by step instructions to effectively control ant infestations using baking soda. Moreover, we are going to share the recipes of different types of baking soda based ant killers and their treatment methods. Let’s Begin!
Baking Soda and Ants | Information
There are more than 12000 known species of ants that can attack your house or garden. Most of them are harmless and do not cause any structural damage. However, well-developed colonies of ants can cause serious problems. To address the problem, you can use baking soda as a natural ant repellent as well as an insecticide to get rid of ants. It is also referred to as sodium bicarbonate.
The acidic mineral is usually available in powdered form. It is odorless, with white color and salty taste. This is a natural and safe way to eradicate ants, but you will need to mix it with food supplements to lure ants into consuming it. Baking soda can also be used to keep the ants away from your house. This chemical does not harm your pets until it is consumed in a large quantity.
How Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?
Baking soda can be used to prepare natural insecticide sprays as well as baits. When the powder is directly sprinkled over the ants, it absorbs water from their exoskeleton and drys them out. Similarly, when baking soda and vinegar solution is sprayed over ants, it causes a violent reaction and kills the ant instantly after the treatment.
The baking soda works more effectively when we use it as bait with some ant attractants. The ants take the bait to their nests and feed the entire colony. After ingestion, the chemical reacts with the digestive system of ants and releases carbon dioxide, which eventually causes them to die.
Is Baking Soda Poisonous to Ants?
Baking soda is non-toxic to humans and pets but it can be poisonous to ants. This substance can kill ants like commercial ant killers. You can use the baking soda directly like diatomaceous earth or with dietary supplements to prepare ant traps.
Can You Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Ants?
Baking soda is mostly used as a leavening agent in bakeries to make muffins, cakes, doughs, batters, etc. It also acts as a cleansing agent as it can help with cleaning tough and grim stains in your kitchen or bathrooms.
Baking soda enhances the whiteness of teeth when added to toothpaste. The acidic properties of the compound make it a natural ant killer. Baking soda alone does not attract ants, therefore, you need to add sugar or other supplements to lure them.
How Long Does Baking Soda Take to Kill Ants?
Baking soda can kill the ants in a few hours. However, the exact time period to eliminate an entire ant colony depends upon various other factors such as the level of infestation, type of ant, etc.
Homemade baking soda sprays may take longer to kill ants than the commercial ant baits. The smaller infestation of ants can be dealt with within 2 to 4 days whereas the larger infestation may require more than a week. Baking soda spray kills the ants immediately after application.
Do not confuse baking soda with baking powder. Baking powder is another type of baking aid, and it does not kill ants.
Does Baking Soda and Vinegar Kill Ants?
Baking soda is acidic in nature and when it is mixed with another acid. The substance shows a powerful reaction that can be detrimental to ants. We can prepare a powerful ant killer spray by mixing baking soda in vinegar. The direct application of vinegar and baking soda spray disrupts the exoskeleton of ants and cause their death due to violent chemical reaction.
Does Icing Sugar and Baking Soda Kill Ants?
Baking soda and icing sugar mixture is a natural ant killer. As the baking soda does not attract ants that’s why it is needed to add some icing or powdered sugar to lure ants out of their nests. The scent of sugar attracts the ants and, the similar texture of sugar and baking soda confuses the ants.
As a result, the worker ants take the baking soda along with sugar to their nests and consume the bait. When the bait works, baking soda causes a reaction inside the digestive systems of ants. All of this results in their death.
Does Baking Soda Work on Fire Ants and Carpenter Ants?
Baking soda-based ant killers are effective for almost all the type of ant species. Carpenter ants and fire ants are commonly recognized as both indoor and outdoor pests. Both of the species are aggressive in nature and rapidly establish colonies. Baking soda can be used to prevent their invasion but it is better to use commercial products designed to eradicate these ants.
Observe the food preference of invader ant species and prepare a mix according to its behavior. Carpenter ants are fond of sugar-based food whereas fire ants like both protein and sugar. You can prepare a perfect baking soda bait according to the ant type.
The mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar acts as a natural bait for carpenter ants. Baking soda and vinegar mixture works best in case of fire ants. You can also add other ingredients to prepare different types of baking soda ant killers such as vitamin C powder, jams, honey, etc.
How to Get Rid of Ants with Baking Soda: Step by Step Instructions
Most of the ant species may not cause any damage but unchecked ant infestation can flourish rapidly and cause a nuisance. The ant infestation should be handled as soon as possible before they establish larger colonies.
Different types of baking soda ant killers can be prepared to deal with the ant colonization before they lead to a serious problem. Multiple approaches (baits or insecticide solutions) are used to handle different levels of ant infestation. Baking soda with different dietary supplements can effectively control ant invasion.
Our step by step guide will help to control ants with baking soda. It is an effective pest control strategy to exterminate ants from your house or garden which includes, inspection, treatment and prevention.
Step 1: Inspection of Infested Areas
To get rid of the ant infestation you first need to do a careful inspection and investigations of your house both indoor and outdoor. Monitor the ant trails, their access points, and ant mounds. It will help you to decide the required quantity of the baking soda mix.
Observe the eating pattern and behavior of ants before the application of ant killer. Some ant species prefer sugar-based food whereas others like to eat greasy food. Identification of ant species and careful inspection of the infested sites will help you to get the best outcomes.
Regular inspection of ants entry points and infested sites are considered to be the most important step of the Integrated pest management plan.
Step 2: Application of Baking Soda Ant Killers
The next step is the application of the natural ant killer. Now, you don’t need to buy harmful and expensive ant killers. Prepare DIY baking soda ant killers at home and save your time and money. Let us show you how!
