what kills fire ants home remedies?


what kills fire ants home remedies

Have you ever felt those fiery stings after accidentally stepping on a fire ant mound? Those relentless little insects can quickly turn your beloved backyard into a minefield. But before you reach for harsh chemicals, try out these highly effective and natural home remedies to get rid of fire ants for good. These methods will keep your family and pets safe.

Why Avoid Chemical Pesticides to Kill Fire Ants?

Using commercial pesticides and insecticides seems like the quick-fix solution to eradicating fire ants. However, many of these products contain potentially toxic ingredients that could harm your children, pets or the environment. Some chemicals used for pest control are even illegal in certain areas.

Rather than exposing your loved ones to these dangers, opt for natural home remedies and safe fire ant control methods using common household ingredients. These eco-friendly alternatives are just as effective at killing fire ants without chemicals.

Top 5 Natural Home Remedies to Kill Fire Ants

1. Dish Soap and Water Solution

Dish Soap and Water Solution

This straightforward remedy uses two everyday kitchen items – dish soap and water. When ants come into contact with the soapy solution, it clogs their breathing passages and suffocates them.

How to Make It:

  • Mix 1 part dish soap with 2 parts water in a spray bottle
  • Shake well to fully blend the solution
  • Spray directly onto fire ant mounds and trails

Pro Tip: For an even more devious trap, fill shallow dishes with this soapy water solution and add a sweet treat like sugar or syrup in the middle. The ants will be drawn in but won’t be able to escape the deadly bath.

2. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is a power-packed ant killer that works by dehydrating ants on contact. Plus, it’s an affordable and eco-friendly option.


  • Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle
  • Once dry, vinegar won’t leave any lingering smells

Spray this solution along ant trails, around home foundations, doors, and windows to create a vinegar barrier that ants won’t cross. You can even use it to wipe down counters and floors.

Read this blog:

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3. Lemon Juice Solution

Similar to vinegar, lemon juice is another citric acid that proves fatal to ants through dehydration. The pleasant lemon aroma is an added bonus!

How to Use It:

  • Combine 1 part lemon juice with 3 parts water
  • Spray or pour the solution at entry points and onto ant hills

Ants will be repelled by the scent and quickly perish after coming into contact with the acidic liquid.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

This powder is made from fossilized phytoplankton with razor-sharp edges that pierce ants’ exoskeletons, causing dehydration and death. Look for food-grade diatomaceous earth.

Application Tips:

  • Sprinkle a thick line of diatomaceous earth around ant mounds and trails
  • Reapply after it gets wet or dispersed
  • Avoid inhaling the dust

The ants will unknowingly pick up the lethal powder as they crawl over it.

5. Boric Acid and Sugar Baits

Boric Acid and Sugar Baits

Boric acid is a mineral that ants consume, causing their stomach lining to rupture and killing them slowly over a few days. You’ll need to make a sweet bait to entice the ants.

Boric Acid Bait Recipe:

  • Mix 1 part boric acid powder with 8 parts sugar or corn syrup
  • Soak cotton balls in the mixture
  • Place cotton balls near ant trails and in problem areas

Caution: Use care when handling boric acid and keep any baits well away from children and pets.

Long-Term Prevention: How to Keep Fire Ants Away

Even after eliminating visible fire ant colonies, you’ll want to make your home’s surroundings inhospitable to prevent future invasions. Try these simple yet effective deterrent methods:

Repel Ants Naturally With These Substances:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground orange peel
  • Lemon peels
  • Used coffee grounds

Sprinkle any of these strong-smelling spices or food remains in a perimeter around your home’s foundation. The scents will drive ants away.

Make Natural Ant-Repelling Sprays:

Make Natural Ant-Repelling Sprays

Certain plant-based essential oils like peppermint, lemon, lavender and cedar are highly repulsive to ants. Simply mix 10-15 drops of your chosen essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Mist liberally around the house.

Home Maintenance Tips:

  • Seal all cracks and crevices that allow ant entry
  • Wipe up food spills and crumbs immediately
  • Store food items in sealed containers
  • Eliminate sources of standing water

By removing any food or moisture sources and blocking access points, you make your home far less attractive to fire ants and other pests.

When to Call Professional Pest Control

While the above home remedies are highly effective for common fire ant problems, severe infestations may require professional intervention. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to call in reinforcements from an exterminator:

  • Multiple, recurring mounds across your yard
  • Mounds that rapidly regrow after treatment
  • Fire ant colonies invading your home’s interior

Don’t hesitate to reach out to reputable pest control companies if you’ve diligently tried multiple home remedies with no lasting success. Sometimes the experts are needed to fully eliminate a severe fire ant infestation.

Also read:

How To Get Rid Of Brown House Moths?

Frequently asked questions

What is the best homemade fire ant killer?

A mixture of dish soap and water or a blend of white vinegar and water can be effective homemade fire ant killers.

What kills fire ants the fastest?

Boiling water poured directly onto the mound kills fire ants quickly and effectively.

What do fire ants hate the most?

Fire ants dislike strong smells like vinegar, citrus, and essential oils such as peppermint and tea tree oil.

Does vinegar kill fire ants?

Yes, vinegar can kill fire ants by disrupting their scent trails and suffocating them when applied directly.

What is the natural enemy of fire ants?

Phorid flies and certain types of nematodes are natural enemies of fire ants.

What attracts fire ants?

Fire ants are attracted to food sources like sugary substances, greasy foods, and proteins.

Can you permanently get rid of fire ants?

Permanently getting rid of fire ants is challenging, but consistent treatment and prevention can significantly reduce their presence.


With some simple pantry ingredients like dish soap, vinegar, lemon juice and a little diatomaceous earth or boric acid, you can wage an effective war against fire ant invasions. Be persistent and don’t let those stinging pests ruin your yard! But if the battle feels unwinnable, professional pest control may be required as backup.

By taking an integrated approach of killing off visible colonies with natural remedies while also implementing preventative measures, you can gain the upper hand against fire ants. No longer will you have to tiptoe around your own lawn in fear of those fiery stings.

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