Does baking soda kill ants?
Baking soda can kill ants in several ways, but you need to be mindful about how and where you apply it.
This natural remedy, however, is a great alternative to other chemical-based solutions you may have tried in the past to get rid of ants.
Here’s how it works.
Baking soda is likely something that you will find in just about any household.
It is used both for cooking and cleaning - but it also has applications as an insecticide.
It also goes by the name bicarbonate of soda.
This naturally occurring salt has a sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion.
It’s different from its closely-named relative, baking powder, which won’t be nearly as effective when it comes to killing ants.
In fact, baking soda is up to four times stronger than baking powder!
Baking soda does actually kill ants.
It is often touted as one of the cheapest and easiest methods of getting rid of these pests for good.
However, you do need to take some extra steps when you apply it to make sure it is effective.
Simply spreading a trail of baking soda on the ground won’t be enough.
There’s nothing in the baking soda that will make the ants attracted to it.
They’ll just turn around and find another route.
You need to trick ants to eat the baking soda instead.
Add something to the baking soda that the ants will enjoy eating, such as powdered sugar.
It has a similar consistency and
texture to baking soda so it should blend right into the mixture.
The sweet taste, however, will encourage ants to nibble on through.
Regular white sugar won’t work as well because the granular texture differs from the powdery texture of baking soda.
Don’t skim over this - be sure to use powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar if you really want to be effective in your approach!
Baking soda is a highly effective, natural strategy when it comes to getting rid of ants.
Just make sure you put enough down for them to eat and it should take care of the issue the first time around.
If the nest is extremely large - or if you think you might be dealing with multiple nests - you may want to place an inch or so of the mixture into an empty soda can.
The excess sugar will attract lots of ants but will also prevent you from giving the mixture to kids or adults.
not toxic, there’s a good chance that you don’t want your toddler wandering
around eating baking soda!
How does baking soda kill ants?
It’s quite simple, actually.
When you mix baking soda, which is basic, with something acidic (like vinegar), you’ll notice a reaction.
Usually, it creates an eruption of bubbles.
This chemical reaction is intense and powerful.
Therefore, when ants digest baking soda, it
reacts with the acid in their stomachs and kills them.
It doesn’t make them explode, as more dramatic pest control enthusiasts might claim, but instead dries them out and kills them slowly from the inside out.
It’s a similar pest control solution as diatomaceous earth.
The beauty of using baking soda to get rid of an ant infestation is that ants are natural scavengers - they send out worker ants to find and collect food to bring back to the colony.
They'll unwittingly bring the baking soda back to the nest, thinking it’s just sugar, and accidentally kill off the entire colony.
Once the ants eat the baking soda, it does take a few minutes for any effects to settle in.
Usually, they'll start digesting within a few minutes.
The beauty of this is that you won't have to wait for weeks for the solution to take effect - yet it still leaves enough time for the worker ants to bring the baking soda back to the rest of the nest.
Your ant problem should be over in a few days, if not within the same day.
If that’s not fast enough for you, you can always try to find the nest and sprinkle baking soda around there, too.
It increases the likelihood that the ants will find the baking soda mixture and die quickly - it’s just like if someone were to place a Big Mac outside your door.
Wouldn’t you eat it?
Of course, if you don’t see any results from using baking soda, you may want to reconsider what’s attracting ants in the first place.
Take a walk around your home and do an inventory, noting any cracks, gaps, or holes that you find.
Seal them up so more ants can’t get inside.
Then, try the treatment with baking soda again, perhaps using a larger, more liberal application of your mixture.
Baking soda isn’t the only option you have when it comes to getting rid of ants in the house.
There are plenty of other solutions you can turn to, including white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, essential oils, diatomaceous earth, and more.
Natural remedies are definitely preferred when you have the option - they’ll reduce the likelihood of contaminating yourself or your family with harmful chemicals and are less expensive, too.
That said, most chemical insecticides and baits do tend to work faster than home remedies, so take that into consideration.
Of course, there are lots of benefits to using
baking soda to get rid of ants, too.
It is inexpensive and readily available.
Who doesn't have baking soda lying around the house?
Plus, since you don’t need to rely on store-bought chemicals, it is safer as well as more affordable.
Baking soda is included in many common recipes for cooking and baking, so you know it’s safe to ingest.
Baking soda is a wonderful home remedy when you’re trying to get rid of ants.
Just make sure to follow the tips above to make sure you're using it the right way!