Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?
There are several effective tactics and sources that you can use to kill ants that might be present in different parts of your house. Usually, setting baits or traps can be one of the best ways in which you can get rid of ants from your house.
In particular, targeting the entire colony can be a quick and easy solution, allowing you to prevent taking extra measures to kill ants as and when you spot them.
What kind of substances can you use to kill ants? Does baking soda kill ants? Indeed, it does. Baking soda can be quite a useful way of killing ants, although it is important for you to use it in the right way so that you can successfully get rid of the entire colony.
To figure out the effectiveness of baking soda in killing ants, you can read through the following sections and try out the method on your own.
What Happens When Ants Ingest Baking Soda?
What exactly is it about baking soda that can kill ants? While it might seem harmless to us, baking soda is actually quite toxic and poisonous for ants and can end up killing them fairly quickly.
This is because baking soda can suck up any water or moisture present inside the bodies of ants, leaving their bodies without any water to continue surviving. This can effectively end up killing the ants.
Further, if you combine baking soda with other substances, then this can be even more useful for killing ants. This is because the two substances can come together to create a chemical reaction inside the ants’ bodies, leading to their death.
This method of using other substances alongside baking soda is the ideal solution, especially if the other substance is something that tends to attract ants. Once the ants get attracted to the substance, they will carry it to their queen to eat first inside their nest, after which the rest of them will eat it too.
As soon as the queen dies due to the baking soda and chemical reaction, the rest of the colony will soon die as well since the queen is the one who tends to reproduce and expand their colony.
Using Baking Soda to Kill Ants
While baking soda can certainly help kill ants, it is important to follow the right ways of using it so that you can ensure that you kill all the ants in the colony. Take a look at the steps involved in this process so that you can try it out yourself.
Inspect the Area
You should start off by inspecting the area in your house that has an ant infestation. This could be your kitchen or any other part of your house that might attract ants.
If the ants are present in your kitchen, make sure you thoroughly inspect the food so that you can ensure that there are no ants present in them. If there are, you will first need to clean them out and potentially throw the food out.
You will also need to figure out where the ants are coming from. Most likely, the source will be a gap, crack or hole in your walls or windows that will allow the ants to enter in a trail.
Mark the Colony
Ants are always part of a colony. Once they find a suitable location, they tend to build their nests so that they can conveniently keep moving back and forth between the nest and the source of food.
Once they find the food, they will usually carry it and take it to their nest, where the queen will eat it first. It is only once the queen eats that the other ants eat the food.
You should attempt to kill the entire colony instead of simply killing a few ants. For this, you should figure out where the nest is. To do this, you can follow the scent trail that ants always follow.
Once you find the nest, you can focus your efforts on destroying it entirely.
Sprinkle the Soda
One way in which you can use the baking soda is by simply sprinkling it all over the ants. You can start off by sprinkling it along their trail so that you can create a gap in their trail.
However, this will alert the other ants of danger since ants tend to release pheromones to communicate, maintain the trail as well as warn other ants. They can then simply build another nest in a safer location.
You can, therefore, sprinkle a good amount of the baking soda all over the nest itself so that you can kill the entire colony at once, including the queen. This will prevent the colony from expanding any further.
Use a Bait
A more effective way of using baking soda to kill ants is to use it alongside some kind of bait. This bait should be such that the ants will find it attractive and confuse it for food that they can consume.
Some examples of baits include sugar, borax, syrups as well as any kind of wet ingredient since ants are particularly attracted to sweet and wet things.
Combine the bait of your choice with some baking soda and place it on a lid or some cotton. This will allow the ants to easily pick it up and take it back to their nest so that the queen can consume it first.
Once the queen and the other ants eat it, they will all die. This will also end up getting rid of the entire colony since there will no longer be a queen to reproduce.
Select a Location
An important aspect of this process is to place your bait in a location that the ants can easily access. The main purpose of the ants building a nest near a certain place is so that they can forage food for their queen and, by extension, themselves to sustain the entire colony.
