In nature, ants can be quite fascinating to watch. After all, one little ant can carry up to 50 times their body weight! But when they’re in your kitchen, they’re nothing but a nuisance.
Whether you keep an immaculate home or tend to be a bit messy, it’s easy for ants to find their way indoors. But it’s just as easy to get rid of them — and you don’t even need to use any harsh chemicals or pesticides to do it.
You can get rid of your ant problem once and for all with a simple household ingredient that you probably already have in your pantry: baking soda.
Ready to learn how? Here’s how to use baking soda to kill ants.
Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?
While baking soda alone can kill ants, you need to mix it with powdered sugar to make it work.
Why? Because the entire concept of killing them with baking soda depends upon the ants being attracted to it. Baking soda alone won’t attract them. But when you mix it with some sugar, you’ve got a surefire way to lure those ants right where you want them.
The Science Behind Killing Ants With Baking Soda
Not convinced that something as simple as baking soda can cure your ant problem? There is some scientific evidence to back this theory up.
Baking soda alters the body’s pH balance. While it’s okay for humans, in ants, it’s deadly.
Here’s how it works:
When the ants eat the baking soda, it reacts with the ant’s digestive chemicals and produces carbon dioxide. Some internet theories say that the baking soda will make ants explode. While we don’t know that for sure, we do know that it dries out their bodies to kill them.
To understand how the baking soda method can be effective, just think about how ants live and behave. Ants live in colonies, and different ants have different roles to play. Some ants tend to the eggs after the queen ant lays them, while others are tasked with going out and collecting food.
The worker ants that go out to find food bring that food back to the colony to feed the other ants. So when they pick up your baking soda mixture and take it back to their nest, they’re actually helping to kill all of the other ants in their colony.
If you're fortunate, they'll kill the queen. Once the queen ant is dead, you won't have to deal with any further infestations, (at least not from that colony).
How to Use Baking Soda to Kill Ants
Ready to put an end to those pesky little ants once and for all? Here’s how to mix up the baking soda concoction:
- Take equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar.
- Mix it together.
- Pour it in a shallow container (like a lid from a jar).
- Place that container close to where you see (or have seen) those annoying little ants.
If you don’t have a shallow container to use, you can sprinkle the mixture directly onto the floor, counter or window sill. It's safe to place it wherever you’ve seen those unwanted intruders.
You can also add a bit of water to make it into a paste. If you know that the ants are coming through a certain crack in the wall, add the paste at the base of that crack so no more ants can get in.
Benefits of Using Baking Soda to Kill Ants
So what makes baking soda a better alternative to pesticides and bug repellents? For one, it’s non-toxic.
Baking soda is natural, and it’s perfectly safe for human use and consumption. It’s a common ingredient in baking recipes, and it’s also used in toothpaste. It’s safe for humans to touch and ingest.
Have babies or young children at home? They won't suffer any harm in touching baking soda. Pesticides and toxic bug sprays, on the other hand, can be extremely harmful to little ones.
Another reason we love this method is that it’s super simple to make. You probably already have the ingredients you need right in your kitchen pantry. If you don’t, you can buy a small box of baking soda in any grocery store for as little as $1.
When it comes to sugar, it’s essential that you use powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar). Don’t swap that out for granulated sugar.
Why? Because powdered sugar and baking soda have the same look and texture. The ants won’t be able to distinguish between the two, so they’ll likely get a little sugar and a little baking soda in each bite.
The Ants Are Gone…Now What?
Once you’ve gotten rid of your ants, try to determine where they were getting in. If you can identify a crack in the wall or a hole in a window, seal it so that they can’t return!
Ants can find their way into any home, but the cleaner you are, the less likely they are to want to encroach upon your space. Keep your kitchen counters, windows, and floors free of food and crumbs. The fewer food sources you provide, the less desirable your home will be to future ants!
If you have a constant ant problem outside, there’s one other thing you can do to keep those infestations at bay. Put some of your baking soda and sugar mixture into an empty soda can and place it outside. The ants will crawl into the can to get at and crawl right back out to carry it to their nest.
The can method is a way to protect small pets or other animals outside. The small opening in the can will make it impossible for animals to reach or be harmed by your poisonous ant killer.
How to Kill Ants With Baking Soda (Summary)
For a safe, non-toxic way to kill ants:
Mix equal parts baking soda and confectioner’s sugar. Put the mixture in a shallow container or sprinkle it directly onto your counter, floor or windowsill. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and will carry it back to their nest, killing the ants that eat it.
The next time you see ants in your home, resist the urge to use those stinky chemicals and spray cans full of pesticide. Instead, head to your pantry, mix up a quick concoction of baking soda and powdered sugar, and let nature take its course!