How to Make an Ant Killer Yourself? Homemade Ant Killer Recipes

From diatomaceous earth to coffee ground and lemons, we cover the most popular and effective DIY ant killer options.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 10, 2023
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You may be the bravest person on the planet, but when you see an ant crawling out of the walls or from underneath the carpet, the sight can scare anyone. This isn’t particularly because ants are scary-looking creatures, but because they come in hordes. If you have seen one of them, chances are that others may also be lurking nearby, which is why you need to act fast. Today, we’ll discuss how to make a homemade ant killer, quick and easy!

There are several methods that you can apply in order to get rid of the ants that you discover. You may vacuum the carpet or get a commercial ant killer to do the job. However, these solutions might only be temporary, and the insects will be back before you know it.

If you don’t get rid of the problem, these ants will make their way all over your house. Luckily, there is a non-toxic and effective solution: you can make your own homemade non-toxic ant killer solution. This article guides you on how you can prepare this solution at home.

DIY Ant Killers

There are several reasons why you may find ants in a certain part of your house. For starters, if you have a lot of people in the home, and they are messy eaters, chances are that food crumbs are scattered everywhere. These crumbs and bits of food instantly attract the tiny creatures, but this doesn’t have to be the only reason.

In any case, a homemade ant killer spray is the best and most effective way to keep them at bay, and we are going to review the different methods by which you can prepare it.

Diatomaceous Earth

How to Make an Ant Killer Yourself? Homemade Ant Killer Recipes

Diatomaceous earth Trusted Source Diatomaceous Earth General Fact Sheet is a non-toxic and naturally occurring substance found in the fossilized skeletons of algae and diatoms. Not only that, but it is also inexpensive and easy to find. Moreover, it is known to kill insects and creatures of all kinds. Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is in a fine powder form, and it doesn’t affect humans and pets in any way. You can sprinkle it around the places and corners where you have spotted ants. You may see positive results within a few weeks or months.

If you are on the lookout for Diatomaceous earth, you can check out the HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade.

White Vinegar and Water

White vinegar is another cheap and readily available product, and you can find it in grocery stores. Moreover, it is a natural cleaner and disinfectant, so you can mix it in equal parts with water in order to form a homemade ant killer with vinegar. You can spray this solution on all hard surfaces in your home, especially the corners and tiles where you often notice ants gathering. If you notice ants in a part of the house, you can spray the homemade ant killer on them and wipe them with a cloth or paper towel.

How to Make an Ant Killer Yourself? Homemade Ant Killer Recipes

Glass Cleaner and Liquid Detergent

The reason why you often see ants marching along the same path is because they leave a trail of pheromones when they walk, and this allows them to follow the route every time they enter your home. The best way to get rid of them is to eliminate their trail, which can be done with a mixture of glass cleaner and liquid detergent.

When you mix glass cleaner with liquid detergent and spray it on the areas which are most frequented by ants, you would be able to remove the scent that they use to find their way.

Once you have sprayed it, simply wipe the area lightly.

Dish Soap and Water

One of the best and easiest homemade ant killer recipes involves the use of dish soap and water. All you need to do is mix the two well and pour them in a clean spray bottle. Next, spray this homemade non-toxic ant killer directly on the ants, and it would kill them instantly. You can also spray this on ants that reside on plants inside or outside your home because it doesn’t harm the plants at all.

Sugar and Borax Paste

Ants are also known to be attracted to sugar, which is why you can also use a homemade sugar ant killer to get rid of them quickly. However, you won’t be able to prepare this homemade ant killer without Borax Trusted Source Borax (Sodium Tetraborate): Uses & Health Risks Best known as a household cleaner, borax can cause several health issues if you swallow it by itself or breathe it. , or sodium tetraborate. It is a strong compound that should be kept away from children and pets, which is why you should handle it with care. If you are looking to buy Borax for the ant killer, MILLIARD Borax Powder is a suitable option.

To prepare the homemade sugar ant killer, you should put on safety gloves and mix 8 teaspoons sugar and ½ teaspoon Borax in one cup of warm water. Make sure to mix the solution properly, and dab cotton balls in it. Then, you can place the soaked cotton balls all over the house, especially where you find ants. Make sure to wash the container or cup you use to mix Borax and sugar together, and also remove the cotton balls after you see a reduction in the ant population.