Baking Soda Baits or Traps
Prepare baking soda mixtures or baits according to the eating behavior of the ant species that have invaded your house. The sugar and baking soda mixture work best for sugar ants, while peanut and baking soda mix works best for greasy ants.
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You can also test a sample bait to check the eating behavior of a specific ant species. We suggest putting multiple types of baits (liquid or solid) at the same time to target every type of ant in the nest (worker, larvae, and queen).
Put the baking soda ant baits or traps at multiple locations near the ant trails and closer to ant mound to attract the ants out of their shelters. The ants will take the bait back to their nests and will feed the entire colony including the queen. The baking soda will cause suffocation and lead to their death.
Smaller ant infestations can be eliminated in a few days whereas larger infestation can take a few weeks depending upon their level of infestation. This method is slow acting but produces the best outcomes.
It is perfect for the sites where you cannot manually approach ant mounds. Monitor the site regularly and apply or replace baits if needed. Further, we have given some additional baking soda baits recipes to control ant infestation.
Baking Soda and Sugar for Ants
To prepare baking soda and sugar bait, combine 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar (icing or confectioners sugar) with 1 tablespoon of baking soda (1:1). You can increase the quantity of sugar and baking soda if required. Try not to use regular sugar to prepare the mix because ants will try to separate sugar from baking soda.
You can replace sugar with honey, jam, or other sugary food items. The sugary food items will help to attract the ants. Put the mixture near mounds, ant trails, and alongside hole or cracks to eradicate ant infestation. If you have prepared a sticky bait then try using disposable containers or tape. Replace the baits often.
Peanut Butter and Baking Soda to Kill Ants
To prepare peanut butter and baking bait, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. The bait is best for ants that are fond of greasy or protein-based food such as thief ants. Put the mixture on a disposable container and place it near the entry points, closer to ant trails and mounds to lure ants.
Vitamin C and Baking Soda to Kill Ants
To create a baking soda and vitamin C bait, mix baking soda, vitamin C tablet, and icing sugar in equal quantity. Mix them together and apply the mixture at the infested sites or near the ant trails. You can also add water in the mixture to prepare liquid bait.
Baking Soda and Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Ants
Diatomaceous earth is an organic and non-toxic compound, made from the shells of diatoms. It can be used to get rid of a number of pests. You can prepare baking soda and diatomaceous earth mixture very simply by mixing them together.
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Now, sprinkle the mix over the ant trails and ant mounds to exterminate their colonies. The mixture will damage the exoskeleton of ants which will lead to their death.
Baking Soda and Borax to Kill Ants
Like diatomaceous earth, borax powder and baking soda mixture can also kill ant colonies. You can sprinkle the insecticide powder directly on the ants and ant mounds to eliminate their entire colonies. Borax powder is toxic and can cause eye problems and skin rashes.
This is why you need to use personal protective equipment (gloves, mask, and eyewear) to avoid any mishap. You can purchase diatomaceous earth, borax powder, and baking soda commercially to prepare DIY natural ants killers.
How to Kill Ants With Baking Soda and Vinegar?
To get rid of ants using baking soda and vinegar, apply baking soda over the ant mounds and then pour vinegar over it. Baking soda is acidic in nature, and when another acid is added into the mix, it causes a violent reaction.
After the application of baking soda and vinegar, the mixture reacts to the exoskeleton of ants which leads to their death. This is a non-toxic and eco-friendly way to kill ants inside mounds.
You can also make baking soda and vinegar control solution by adding baking soda in vinegar and water solution (1:1). Pour the mixture into a bottle to use it as a spray or directly drench the sufficient quantity of the mixture over the mounds to get rid of ants.
Baking Soda and Cooking Oil Spray
To make baking soda and cooking oil spray, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Before the application of insecticide spray, add the mixture in 1 cup of warm and pour this solution into a spray bottle.
Apply this mixture over the ant trails and drench ant mounds with this mixture. The solution not only kills the ants but also acts as an ant deterrent.
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Step 3: Prevention of Ants Using Baking Soda
Prevent re-infestation of ants by creating a barrier of baking soda across the ant access points. You can also use baking soda and oil spray to keep the ants away from your house or garden. Other than the application of baking soda, monitor the treated sites for a few weeks and seal all the holes, cracks, wall voids, and potential nesting sites of ants.
Eliminate all the factors that can attract ants into your house or garden. Wipe excess water from your kitchen and bathrooms and repair leaky pipes to prevent the re-establishment of ants.
Is Natural Ant Control With Baking Soda Really Effective?
If you do not want to use synthetic or harmful ant killers then baking soda is the best natural alternative for getting rid of ant infestation. It shows similar results like commercially available ant killers. It’s non-toxic and harmless nature makes it superior to other natural ant killers. Moreover, baking soda is not detrimental to plants, pets, or humans.
If you think that baking soda is not suitable for your ant problem then look for more effective methods such as the following baits:
Ant invasion is one of the most common pest problems. Common insecticides mostly contain toxic chemicals that can harm your kids and pets. One of the better alternatives to this is the use of baking soda as a natural ant killer.
Still, if your ant problem has gotten out of hand, the best course of action would be to call professional pest control service. Click on the following link if you are interested, and you will get free quotes from the best ant exterminators in your area. For more pest control related content, keep following our site!
List of Sources
Rust, M.K. and Choe, D.H. (2012). Ants Integrated Pest Management in and around the Home, University of California Statewide IPM Program, UC ANR Publication
Wanger, P., Bachmann, A., Varenhorst, A. and Rozeboom, P. (2019). Watch out for Carpenter Ants, SDSU Extension Etymology
UCSF California Childcare Health Program, (2016). Integrated Pest Management: Ants, University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing
Laura, L.P. (2014). Investigating Ant Trial Pheromones, California State Science Fair