In case your ants are entering a part of your house from gaps or holes in the walls or from an open window, it can be best to place your baking soda and bait combination near these places so that the ants are immediately attracted to them.
This can then allow you to get rid of them quickly without giving them a chance to spread further.
How Long Will It Take?
How long the entire process will take depends on several factors. For instance, if you simply sprinkle the soda on the nest and trail, then this can end up killing the colony almost immediately.
However, if there are stray ants from the colony present in other parts of the house, then this can take a bit longer. If you use the bait method, then this is likely to take a few hours to a few days to get rid of the entire infestation.
It can be much quicker if the ants are concentrated around a particular area or have recently entered your house. If they have been there for a while, however, they are likely to have built multiple colonies. This can then take much longer to deal with.
Can Baking Soda Keep Ants Away?
You now know that baking soda can be a good choice when it comes to killing ants. However, how effective is it when it comes to preventing them from entering an area in the first place?
Baking soda can help keep ants away, but only up to a certain extent. Commonly, you can do this by sprinkling some baking soda on the trail that ants follow so that you can create a break in their pheromone signaling.
You can also keep the baking soda near food sources, furniture or entry points to repel the ants from coming near them.
You should note that this might work but will not be able to keep the ants away entirely. They will simply form another trail unless you take care of the entire colony.
Baking Soda Toxicity Level
Baking soda is highly toxic for ants and can be a good way of getting rid of them quickly. However, when it comes to using baking soda around the house, you will also need to consider other factors such as toxicity for your pets, if any.
Luckily, if your pets eat a small quantity of baking soda, then this is unlikely to cause any harm to their health. However, if you are sprinkling too much of it, then this can lead to digestive issues and sodium poisoning in your pets.
Apart from your pets, baking soda is generally safe to use. This also applies to the environment. In fact, baking soda can also end up absorbing some smells and odors around the house.
Should You Use Baking Soda to Kill Ants?
Baking soda can kill ants, but should you use it regularly? Yes, absolutely! Baking soda can be a good solution not only because it can kill ants but also because it is quite safe to use around the house.
They will not cause any harm to your health and will also absorb odors to clear the air in your house. Further, it is quite affordable to buy while also being extremely accessible. You can easily find it in local convenience stores.
In this sense, baking soda is much safer as compared to other chemical solutions that can kill ants. The only thing you need to be careful of is to ensure that your pets do not end up eating too much of it, although baking soda is still safer for your pets than other substances.
Does Baking Soda Kill All Species of Ants?
Baking soda should ideally be able to kill all species of ants since it has a similar effect on their bodies. However, you should always combine this baking soda with another bait to make it truly effective.
When it comes to more tolerant and invasive species such as fire ants and carpenter ants, baking soda by itself might not be enough to get rid of the entire infestation. Make sure you figure out an effective bait that can kill them (such as sugar and vinegar).
In case this is not enough, the best solution would be to use commercial products or call a professional or pest control to solve the issue for you.
Baking Soda Alternatives
In case you do not have access to any baking soda at any given moment but still have an ant infestation that refuses to budge, then you can consider using some alternatives to kill the ants. Take a look at these below.
- You can combine dish soap with some warm water and pour this solution into a spray bottle. You can then spray the trail of ants as well as the nest itself to kill the colony. You can also directly pour this solution over the area using a bucket.
- A mixture of borax, water and sugar can be quite helpful as well. You can then place this mixture in different parts of your house, directly near the nest or near their access points.
- A vinegar and water solution can be effective as well. You can also make use of citrus juices in case you do not have vinegar. Spray this on the ants or directly on their nest to kill the queen and the entire colony.
- Other substances such as flour, talcum powder, cooking oil, diatomaceous earth, honey and more can serve as good baits for the ants.
- If none of these solutions work, then it might be best to call pest control or use commercial products to get rid of the ants once and for all, although these might cost you more money.
Now that you know that baking soda can be a good way to kill ants, you can go ahead and try it out on your own. Make sure you follow the instructions that we have described above.
Remember to keep large amounts of baking soda away from your pets. In case nothing seems to work, it might be time to call a professional.