Using Dish Detergent to Get Rid of Ants

pouring detergent to prevent ants
What You'll Need
Dish detergent
Spray bottle

Ants can infest any home, especially if they detect something they can eat inside. Once ants decide to move in, it's hard to make them leave. Luckily, you can kill and drive out ants using only simple household materials. You can even discourage them from coming back.

Ants send out scouts that return to their homes leaving a scent trail for others to follow. Fortunately, this is their weakness. If you can block their scent trail, you can confuse ants into thinking that your home isn't interesting. Using only ordinary dish detergent, you can take back your home from these pests.

Step 1 - Set Up

Fill your spray bottle with water, and mix in about 1/4 cup of detergent. The exact measurements aren't that important, but you should have much, much more water than detergent.

Now you need to track down the source of your ant problem. Usually if you find one ant, you will find all of them, since you can follow their regular trail to where they are getting in. If this happens, make a note of both the entrance the ants are using and the thing they are traveling to, whether it is a spill, an open container, garbage, or something else.

If the ants are less organized, you will just have to spend some time hunting down their entrance.

Step 2 - Spray Access Points

Once you have found out how the ants are getting in, spray any ants that have already gotten in with your spray bottle. Then, spray around the entrance the ants are using. Don't be stingy. You want them to have no option but to cross the dish detergent if they want to get inside, which will confuse them and prevent them from summoning friends even if they survive it.

WARNING: Dish detergent is toxic enough to be dangerous when inhaled for long periods, so open your windows and be sure to keep all small children and pets far away.

Step 3 - Prevent Further Infestation

The ants are gone now, but they could try to come back. Preventing ant infestations is easier than wiping them out, so this is a good opportunity to plan ahead.

Take a minute to think about how the ants got inside and what attracted them originally. You should come up with a strategy to stop both of these problems.

With regards to the problem of how the ants get in, you will need to examine your house carefully. Are there any cracks? What about gaps between boards? Doors and windows that do not seal off properly? For all problems like these, you need to implement a solution. Use caulk on any cracks or gaps. Install weather stripping on doors and windows. Make your house as hard to get into as possible.

In terms of attracting ants, a different set of solutions are needed. You need to keep your eating areas, food storage areas, and garbage free of spills, open containers, and anything else that might give off a smell that could attract ants.