How to Kill Ants With Mouthwash

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Ants are a problem in many homes. Though you can call a commercial pesticide company to spray around your home, this can be expensive. There may also be concerns about using toxic poisons, especially if you have children or pets. More people are turning to home remedies to kill off these pesky critters.


Using mouthwash like Listerine or TheraSol to kill ants is easy—and cheaper than an exterminator. These substances are nontoxic enough to rinse your mouth with, so they're nontoxic enough to spray around the house without worry.

Things You'll Need

  • Listerine or TheraSol mouthwash (generic is fine)
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Wet paper towel or rag

Using Mouthwash to Kill Ants

  • Pour straight Listerine or TheraSol into a spray bottle. Both are known to work against ants. Listerine has a high alcohol content (26.9 percent), which kills ants and erases the ant trail. TheraSol contains sodium fluoride, which is also found in commercial ant and cockroach pesticides. It's more expensive than Listerine.

  • Locate the ant trail and spray the mouthwash directly on the ants.

  • Wipe the ants up with a wet paper towel or rag. Ants come back to collect their dead, so this step is important. It also wipes away the ant trail scent for new ants.

  • Follow the ant trail outside and locate the ant mound, if possible.

  • Pour straight mouthwash into the mound to kill the ants.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can't find the ant mound and the ants keep returning, try using ant bait that the ants will take back to their nest, poisoning the colony.
  • Try to put away food and clean up crumbs as soon as possible until the ants are eradicated.
  • The U.S. Army also suggests using crumbled bay leaves and Listerine spray in places where ants return, such as baseboard or pantry cracks.

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