There’s nothing more annoying than finding a fleet of ants marching across your kitchen or room. Nothing seems to get rid of these eusocial insects no matter what you do. Even though ants are primarily harmless and play an essential role in the ecosystem, their presence in personal spaces is disconcerting.
Worry no more; we’re introducing you to a foolproof hack that will get rid of ants for good by only using household bleach!
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How Does Bleach Work on Ants?
Before we go any further, it is essential to comprehend the mechanism of action of bleach. This will help you better understand the hazards and precautions one should take before using bleach.
Bleach is an unstable whitening agent used to remove stubborn stains from fabrics. It contains Sodium Hypochlorite that brings out a bright white hue by the method of oxidation.
On the other hand, Formic acid is a stable liquid found in ants. When formic acid found inside the ants comes into contact with the very much unstable bleach, it causes an internal explosion, resulting in the ants’ death.
Will Bleach Erase Ant Trails?
Ants are tiny but intelligent creatures. If you’d notice, they march in trails and leave a scent behind while doing so. This scent helps other ants reach areas abundant with food and helps them navigate their way back home.
Even a diluted form of bleach is powerful enough to wipe off ant trails for good. Erasing ant trails will make it difficult for the ants to find their way into your house.
How Long Does it Take for Bleach to Kill Ants?
There are two ways to use bleach. Both of them kill ants in different periods. However, none of these methods guarantee getting rid of an ant infestation.
Concentrated (Undiluted Bleach):
Bleach is a highly corrosive compound. When applied directly, it will cause instant disruption of membranes or barriers.
Concentrated bleach can cause an explosion inside the ant’s body and kill them almost instantly. However, using concentrated bleach has a lot of disadvantages which we will mention in the sections below.
Bleach can kill ants within a few minutes or even less when mixed with boiling water. Using only the diluted form of bleach is advised as it is safer than its counterpart.
3 Ways to Use Bleach to Kill Ants
Using a bleach spray is the preferred method to get rid of ants. Simply add 9-12 tablespoons of bleach in a spray bottle filled with water and spray wherever you may deem necessary.
Boil Water with Bleach
For ant infestations, you would have to make use of the high temperature of the boiling water along with the corrosiveness of the bleach solution.
Pour this mixture directly over the ants for maximum results.
Pour over some bleach on a damp cloth and wipe it on vulnerable surfaces or areas. You can even use a bleached mop to clean your floor tiles. This will help eliminate ant trails.
Disadvantages of Using Bleach
Bleach is a standard household detergent and is used for various purposes. It can help eliminate stains, odor, and ants!
However, detergents as strong as bleach also pose some environmental threats. Listed below are a few disadvantages of using bleach to kill ants.
Toxic to Plants
Spraying or pouring bleach onto plants to get rid of ants will cause the plant to die.
Irritates the Skin
Make sure to avoid skin contact with bleach. It is a highly corrosive element and can damage the skin barrier.
It discolors not only clothes but also wooden floors, countertops, and concrete.
Harms Essential Soil Bacteria
These bacteria make the soil fertile and healthy. When soil comes in contact with bleach, it results in the death of the symbiotic species.
Natural Alternatives to Get Rid of Ants
I would prefer using the following methods to get rid of ants. They work just as well, if not better!
Using essential oils like peppermint oil, clove oil, or spearmint oil act as natural ant repellents.
The sharp silica shells in diatomaceous earth cause physical injury to the ants, resulting in their death.
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Boiling water kills ants instantly.
Using Ant baits
Borax slowly disrupts the digestive system of the ants. It will slowly but surely result in the death of ants.