Are you stuck with an ant problem in your house and lawns? You don’t have to worry anymore! There’re many do-it-yourself home remedies you can use to get rid of these pesky insects.
These are tried and tested home recipes that can be easily made using locally available materials and simple equipment. Below is my guide on how to make simple ant killers at the comfort of your home.
Related: Fire Ant Killer for Lawns
Top 15 HomeMade Ant Killer Recipes
1. Boric Acid and Peanut Butter Straws
These are nice homemade ant killer to eradicate ants without exposing your kids and pets to toxic substances.
Since the peanut butter and the moderately toxic boric acid are contained in the plastic straws, there are less chances of being ingested by kids and pets.
In addition, the bait does not leave a sticky mess on your floor or any surface it is left.
Requirements: Boric acid and Peanut butter
Equipment: Plastic straws, Mixing bowl, Spoon or whisk, and a knife
- Mix 1 teaspoon of boric acid with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter in a mixing bowl.
- Fill plastic straws with the paste.
- Cut the straws into 2 inch pieces and place them in places most frequented by ants.
- Ants will be attracted by the peanut butter and get killed by the boric acid. Ants are social creatures that love doing everything together.
- So, they will take the pieces back to the colony, hence distributing the poison to more ants.
Related: Bed Ant Killer
2. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth Ant killer
Diatomaceous earth powder provides a non-toxic and inexpensive way to kill ants at home. DE powder is available from a local shop or online.
It contains sharp microscopic pieces which pierce into the insects’ exoskeleton.
Once inside the body, the pieces will dehydrate the insect to death. The powder is however not dangerous to humans and other animals.
Requirements: Diatomaceous earth powder.
- Begin by accessing your house to locate the infested places, trails and common entry points.
- To use DE powder, spread a generous amount on groups of ants and create a barrier around them. Also apply a thin layer along the trails.
- Apply the powder on the floor, baseboards, windows and any crack that you usually see ants coming out from. In very narrow spaces, you can dust the powder using a soft cloth or duster. Just dip the cloth in the powder and flick it over the cracks.
- Check the area after one or two days for dead ants. If there’s no more ant activity, you can clean the area and wash with soap. This will clear the pheromones to prevent more ants from coming in.
- If the ants migrate to other locations or create alternative tracks, reapply the DE powder on these surfaces.
- For outdoor use, apply the DE powder along the foundation of the building to kill ants at their entry points. Apply generous amount at the most notorious entry points so as to kill as many ants as possible.
3. Sugary Baking Soda Ant Killer
If you’re looking for a natural and non-toxic ant killer, then you can prepare one at home using baking soda.
It’ a safe recipe to use inside the house. However, it can harm your pets if consumed in large amounts.
Ants may shy away from the baking soda. But the sugar in this recipe will attract them to the bait.
Requirements: Baking soda and Confectioners’ Sugar
Equipment: Measuring spoon, Jar lids, and Mixing bowl
- Mix equal portions of baking soda and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl. Confectioners sugar is used because ants cannot differentiate it from the baking soda. If you use regular sugar, ants will eat sugar and leave baking soda.
- Put the mixture in several jar lids and place them in strategic places in the house. Place the bait at the cracks they use to access your house and common meeting points.
- Sprinkle the bait in narrow cracks such as along base board.
- Wipe out the mess in your house after the ants have died.
- For outdoor use, sprinkle the bait along the foundation of the house and entry points.
- Also treat the ant mounds and common nesting locations such base on trees, wood piles, and stone piles.
- If you are worried about your pets ingesting the bait, put it is bottle and place it in strategic locations. Ants will climb into the bottle and consume the bait. Your pets cannot reach the bait.
4. Boric Acid and Sugar Liquid Ant Trap
Boric acid and sugar liquid is a tried and tested homemade recipe for use against sugar ants such as Pharoah ants, Argentine ants and house ants. Borax is a very effective insect killer.
So, the goal here is to mix it with a substance that will attract sugar ants to the bait-I use sugar.
Requirements: Boric acid, Sugar, and Warm water
Equipment: Mixing bowl
- Mix 30g of boric acid with about 250g of sugar in a mixing bowl. Your bowl should be large enough to hold water.
- Add water while stirring to prevent formation of lumps.
- Stir until all the boric acid and sugar is dissolved into a thin paste
- To lay your bait, find a suitable location, preferably an area where ants love to congregate.
- Pour the paste in jar lids and distribute them around the area. Pour some baits on the surface near the jar lids to lure the ants into the bait stations.
- Leave the bait undisturbed for a couple of days. Ants will eat the bait and take more to their nest. Keep on refilling the jar lids with the bait until you get satisfactory results.
- Store the remaining bait in a labelled air tight container away from the reach of kids and pets. Keep it in a cool dark place.
5. Vinegar and Water Ant Spray
Vinegar works in two ways against ants – a great homemade ant killer. When sprayed directly on the ants, it can kill them instantly.
