As of this writing, 66% of the total number of households in the United States own a pet—that’s nearly a whopping 87 million homes! It comes as no surprise that pet owners would want their companions safe from harm, even if that comes in the form of tiny ants.
So, how to get rid of ants naturally without harming pets? You can try using organic ingredients such as diatomaceous earth, dish soap spray, boiling water, vinegar, baking soda and sugar, borax and sugar, essential oils, lemon juice, chalk, or cinnamon.
In this article, we are going to cover how to get rid of the ants quickly while, at the same time, keeping your pets safe by using all-natural repellents. Read further for more!
Killing Ants Without Harming Your Pets – Tips and Guide
In this section, we’ll give you a couple of methods that work well and are perfectly safe for your pets. Here are your choices.
1. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth or silicon dioxide is used to kill a wide variety of insects including bed bugs, cockroaches, and ants. It works by destroying insect exoskeleton, allowing the insect to dry out. This is a natural ingredient with a food-grade version available in the market.
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So, how do you use it? You can just sprinkle it where the ants are coming from. Or, you can soak a sponge in sugar water, put it in the same place and let it stay for 24 hours. After that, you’ll probably see dead ants. Wash them off and repeat the process until all of them are dead.
2. Dish Soap Spray
Fill a spray bottle with water up to three-fourths its total volume. Afterwards, add 10 to 20 drops of dish soap, shake it, and spray on ants and ant trails. These two ingredients could make a great ant deterrent without harming any of your pets in the process.
Make sure to use just enough dish soap without adding more water, since its effectiveness will be diluted this way. Before using, shake the bottle slightly. You can also use this for fleas you come in direct contact with.
3. Boiling Water
When you don’t have any of the products in your house, it’s sometimes better to return to basics. For this method, you’ll need approximately 3 gallons of water. Pour it into a pot, crank up the stove, and wait for it to boil. Easy peasy!
Once it boils, simply pour the water into an ant nest to kill the colony. Be careful not to splatter yourself, your pets or your children. This method can also be used on other insects, just make sure to take the proper precautionary measures!
Vinegar is safe for pets and children and readily available in most homes. Use a spray bottle, add equal parts vinegar and water, and shake well. Spray wherever you see ants and they will quickly leave the area.
The strong, pungent odor that vinegar produces can repel ants and remove the scent trails (pheromones) they use to communicate. This process should be repeated until all the ants are gone. Ventilate the area so that the smell can go away easily after use.
5. Baking Soda and Sugar
This combination works by allowing the sugar to attract the ants then letting the baking soda disrupt their digestive system as they ingest it, ultimately killing them as a result. To make a concoction, simply mix an equal amount of each then place at ant trails and entry points.
6. Borax and Sugar
Borax and sugar works exactly the same way as sugar and baking soda. One is the attractant and the other is the killing agent. To use, mix a 2:1 ratio of borax and sugar in a bottle then spray at ant trails and entry points.
7. Essential Oils
Make a spray out of a few drops of essential oils mixed with water. You can use peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, lemon, or orange. Afterward, spray on ant trails to deter ants.
8. Lemon Juice
The citrusy scent of lemon juice will irritate ants, thus effectively repelling ants. Mix two parts of water with one part of lemon juice in a bottle and spray in areas where ants frequently go to or at potential entry points.
Drawing a line with chalk to cross or disrupt ant trails can disrupt pheromones and result in ants not being able to communicate where the food is. This method works for more minor infestations with only one or two entry points for ants.
Simply sprinkle cinnamon powder on ant trails or ants directly. The strong scent will discourage ants from visiting that location again. You can also make a spray by adding cinnamon oil to water and then spraying in areas where you find ants.
List of Sources
Brown, W. (2014). Natural, Organic and Alternative Methods for Imported Fire Ant Management.
Peace Corps. (n.d.). Making Natural Pest Controls.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2014). Invasive Ant Biology and Control
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. (2007). Ants.
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