More than 12,000 species of ants exist.

Homemade Ant Killer for Using Around the Outside of the Home

by Marylee Gowans

Ants are beneficial in many ways such as aerating soil, pollinating plants and preying on other garden pests. Despite these positive aspects, though, ants also can be annoying, creating ugly dirt mounds in your yard and invading your home in search of food to take back to their colony. Thankfully, you can create your own homemade ant killer for use around the outside of your home.

Boiling Water

Simple yet effective, boiling water poured directly on mounds can help control ants in your lawn without dangerous chemicals. However, about 3 gallons of boiling water will be needed to eliminate 60 percent of the ant mound, according to the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. This means repeated treatments will be required. Even though this method is relatively safe, you can still scald yourself with the boiling water if not careful.

Homemade Ant Bait

Commercial ant bait is readily available at various grocery and home improvement stores. The bait contains toxic chemicals and can be expensive. For a more economical and environmentally friendly option, make your own ant bait by mixing 1/4 liter of hot water with 8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of boric acid in a small glass jar. Poke holes in the lid of the jar big enough so that the ants can enter. Toss a few cotton balls inside the jar, secure the lid in place and shake gently so the cotton balls get soaked in the solution. Place the homemade bait station in the path of ant trails, avoiding direct sunshine, and check every few days, adding more of the ant bait solution if needed

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from a natural-occurring sedimentary rock. These rocks contain fossilized remains of diatoms, which are an algae-like organism. The powder has sharp edges that are not felt by humans or pests, but will slice insects open as they crawl through it, resulting in dehydration and death. To use diatomaceous earth to control ants, sprinkle the powder around the exterior of your home, making sure to treat cracks, crevices and the home’s foundation. Wear a dust mask, safety goggles and rubber gloves when applying the diatomaceous earth, and keep people out of the area until the dust settles to prevent skin, nose, throat and eye irritation.


Along with homemade ant killer, make sure the inside of your home is well protected against ants by ensuring the home is properly sealed. In addition, keep sugary foods properly stored, and regularly sweep and mop your home. Immediately sweep up crumbs and wipe up spills. Ants are attracted to food; if they do happen to make their way into your home and find goodies to munch on, they will return with their friends and family. Without a food source, ants will find your home unpleasant and look elsewhere for their next meal.

About the Author

Marylee Gowans has written about gardening for both online and print publications. She attended the University of Akron, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. In 2009, she received master gardener certification from the Master Gardeners of Summit County, Ohio.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images