There is also a recipe using Borax and honey instead of sugar. Check it out in the video below!

Ground Pepper

Another natural ant killer is ground black or red pepper because its smell deters insects. It is a natural homemade non-toxic ant killer that you can easily use around your home, without having to worry about your children or pets. If you are looking to apply this method, all you need to do is sprinkle ground pepper in the corners and behind furniture, as well as behind appliances. It is highly effective in driving away ants.

Essential Oils

If you aren’t ready to learn how to make a homemade ant killer, or you don’t want to put in the effort, you can simply make use of essential oils, which contain certain chemicals known to be toxic for ants and other insects. Just like the glass cleaner and liquid detergent mixture, essential oils also erase the scent that ants leave with their pheromone trail. You can make use of essential oils like citrus oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil.

Get a clean spray bottle and fill it with a quarter cup of water. Then, you can add 15 drops of each essential oil in the bottle and shake it well to allow proper mixing. Once you have mixed them properly, you can spray the solution on common areas that ants inhabit.


How to Make an Ant Killer Yourself? Homemade Ant Killer Recipes

Another easily available ingredient you can use to make homemade ant killer is cornstarch, and you can directly sprinkle it over the ants that you find, adding water after you do. Alternatively, you can simply sprinkle cornstarch on the ants and use a vacuum to collect them. Later, you can seal the vacuum bag or dust it outdoors to completely get rid of the ants.

Boiling Water

If your prime concern is finding a pet-safe homemade ant killer, you can simply boil some water and pour it directly over the ants you find crawling around, especially if you have noticed ant holes inside or outside your house. You might need more water if there are several ant holes, and this should get rid of them for a while.

Coffee Grounds

Another natural ant deterrent is found in coffee grounds, particularly the freshly brewed kind. You can sprinkle these on cardboard or paper and place them in close proximity to areas and holes where you usually see ants. Moreover, you can place them on windowsills, but they get dry quickly, so you will have to replace them frequently.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is highly effective as a homemade ant killer for the outside and inside as well. It is known to kill different types of ants and their queen within only three weeks of exposure. However, you wouldn’t want to use this if you are looking for homemade non-toxic ant killers, because they can’t be used in homes with children and pets.

While handling Boric acid, you have to put on safety gloves.

Similar to the homemade sugar ant killer recipe, mix ½ teaspoon acid and 8 teaspoons sugar into a cup of warm water. Once they are fully mixed, you can dip cotton balls in the solution and place them all over your house.


How to Make an Ant Killer Yourself? Homemade Ant Killer Recipes

Last but not least, lemons also serve as a natural deterrent for ants, and you can definitely use them for your homemade ant killer. They work similar to essential oils and remove pheromone traces, while also hiding the scent of food that attracts ants. You can simply spray lemon juice on ants, or place lemon rinds in different corners and cupboards of the house.

What is the Most Effective Option?

By now, you have an idea of how many different methods there are for making homemade non-toxic ant killer. In the options that we have discussed, the most effective option is the Borax and sugar solution, or the Boric acid option. In both of these, the ants are completely eliminated for quite some time before you have to prepare this solution again.

However, if you are looking for a simple and hassle-free option, then you can use boiling water, cornstarch, or coffee grounds for the purpose.

Are Homemade Ant Killers Safe for People and Pets?

Generally, homemade ant killers are made from common and everyday ingredients, such as cornstarch, lemon juice, ground pepper, sugar, and several others. These ingredients make the solution safe for use even when pets and children are around. However, you will have to be careful while using solutions that include Borax or Boric acid.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our guide on how to make homemade ant killers. We hope you have received valuable insights regarding the topic, which you can also apply in your home to get rid of ants and other insects. Just make sure to follow the instructions as we have provided, otherwise you might not be able to make an efficient solution that actually gets rid of ants for a long time. If you are noticing a lot of ants in your home, make sure to identify the cause before you get to work on eliminating them.


Diatomaceous Earth General Fact Sheet
Borax (Sodium Tetraborate): Uses & Health Risks
Best known as a household cleaner, borax can cause several health issues if you swallow it by itself or breathe it.
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