Does Vinegar Kill Ants?

If ants go marching one by one through your kitchen, then you should do something to get rid of them. However, you do not want to create a situation where you have driven yourself from your own living space along with the ants. What do you do about it?

Think back to seventh-grade science class when you tried to find a way to get rid of ants. You might have tried hot sauce; it worked, but it is kind of messy. Another solution that some people believe gets rid of ants is vinegar. But does it live up to the hype?

What Is Vinegar, And What Do Ants Think Of It?

Vinegar is a fermented liquid substance with a large amount of acetic acid, usually between 5 and 20 percent. It is usually made from corn, apple cider, rice, or even coconuts.

As it turns out, ants have a very strong aversion to vinegar. Wouldn’t you if you were that size? In all seriousness, the reason that ants do not like vinegar is that it is very acidic and has a strong smell.

For this purpose, it is best to stick to distilled white vinegar because it is clear in color and has a pH of around 2.6 with around 5-8% acetic acid.

How To Get Rid Of Ants With Vinegar

One way you can use vinegar to get rid of ants is to put it in a spray bottle. Combine equal parts water and vinegar, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray the problem areas until the ants go away.

If you have so many ants that spraying them with water and vinegar is still not enough to deal with it, then you can try just plain old undiluted vinegar. That should work twice as well since water is basically inert from a pH standpoint.

Is Vinegar An Insect Repellent Or An Insecticide?

Vinegar is not an insecticide. It only repels ants, but it does not kill them. You could try drowning them, but plain undiluted water is more than enough for that. However, if you want to drive ants away and keep them from coming back, vinegar is ideal.

What Is The Difference Between Types Of Vinegar, And Why Does It Matter?

If you think that it is all the same to the ants, or even to your own safety, then think again. Some of them are stronger than others. All of them have unique uses.

The main difference between multiple types of vinegar is the main ingredient from which they are distilled. Clear white vinegar usually comes from either corn or grains. The fermentation process that creates apple cider vinegar includes a mother, which is the source of its beneficial proteins and bacteria. The former is a better solution if ants are attacking your carpet, but both are acceptable for tile, stone, and linoleum floors.

Some types of vinegar come from grapes, such as white balsamic vinegar, which comes from white Trebbiano grapes. This type is more appropriate for use as a salad dressing than for keeping ants away.

Another thing to think about when choosing what type of vinegar to use is its acidity level. You only want to get rid of ants and not people. Anything with an acidity level of more than 10% is too strong to use this way.

Why Is It Not Enough To Just Step On Them?

Stepping on ants may kill them, but it does not remove the cause of the infestation. If you have ants in your house, then there is very likely to be more than just common household dirt attracting them there. Ants leave trails of pheromones behind to attract each other. Their antennae can detect the scent, almost like catnip to a cat.

Some types of ants are worse than others. If you have carpenter ants in your house, then it could be a sign of rotting wood or other foundational problems. Be glad that you only have ants and not termites because you would need a lot more than just vinegar if that was the case.

Now That They Are Gone, How Can I Keep Ants From Coming Back?

Once you have gotten rid of the ants, it is easy to keep them away. Obviously, the easiest way to do this is to keep your house clean. Vinegar is effective as a common household cleaning aide as well as an ant repellant.

Something else that is sure to help keep ants out of your home is a regular inspection by a professional. The old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies in this case. Make sure that there are no other insects doing even more damage.


Nobody wants ants in their house, but nobody should have to put their own safety at risk to drive them away.

Instead of a toxic chemical cleaner likely to irritate your eyes and skin, a simple solution of water and distilled white vinegar is the cheapest, easiest, and safest way to drive ants away and keep them from coming back. Your family is sure to thank you for using this instead.

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