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Updated by Rosalie Galvez on Apr 05, 2021
Headline for Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?
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Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?

Home is supposed to be a man’s fortress where he can enjoy life with his loved ones. It keeps everyone inside from the dangers and tribulations of the outside. A strong and sturdy lock steers the unpleasant intruders away from the house. Still, some elements are hard to control. They can invade the house like a cloud of smoke and you need to take drastic steps to keep everyone healthy and hearty.


Ants As Pests

Everyone has known and being afraid of the little monsters in some part of their lives. They are one of the most commonly known and found animals on the planet. They usually invade lawns and gardens which makes them one of the pests that are just around without disrupting the routine, until they multiply in too many numbers and became an infestation.

Before we can dig into how baking soda can work on them, we need to know a little about ants as pests.

Do you know that there are around 12,000 known species of ants? As stated earlier, they are everywhere and can live in the most diverse environments and adapt to them. The most common species of ants are:

• Fire Ants

• Crazy Ants

• Carpenter Ants

• Ghost Ants

Ants are known to be excellent workers and one of the most relentless social organisms in the whole animal kingdom. As a fact, an ant can carry more than 50 times its body weight and can climb steep structures for a long distance.

Since they are social insects, they have a complex structure with hierarchies. They are most reliant on their numbers which explains why their infestation in your house can be problematic. They are omnivorous and voracious with their eating habits. They can eat off carcasses of beasts in days. So, it should not come as a surprise that they do not leave anything for others once they get started.

It is hard to feed colonies they know that. It is also hard to turn down temptations. Ants are clinically attracted to sweets such as honey, sugar, maple syrups, etc. They are notorious for scavenging everything, from crumbs and leftovers to whole bushels.

Some ants build anthills under the mounds of soil. This can cause a problem in your garden because it could seriously compromise the integrity of the soil. There are other species of ants, like carpenter ants, that create colonies inside the house, thus wreaking havoc on the foundations of the building.

Most of the ants are harmless and do nothing if come in contact with a human being. But some species can bit or sting. This could result in leaving trails of swollen spots or blisters on the skin. In the worst-case scenario, these painful spots can trigger allergic reactions that would require medical assistance.


Baking Soda

Baking soda is a base mineral. It is a commonly found chemical in grocery stores and other places. It is also known by its chemical name, called Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate. Its chemical formula is NaHCO3.

Those who are not inclined to science and scientific notations will know baking soda as a white, powdery material with a salty taste. It is extensively used in baking and cooking as a leavening agent. It means when it is added to an ingredient of a recipe, such as a dough, fermentation happens. This leads to bubble formation or air pockets in the goods which gives it its characteristic appearance. For reference, your cake, bread, pizza, all have some amount of baking soda!

Baking powder is another white powder that is commonly found in households and often misunderstood as baking soda. Despite its wide use in cooking and baking, it is used as a natural cleaning agent for centuries. It is known for cleaning stubborn stains, mildew, and even grime from fabrics, ceramics, marble, etc. You can also use it to open clogged sinks and get rid of the unwanted odors in your house.

Another important use of baking soda is being an effective conditioner for both skin and hair. It can give a consistent texture to hair as well as whiten teeth that are untidy from smoking, consuming tea, etc.

But the real point here is: Can baking soda kill ants?


Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?

As much as many would love to believe in that, some say that it is just a myth!

Lately, there is a recipe for a home-made insecticide that is making rounds over the internet. It has baking soda mixed with equal parts of sugar. According to internet specialists, this could effectively kill the ant infestation that is bugging for being out of control.

The recipe takes advantage of ants being scavengers. So, ants take this poison to their home and infect the rest of the colony. When they ingest it, the baking soda in the insecticide will make carbon dioxide bubbles which will make small bombs out of these ants, killing them instantly.

Keep in mind that the emphasis here is not on the baking soda alone but on the recipe that requires equal parts of sugar. It is because the only way this plan could work is by luring the ants to take the bait. With its salty taste, ants are not much attracted to baking soda, which is why sugar must be added.


The Science Behind Baking Soda As A Pesticide

If you are not still convinced how a simple, harmless household item can kill control the ant infestation at your property, here is the scientific evidence to back these theories.

Pool-owners use baking soda to maintain the pH of pool water. It is a natural regulating agent that works its magic in certain conditions.

As we discussed earlier that ants, being scavengers, take the food back to their nest and share it with the rest of the members of the colony. The roles in an ant colony are defined. Some attend to laid eggs, some protect the colony, while worker ants fetch food and other necessary items. So, there is no way that the food is not shared.

When this poison is taken to the nest, contrary to the internet theories that say ants explode due to the bubbling of CO2, it dries out their bodies and kills them in the process!

All you need to do is to make a mixture that is enough to feed a whole ant colony, which is not much by our standards. When the fetcher ants take that poison to their nests, they will help you in killing those ants that are not getting out of there.

As luck would have it, if that adulterated food reaches the queen, you would not have to worry about infestation from that colony. It is because only a queen can lay eggs, and once she is dead, there is no multiplication in the members of that colony.


How To Use Baking Soda To Kill Ants?

If you are convinced now, we can move to the step about how we can use baking soda as a pesticide to kill the ants at your home. Even if you are still having second thoughts, you can try it to see it for yourself. Of course, seeing is believing!

Here is a step-by-step guide to making up the recipe using baking soda and sugar:

• Take a bowl that is easily reachable for crawlers, in that case, the ants. Put equal parts sugar and baking soda in it. Remember, grounded sugar would have a more quick effect.

• Mix the two well in the bowl or plate.

• If you have a plate, it is fine. But if you were mixing the two in a bowl, you need to transfer the mixture to a shallow container for easy access.

• For the last part, place that container in the place which is frequented by those pesky, irritating ants.

Pro Tip: For those who do not have a spare shallow container, you can sprinkle the mixture directly on the floor, the counters, window sills, etc., wherever you spot those ants.

Contrary to a dry powder, you can make a paste of this mixture by adding some water. This way, it would be easy for ants to take big chunks of poison to their home. Plastering the paste to the inlet that ants use to get into your house is another way to poison those intruders before they could get into the house.


Advantages Of Using Baking Soda As An Ant Pesticide

Why baking soda could be an ideal ant repellant and killers for households, especially the ones with kids?

For a starter, it is safe because it is non-toxic. Put it this way, you use a mass-produced insecticide that has a big warning on the container to keep it away from the kids. But there is no simple way to keep the poison away from the kids because you need to kill the ants. In the case of baking soda, they can even consume the mixture without incurring any damage or injury to themselves. This is a big plus which should be enough for house owners to use baking soda as their go-to pesticide.

As stated earlier, baking soda is safe for humans to ingest and consume. It is a typical and widely-used ingredient in bakery items and even used in tubes of toothpaste for their cleansing nature.

Another benefit of using baking soda and sugar to kill the ant colonies is that it is cheap and simple to make and dispense when compared to other sprays and repellants you will find in the stores. To make this simple yet effective formula, you do not need to scour your nearby grocery store because you would already have all the materials at your home. Even if you don’t have baking soda in your pantry, you can get your hands on a box of baking soda for a dollar!

Read more about Ant Remedies