When it comes to devising a homemade ant killer, the whole world is your oyster. Well, not really – the majority of the ingredients for your DIY ant killer are going to come straight from your kitchen and bathroom cupboards.
Top 10 Homemade Ant Killer Recipes
Get ready to do some digging around your house for supplies and roll up your sleeves for some mixing and matching ’cause we’re going to dive right into the best formulas you can create to kill ants right now, right right at home.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Homemade Ant Spray Recipes
Beginning with homemade ant spray recipes makes sense since this is the easiest to make and the most instantly gratifying – you can spray and kill, spray and kill all day long.
Here’s what you want to put in your spritzer…
Vinegar and Water Homemade Ant Spray
It doesn’t get simpler than this. Plus, it’s all natural so you can use it around your kids and pets without worrying. Simply mix a combination of 50/50 water and white vinegar, mix it up and spray whenever, wherever you see ants.
Wipe down with a paper towel and toss away evidence of ant genocide. Finis.
Dish Soap and Water Homemade Ant Spray
Still simple, still mighty effective and so stupid easy. Plus, it’s super cheap since you can make it from empty dishwashing liquid bottles. Simply mix some water with dish soap – 50/50 is good but not necessary. If your dishwashing liquid is near-empty, just mix some water in and good it a good shake.
Pour or spritz on ants to immediately halt them in their tracks. Wipe massacre away with a paper towel and toss.
Essential Oil Homemade Ant Spray
If you want to bring out the big guns – maybe you’ve got a more hardy species of ants on your hands – then get ready to raid your bathroom cabinet for essential oils. There are a few that will kill ants on the spot.
The best ones to use?
- Clove essential oil – shop it here!
- Tea tree oil – shop it here!
- Peppermint essential oil – shop it here!
Choose one or a few of the above and mix 1 cup water (or 1 cup that’s 50/50 water and white vinegar) and then add around 40 drops of the essential oils of your choice.
Give your mixture a good shake and spray directly onto ants to kill them or in entryways around the house to deter and repel ants.
Homemade Ant Trap Recipes
The above homemade ant sprays work mighty well but you can’t exactly sit around waiting for ants to spray all day, every day, can you? Nope, you’ve got a job, hobbies, kids to deal with and a live to live. So the active approach to killing ants just isn’t practical.
That’s where homemade ant traps come in. These are brilliant since you can set and forget while it does the job for you. Here are the best homemade ant trap recipes to whip up!
Boric Acid and Sugar Liquid Homemade Ant Trap
Boric acid is a great, natural ant killer. When they eat the stuff, it poisons them from the inside out while damaging ants’ exoskeletons in much the same way that diatomaceous earth does.
There’s also an extra perk: most ants will take some of the boric acid-laced bait back to their colonies where other ants will ingest it and die, allowing you to effectively kill off whole colonies without much effort on your part.
The only downside is that while boric acid is not toxic – it can be harmful if consumed or inhaled by pets so avoid using boric acid-based ant traps in places that your pets can reach.
Now that you know what’s up – here’s how to make a simple boric acid and sugar homemade ant trap, courtesy of CreekLineHouse.com.
Simply mix 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of Borax. Place the solution in an old plastic container and poke holes in the lid so the ants can get in.
Lastly, sprinkle some plain sugar outside of the container to tempt ants to crawl inside.
Borax and Sugar Cotton Balls Homemade Ant Trap
If you’re not crazy about the idea of having plastic containers full of homemade ant poison lying around the house, you can make a similarly effective ant trap using cotton balls.
Here’s the method, courtesy of AGoodTired.com:
Boil 1 cup of water, remove from heat and add in 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of borax into the hot water.
Stir it until it’s completely dissolved and then soak cotton balls in this mixture.
The cotton balls are going to be wet and sticky so place them on a small piece of tin foil or an old lid. Next, strategically place these cotton ball ant traps in all the places of your house where ants roam. Remember to re-place these traps often!
Borax and Syrup Sticky Cards Homemade Ant Trap
A variation on the above traps, this one will require you to have some index cards or pieces of cardboard lying around. Here’s what you do…
Mix a 50/50 ratio of corn syrup and boric acid together.
You want to get the right consistency where it’s not drippy or runny but instead more paste-like.
Add in as much boric acid you need to get it to the right consistency.
Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture over the surface of the index card or cardboard pieces. Strategically place these ant traps in places where ants roam. Change regularly when the syrup dries.
Keep in mind that the exposed nature of these traps make it easy for your pets to lick and ingest – do not use this ant trap if you have pets!
Peanut Butter Straws Homemade Ant Trap
Some ants are more drawn to protein and grease than they are to sugary substances. To attract these ants – and cover all your bases – you’ll want to whip up some peanut butter treat. Here’s how…
Mix 1 spoonful of peanut butter with 1 teaspoon of boric acid. Get a plastic straw and push the mixture into the straw until it’s full. Cut the straw into parts and scatter them in places where ants roam.