You can also spray on the bed bug trails, entry points and emerging points to deter them. Ants hate vinegar because it blocks their communication aids (pheromones).
This prevents ants inside the house from following the trail of others and deters new entries. Vinegar also discourages ants from your house by interfering with their ability to smell food.
Requirements: Apple vinegar and Water
Equipment: Spray bottle
- Mix equal portions of cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Shake the contents thoroughly until they mix properly
- To use the solution, spray on ant trails. Usually, ants will follow the scents of others in the trail. Spraying along the trail, will deter ants from following the path they have been using.
- Spray the solution in areas where ants usually emerge out in large numbers such as baseboards, cabinets and windows. This will prevent the ants outside the house from picking up the scent.
- For a large number of ants, you can saturate them with the vinegar to kill them. Allow sometime and come back to wipe the carcasses.
- Apply the vinegar solution at least two times a week. For more effectiveness, you can increase the vinegar concentration.
Check Out: Best Ant Traps
6. Borax Acid and Corn Syrup Ant Trap
Most of the household ants love to eat sweet food. They can’t resist the corn syrup in this recipe. It’s an easy to make ant bait using simple over the counter ingredients.
Requirements: Boric acid and Corn syrup
Equipment: Mixing bowl and Spoon or whisk
- Mix about one teaspoon of boric acid with 3 teaspoons of corn syrup in a mixing bowl.
- Stir thoroughly to make a fine paste.
- Place small bits of the paste on a waxed paper or card.
- Place your bait in areas where ants like to congregate. The sweet substance is quite irresistible to these critters.
- They will feast on it and take some back to their colony. Give the ants ample time to share the poison with the rest of the colony.
- For more effectiveness, add fresh drops after every two days
- Store the remaining bait in an airtight container and at room temperature. Keep the substance out of reach of children and pets.
7. Cinnamon Solution
As an essential oil, cinnamon can be used to repel and kill ants. Ants cannot withstand the smell of cinnamon. So, you can keep them away by treating your surfaces with the recipe.
It will repel those already in the house and prevent new ones from entering the house. Cinnamon oil is safe to use around kids and pets. When sprayed in the house, it leaves a very inviting fragrance.
Requirements: Cinnamon essential oil and Water
Equipment: Spray bottle
- Mix 50 drops of cinnamon oil with about one cup of water.
- Put the mixture in a spray bottle and shake.
- To repel the ants, spray on surfaces that are mostly frequented by ants such as windows, baseboard and common entry points.
- Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball in the solution and use it to wipe common hot spots. This will repel ants and prevent new ones from coming.
- To kill ants, spray on directly on them. For more effectiveness, use higher concentrations of the cinnamon solution.
8. Dish Soap and Water Ant Spray
A dish soap solution is another effective do-it-yourself remedy for eradicating ants in your home.
It’s one of the safest method to use indoors without worrying about your kids and pets. Ants use their joints to breathe. So, you can easily suffocate them to death with the dish soap solution.
In addition, the soap interferes with the ants’ pheromones, making them unable to follow tracks left by other ants.
Requirements: Dish soap and Water
Equipment: Spray bottle
- Mix a 50/50 solution of water and dish soap in a spray bottle.
- To use the solution, spray over any areas where ants congregate and along their tracks. This will suffocate the ants and deter them from following the tracks left by other ants.
- Use a towel to wipe out the residues from the surfaces.
- You can also spray at common entry points to prevent ants from coming into the house.
- Keep your spray ready and use it to kill the ants you see crawling on your surfaces.
9. Baking Soda, Dish Soap & Apple Cider Vinegar
You don’t have to worry about using chemicals to eradicate ants in your house. With simple over the counter ingredients, you can make an effective ant killer. You can use it indoors without worrying about your kids and pets. Plus it smells nice!
Requirements: Baking soda, Apple cider vinegar, Dish soap, and Water.
Equipment: Spray bottle
- Mix baking soda, dish soap and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Add a considerate amount of water to make the solution.
- Note that baking soda produces a lot of foam. So, you can mix the ingredients over the sink to avoid messing your floor with foam. Add the ingredients in small bits to minimise formation of foams.
- To use the solution indoors, spray directly on the ants and on the ants’ trails. This will kill the ants and deter them from following the trails.
- Wipe the surfaces with a towel.
- Spray at the entry points to prevent ants from entering the house.
- For outdoor use, spray the solution on areas where ants like to congregate and on plants. Use a small amount of the solution to test the effect of vinegar on your plants before spraying.
10. Borax and Honey
Ants will love something sweet to eat, and honey is not an exception. It’s an easy and safe way to get rid of ants in your house and outside.
Requirements: Crystalized honey, Borax, and Boiling water
Equipment: Mixing bowl and Measuring spoon
- Mix one equal parts of crystalized honey and borax in a mixing bowl
- Add boiling water, just enough to dissolve the honey and borax.
