Homemade Organic Pesticides for Ants


An invasion of ants can happen in any home. Ants live in colonies that contain an egg-laying female and many worker ants. The ants you find streaming across counters and through cracks are workers foraging for food to bring back to the colony. Many commercial ant control products are available, but you can also mix your own homemade, organic pesticide for ants made with chemicals that are not harmful to humans or the environment.

Boric Acid

  • Boric acid is a salt of borax, a naturally-occuring mineral that is mined from deposits in the western United States. It is an organic compound with an insecticidal effect, that works as a stomach poison for ants. The ants walk through the boric acid powder and ingest the substance when they clean themselves. They bring the powder back to the nest where other ants also ingest it and die. Boric acid is mixed with an attractive substance such as sugar, honey, peanut butter or grease in baits. When making a homemade bait, boric acid should be 5 to 10 percent of the weight of the mixture, according to Colorado State University Extension.

Diatomaceous Earth

  • Diatomaceous earth is an organic compound made from the fossilized skeletons of tiny marine creatures. It is processed into a fine powder that that has sharp edges that cut and scrape the exoskeletons of insects like ants. The moisture in their bodies begins to dessicate and the insects die. Ants will pick up diatomaceous earth on their feet and bodies and carry it back to the nest. If they ingest the material it will also shred their digestive systems, according to GHOrganics. Diatomaceous earth is harmless to pets and humans and is safe for the environment. It can also be mixed with water to create a thin slurry for application into crevices.

Baking Soda

  • Baking soda is another organic compound that will repel ants. Sprinkle it around points of entry and ants will refuse to cross it. Mix a homemade bait of 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar to entice the ants to carry the compound back to their nest.

Orange Oil

  • Orange oil is a compound that is known to repels ants. Many commercial orange oil products are available on the market, but you can make a homemade orange oil organic pesticide by simmering orange peels in water for an hour and pouring the water in areas where ants have entered your home. You can also place orange peels in a container of water and set them at these entry points, according to Orkin.

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