Cornmeal Colony Killer Homemade Ant Trap
It’s a common myth that cornmeal kills ants – it doesn’t. But what it does do is act as an attractive bait. You see, worker ants that go foraging for food usually eat liquids but not solids so when they come across yummy food like cornmeal, they’ll carry it back to their nest.
So mixing some cornmeal with boric acid is an effective way to wipe out entire colonies of ants.
To do it, get a small, low plastic plate – you can use the tops of plastic containers – and combine a 70/30 ratio of cornmeal and borax.
Leave it out in areas where you’ve seen ants and wait for it to do its job.
Other Home Remedies to Kill Ants
The above homemade ant killers are pretty place-specific, as in you either need to be there to kill the ants with your DIY spray or the ants have to make their way to the bait you’ve set out for them.
They’re both super effective ways to kill ants, but there’s a blindspot there: what about the ants that are getting into your house in the first place? Well, here are some brilliant home remedies to kill those ants as soon as they enter.
Diatomaceous Earth Ant Barriers
It may be impossible to spell but diatomaceous earth (DE) is one of the most effective natural ant killers in existence. As soon as ants make contact with it, it sticks to them and dries them out, eventually making them die of dehydration. It may sound cruel but it is absolutely effective.
Plus, it’s non-toxic for you, your kids and your pets as well as wildlife so it makes a fantastic, natural ant killer if you’re looking to avoid dangerous toxins in your home.
The best way to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants is to sprinkle it around the entire perimeter of your house, concentrating on areas that are popular ant entry points. This makes an effective barrier so that every new ant that finds its way into your home will be dead in a few days.
Sugary Baking Soda Ant Killers
And lastly, here’s a simply ant killer trap you can sprinkle up outside your home, in places where ants congregate as well as around their hills so they don’t make their way into your home to begin with.
Simply mix together a 70/30 combination of powdered sugar and baking soda. Baking soda is lethal for ants to digest and the powdered sugar acts as the bait.
It makes a very fine powder so you might not want to have this in your house for obvious reasons but you can leave it outside, sprinkling it in areas where ants fester.
Okay, now you know exactly how to defend your home from ants using stuff that you already have on hand. Go forth and use your newfound knowledge.
Or, if this has all seemed a little too cruel for you and you’re feeling a little conflicted between your desire to get rid of ants and your desire to not kill – check out our guide on how to get rid of ants without killing them!
17 thoughts on “Top 10 Homemade Ant Killer Recipes: DIY Ant Killers that Work”
Thank you, this is just what I have been looking for. I have had tiny little black ants on my kitchen counter for months. Just one or two here and there but CONSTANTLY. I am hoping this does the trick!
I used a recipe I found online years ago when I had tiny ants in my kitchen. 50/50 water and bleach and either some Dr.Bronner Peppermint Soap or peppermint extract from the baking aisle. I mister it on the floor, wiped it up to remove the pheromone trail then misted again and let it dry. I also misted outside my back door because I found them near the back door in the kitchen. Now I’m on the 2nd to of a 2 family house and I’m finding ants. I will make a spray bottle of each recipe and go around all the edges and the window sills.
I had not heard of powdered sugar and baking soda. I will try it now.
Baking soda has no negative effect on ants — it’s just another internet myth.
got that proof?
Info was helpful
Thanks for the ideas
The best 1 i found so far is the water vinegar & essential oil I used Tea Tree oil. Killed them almost on contact I HIghly recommend this
love this site. totally works
Can someone tell me what’s good to use in my plants, mint leaves especially. I used the 50/50 vinegar and water and it killed all my mint leaves, my pot is still infested with black ants
I would use diatomaceous earth or commonly known as old school kitty litter with no fragrances or other agents, or go to your mechanic with a large ziploc and ask him for oil absorbent or grease sweep. Ring the edge of the pot or if in the ground ring the plant with it probably go to the nursery and buy a 25 lb bag
Do you think peanut butter, powdered sugar & baking soda put inside a straw would work? If I cut the straws, with the poison in & leave them on the porches? Also, how much of each ingredient should I mix together? I don’t have ants in the house, except for occasionally one will come in, but there terrible on my porches. It’s probably because of my hummingbird feeder, so they probably prefer sugar, or that would be my guess. Please email your reply while I now my yard & when I get finished I’m ready to go into kill ant mode. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE KILLING BUGS, BEES, ANTS OR ANYTHING THAT FALLS INTO THAT CATEGORY, LOL. Thanks a million for the information. Sincerely, Bridget Whitfield
Bridget W. You enjoy killing bees???!!!!!! SHAME !
How do I keep ants out of plants on my balcony but safe for pets. Any information greatly appreciated.
Vinegar and water doesn’t work.
Vinegar and water always keep it really clean and that does help a little. Do counters, shelves, drawers, inner and outer of cabinet doors, around windows. Does help. Im getting good results at openings to my older home using borax. If it doesn’t rain soon I think we will have them for awhile!
*remove evidence of mass insect genocide* holy crap that’s amazing