- Pour the paste in several jar lids and place them in strategic locations in your house. Place some baits at places where ants emerge from cracks and along their trails. Also, put some bait at the cracks they use to access your house.
- You can also place small drops of the bait directly on the floor without the jar lids. Ants will throng around these drops and consume the bait.
- Once the bait is consumed, clean the surfaces with soapy water to eradicate the pheromones used by ants to adhere to their tracks.
- Store the remaining bait in an air tight jar and label it clearly to avoid accidental misuse. Also remember to keep it away from children and pets.
11. Borax and Jelly ant killer
If ants have invaded your house or compound, you can make an effective ant bait using borax and a jelly of your choice.
The jelly appeals to ants to come and eat the bait. When they ingest the bait, borax kills them by interfering with both the digestive and nervous system.
Requirements: Borax powder and Jelly
Equipment: Mixing bowl and Mixing spoon or whisk
- Mix about two cups of fruit jelly with one teaspoon of borax powder in a mixing bowl. I choose to use a little amount of borax to make the bait more attractive to ants. You can use more.
- Mix the contents thoroughly with the spoon or whisk until the borax powder disappears.
- To use the bait, fill several bottle caps with the bait and place them in strategic places inside and outside the house. You can also smear the bait on postcards and places them on your targeted places.
- For outdoor usage, put a sizeable amount of the bait in a plastic container and place the lid.
- Make some holes on the lid and place it outside near ant mounds or common entry points. Ants will get inside the container to eat the bait. Your bait won’t be destroyed by rain.
- Keep replacing the bait stations until you get rid of all ants.
- You can store the unused bait in a sealable jar and label it clearly to avoid accidental misuse.
12. Borax Powder, Sugar, Molasses & Yeast
Ants are always looking for something sweet to eat. This recipe contains three ingredients that will tempt the ants to eat your bait: sugar, molasses and yeast.
The sticky molasses conceals the borax powder making it invisible to the unsuspecting ants.
Requirements: Borax powder, Yeast, Molasses, and Sugar
Equipment: Mixing bowl and Whisk or spoon
- Mix 1 tbsp. of borax powder with 1 tbsp. of sugar, 1 tbsp. of yeast and 2 tbsp. of molasses in a mixing bowl.
- Stir the ingredients with a spoon or whisk until the borax powder is masked in a sticky paste.
- Put the bait in several empty bottle lids or smear it on postcards and place in places that attract huge numbers of ants. Also place the baits along the trails and common entry points.
- Ants will consume the sweet deadly bait and share it with the rest of the colony including the queen. Thus, it is possible to wipe out the entire colony with this bait.
- Once the bait is consumed, clean your surfaces with soapy water to deter new ants from following the trails.
- Store the unused bait in an airtight jar away from children and pets.
13. Clove, Tea Tree and Peppermint
This combination of essential oils will get rid of ants in your house and prevent new ones from coming in.
While the scent from these essential oils appeals to humans, it is disgusting to insects such as ants. The scent is so powerful to keep ants at bay for a long time.
Ingredients: Peppermint oil, Tea tree oil, and Clove oil
Equipment: Mix jar and Spray bottle
- Mix equal proportions of clove, peppermint and tea tree oils in a mixing jar.
- Add water and mix thoroughly.
- Put some amount in a spray bottle and spray on the targeted places. Spray on window sills, doorways, along baseboards and on the cracks that ants use to enter your house. Also spray along the trails and along the foundation of the house.
- Spray directly where ants appear in large numbers to kill them instantly. This will kill them and prevent new ants from coming in.
- For more effectiveness, reapply the spray regularly to keep ants at bay.
- Store the unused solution in an airtight container for future use.
Check Out: Bed Bugs vs. Ants
14. Citrus Oil, Molasses, Dish Soap and Water
Dish soap and citrus oil are toxic ingredients you can use to eradicate ants in your house. Molasses acts as the luring ingredient to make the ants come to your bait.
The solution can be used inside the house without worrying about kids and pets. Plus you can use it on your plants without destroying them.
Requirements: Citrus oil, Dish soap, Molasses, and Water
Equipment: Mixing jar and Spray bottle
- Mix 1 tbsp. of dish soap and 1 tbsp. of molasses with one cup of citrus oil in a mixing jar.
- Add 1 gallon of water.
- Pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray around the targeted areas inside the house and around the compound. Spray in areas where ants love to congregate, in cracks, along baseboards and on the entry points.
- For more effectiveness, spray directly on the ants and along their trails. This will kill the ants and deter their ability to follow the trails.
- This solution is meant to kill ant on spot. So, you’ll need to use other methods to kill the colony.
Homemade ant killers provides you with an environmentally-friendly solution to get rid of ants both indoors and outdoors.
They are cheap and easy to prepare since they require locally available ingredients.
Unlike commercial ant killers, most of these home remedies are nontoxic and can be used indoors without worrying about kids and pets.