Getting Rid of Ants With Vinegar: Does it Really Work?

controlling ant infestations

If you’re like most homeowners, you want to keep your home pest-free, which includes making sure that you’re protected from an ant infestation. While there are several ways you can get rid of annoying ants in your home, one of the most surprising and effective solutions is using vinegar.

Although it might be hard to believe, this common household item can be used to remove ants from your home once and for all, guaranteeing your family won’t have to deal with this pest. Here are some tips for getting rid of ants with vinegar, including the steps for making a simple solution that will keep your home completely ant free. 

Ants and Vinegar

Because ants are attracted to so many items in your home, many people wonder if these insects will actually be repelled by a vinegar solution. Luckily, the answer is a resounding yes. Unlike sweets and proteins, ants cannot stand vinegar, meaning that using this substance is a great way to kick ants out of your home for good.

The reason that ants are turned away by vinegar is that they cannot deal with strong smells. In addition to vinegar, ants hate items like lavender, garlic, and essential oils. Basically, anything with a strong odor can turn ants away.

Understanding why strong odors can get rid of ants requires learning a little bit about biology. When ants encounter vinegar, it can influence their behavior by interfering with the pheromones that ants use to communicate. Ants leave a trail of pheromones so that other ants can find food sources. The pungent odor of vinegar covers up these pheromones, preventing them from being detected by other ants so that they cannot find their way into your home. 

Is Vinegar Dangerous?

If you’re interested by ants but don’t want them in your home, it’s important to find a pest-control solution that will leave these critters unharmed. In this regard, there is almost no better option than getting rid of ants with vinegar.

While it’s true that vinegar changes the way that ants behave, it poses no actual threat to these insects. Unlike pesticides and insecticides, using vinegar will not kill ants. The only thing that vinegar will do is cause ants to leave your home while preventing future infestations. This means that you can safely use vinegar without worrying that you’re hurting these mostly harmless creatures. 

Basic Vinegar Treatment

Now that you know you can effectively get rid of ants, it’s time to learn about the most effective vinegar solutions for your ant problem. Because there are so many different options, you may need to mix and match before you find the solution that works for you. Let’s start with the basics.

The easiest way to use vinegar to get ants out of your home is to mix a basic solution of white vinegar and water into a misting bottle. Generally, you will mix these substances in equal parts. Once your solution is made, you should spray it in the areas of your home that are most vulnerable to an ant infestation, particularly your kitchen.

Homeowners who want to be certain that their home is ant free can forgo using water and simply spray pure white vinegar around their house. Spraying just vinegar will result in a much stronger smell that will be more likely to turn away ants.

Like most pest-control solutions, you should be aware that your vinegar will wear off over time. To make sure that the smell remains strong enough to keep ants away, you should make sure that you are regularly spraying white vinegar around your home. 

Responding to an Infestation


Image via Flickr by paulscott56

In some circumstances, such as during a serious infestation, white cider vinegar may not be enough. Fortunately, you can make a much stronger solution using apple cider vinegar. For this solution, you will need a spray bottle, apple cider vinegar, and water.

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water into your spray bottle. Then go around your home and spray everywhere that you’ve noticed ants. For example, you may need to spray around your window sills and baseboards, both of which are places where ants will typically enter your home. You should also make sure to spray this solution on your counters and in your cabinets.

If there are large numbers of ants in your house, you can spray your apple cider vinegar spray directly onto the ants. However, in terms of long-term prevention, a spray made out of white vinegar is usually the better idea. 

Other Household Items to Prevent Ants

In general, vinegar is the most effective item you can use to get rid of ants, and there are a variety of items in your home that you can employ in a pinch to stop ants in their tracks.

For instance, if you notice ants are attracted to an item in your kitchen, such as a sugar jar, you can use adhesive tape. Simply place the tape around the object with the sticky side facing up. The ants will get stuck to the tape and then you can carry them outside.

Another easy way to keep ants out of your home is to use chalk. All you need to do is place chalk around your home in the areas where ants can enter. The chalk’s calcium carbonate content will repel the ants so that your home will stay insect free. You can also use regular flour in the same way.

If you’re looking for an all-natural solution for getting rid of ants, all you need is a little citrus juice. You can squeeze lemon juice in the cracks and crevices in your home to turn away ants. Similarly, by blending orange peels and then spreading the pulp along the exterior of your house, you should be able to prevent ants from entering your home in the first place.

Other items you can use to get rid of ants include salt, pepper, and common herbs and spices. 

Get Rid of Ants

If you want to get rid of ants quickly and easily, there are several items that you probably already possess that will fit the bill. Getting rid of ants with vinegar, for example, is very effective, particularly if you use your solution regularly. For full advice on ant prevention, it’s best to consult with a trained professional.


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