Alcohol can kill ants because it contains ethanol which dissolves their exoskeleton on contact. This dehydrates and burns them to death if you drench them with it. Denatured, ethyl, isopropyl, and rubbing alcohol are the major types of alcohol that are readily available.
The disadvantage of using alcohol for ants in a room at night is the strong smell it emits. This can be toxic if inhaled in large quantities and your guests may also think you are an addict. It is advisable to spray this during the day in small quantities when the windows can be left open.
While using alcohol for ants on plants, do not soak the leaves, stem, and soil. Doing so can make the leaves dry and fall after some time. Ethanol on potted plants can burn, dehydrate and kill them.
Does drinking alcohol kill ants?
Ethanol is also known as drinking or ethyl alcohol. It gives off a concentrated odor that can repel ants. This can either be sprinkled on them or used to wipe their trails. It can also be poured into an anthill outdoors to kill and get rid of a whole colony of ants.
Ethyl alcohol is an important solvent used in several alcoholic drinks. This is what causes the high effects when one takes alcohol. Ethanol is also an ingredient in hand sanitizers and those made from it can kill and repel ants if you manage to soak them in it.
Vodka and beer for ants
Alcohol’s effect on ants depends on the strength. Those with high ethanol percentage affect ants faster when compared to alcohol with low ethyl concentration. For example, vodka kills and repels ants efficiently when compared to beer.
Vodka has high levels of ethanol concentrations when compared to beer and this is why beer takes time to repel ants. In fact, ants will still survive if you spray them with small amounts of beer. Ants will only die if you drown them in beer for more than 15 minutes.
Sprinkling vodka on ants will repel and kill them on contact because it contains 40% alcohol by volume. Its strong scent can also block the tiny breathing holes on their abdomen. The percentage of pure ethanol in vodka is high and can effectively burn through the ants’ exoskeleton.
Beer contains about 4-10% volume of alcohol meaning that it can kill ants but they have to be drenched in good amounts. This is not economical when getting rid of ants because you do not want to pour bottles of beer around your home just to drive ants away.
Rubbing alcohol for ants
The antiseptic nature of rubbing alcohol is toxic to ants and this kills them on contact. Rubbing alcohol is a liquid that is either concentrated in isopropyl or ethanol. When sprayed on ants, it dries them out and gives a burning sensation on their exoskeletons.
When poured into ants’ nests, rubbing alcohol will kill and drive them out since it has a harsh odor that deters insects. This liquid is also flammable and should never be used in large quantities near flames. It is okay to spray or sprinkle it in small quantities for ants because even a drop is enough to deter a good number of ants.
Rubbing alcohol should not be used to kill ants in bed or bedroom at night because the odor produced can be toxic to humans. It can irritate the nose and nauseate when inhaled in large amounts. Severe cases may include vomiting and choking due to lack of breath.
Before using rubbing alcohol on a surface, clean it first with soapy water. This liquid is easily absorbed by dust and the end results will not be effective. When outdoors, you can soak some cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and place them on ant trails to repel them.
Does alcohol remove ant trails?
Alcohol contains disinfecting properties that can remove ant trails. Pour a small amount of alcohol on a hand towel and use it to wipe the trails on walls or floor to deter ants. Alternatively, you can simply get some alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it on the trails.
The disinfecting ethanol in alcohol is enough to clean and remove the ant trails. Do not use too much since just a single spray or a wipe is enough to keep ants away. Using this against ants is effective because you do not need it in large quantities.
To get rid of ant trails on kitchen counters, sprinkle ethyl, isopropyl, or rubbing alcohol on them and use a clean soft towel to wipe the area. Ethyl is colorless thus it will not stain your counters or any surface. Its strong odor will also remain behind to keep ants away.
However, ethyl scent will fade after 24 hours meaning ants can cross over the same spot after 1-2 days depending on the quantities sprayed. When dealing with an infestation, you may want to apply this once a day for 7 days to permanently get rid of them.
Alcohol for ants on plants
Alcohol can also remove ants in potted plants. Do not spray concentrated alcohol above 25% ABV on plants. Doing so may kill the leaves and even cause stagnant growth. However, diluted alcohol with less than 5% volume cannot have any negative effects on plants.
Mix 4 ounces of alcohol with 10 ounces of distilled water and spray it on the plant to get rid of ants. This can also be sprinkled on the soil in small amounts to kill insects and other bugs in potted plants. The pot can also be wiped with alcohol to remove ant trails on it.
Too much alcohol in the soil will cause water loss and this can also make the soil more alkaline. This can also affect the natural soil ph that the plants are used to. In most cases, soaking the soil in alcohol will make the leaves turn brown and fall off.
Young plants also die off if they are over-sprayed with alcohol. Ants are a major problem in potted plants and getting rid of them can be a challenge. At pestweek.com we advise that you should avoid using any alcohol on young plants since there are other several safe alternatives.
Does alcohol kill ant eggs?
Ant eggs are soft and moist and alcohol can kill them by dehydrating and burning into their weak layers. However, you need to ensure that they are well covered and soaked in alcohol. It takes about 1-2 hours for alcohol to completely destroy ant eggs.
Pouring any alcohol into an ant nest in large amounts increases the chances of killing the queen which is responsible for laying eggs. Even if she is not dead, the worker ants will move her out and this means that there will be no more eggs laid.
That reduces the ant population drastically since there are no more baby ants produced. Once the eggs are soaked in alcohol, they dry out and cannot hatch. Once the eggs are dead and the quin is disturbed, the worker ants cannot let it stay in the same nest. The odor released from alcohol will also drive them away.
To kill eggs in an anthill, combine 4 cups of denatured alcohol with equal amounts of hot water and pour it inside. This will kill any ant and its eggs as soon as it touches them. The steam will also drive all the ants out since it will give off a harsh repelling odor. However, this should not be used for ants on pepper plants or any other vegetable plantation because it may burn the leaves depending on the concentration levels.