How Do You Kill Fire Ants Without Chemicals?

Reviewed on 1/6/2021
Fire ants are a big nuisance if you find them infesting your house or gardens.
Fire ants are a big nuisance if you find them infesting your house or gardens.

Fire ants are a big nuisance if you find them infesting your house or gardens. Their bite is painful, and a few people develop allergic reactions to the bites. To get rid of the fire ants, you may be tempted to use the market preparations of pesticides and insecticides. However, they may not be a good option for you if you are very protective of your kids and pets. Here are the effective ways that you can use to kill fire ants without chemicals:

  • Dish soap/liquid and water: Make a solution of one part of dish soap and two parts of water. Shake the solution well. You can spray this solution on the ants to suffocate them and thus killing them. Another way is to use shallow dishes of soapy water to kill ants. Keep some sweets in the dish to attract the ants toward them.
  • White vinegar and water: Mix a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the solution on the ants. Vinegar does not smell after it dries up. Hence, you can use the solution to clean the floors, tiles, and windows of your house. This will deter the ants from coming into your house.
  • Lemon juice and water: Mix a solution of one part of lemon juice to three parts of water. You can use it in the same way as the vinegar solution.
  • Diatomaceous earth: Food-grade diatomaceous earth is composed of fossilized diatoms that have been ground to a powder. Sprinkle its powder wherever you find a trail of ants. When insects walk over the powder, the powder will scratch the waxy outer coating on their exoskeletons. This causes their bodies to dry out.
  • Boric acid: Boric acid is a naturally occurring substance. When ants ingest boric acid, it poisons their stomachs, and they die. It comes in the form of a white or blue powder that you can sprinkle in the areas where ants are commonly found. You can also make boric acid sugar traps. Mix boric acid with corn syrup or sugar syrup and pour the mixture over cardboard pieces.

How to keep fire ants away from your home?

Sprinkling a few substances in a line along the trails of ants can keep the fire ants away. These substances include:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground orange
  • Lemon peels
  • Coffee grounds

Spraying essential oils can also help to keep the fire ants away. These oils are fragrant to humans, but ants hate them. Make a spray that contains 10 drops of essential oil mixed with a cup of water. Spray this solution both indoors and outdoors. Here are the oils you can try:

Keep your surfaces clean: If ants don't smell food, they won't be interested in entering your home. Clean up any food spills immediately.

Keep food in sealed containers: Keep all the eatables, especially sugar, honey, and other such sweet stuff, in tight containers.

Seal your house: Find all the little cracks and crevices through which ants could be getting in. These include under the door, around the windowsills, and in other little cracks in the foundation.

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References
Bunch TR, Bond C, Buhl K, et al. Diatomaceous Earth General Fact Sheet. National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services. 2013. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html

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