Does Clorox bleach have any exterminating effect on ants? We’re interested in providing answers to this question.
Homeowners are always seeking safer and more convenient alternatives for dealing with a variety of pest problems. While such solutions have been found in everyday products, not all such products are indeed useful for pest extermination.
Will Bleach Kill Ants In The House?
You might have heard about the effect of bleach on many pests.
If you have, there’s a natural need to know what pests can be killed with this laundry product. Here, we’re focusing on one of the most common pests found in homes; ants.
Types of Bleach
Irrespective of the type of laundry bleach being used, our goal is to find out whether bleach (hydrogen hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide) will give the needed relief from pest issues.
The most common types include chlorine bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, oxygen bleach, and hydrogen peroxide.
Can bleach kill ants? Let’s find out.
Does Bleach Have an Exterminating Effect on Ants?
It does! Bleach will kill ants when it comes into direct contact with them.
While this is true, treatment has to be applied in a certain way to get real results. Because bleach has to come in direct contact with ants to kill them, it creates a challenge as you may not be able to find every ant.
The ants you see around your home are worker ants. They move to and from their colonies in search of food. When a food source is found, the work of hauling it back to the colony begins.
So, treatments such as the use of bleach will only help you kill those you can find.
This leaves out the others still in the nest. Plus, when ants are being exterminated, they retreat to safety. This type of treatment is only superficial as it leaves out the main colony.
You may not be knowledgeable about ant behavior to carry out a more thorough treatment approach.
1. How Bleach Kills Ants
It isn’t enough to know whether or not ants can be killed using bleach. You also need to have an understanding of how this laundry product works on these pests.
Ants’ vulnerability to bleach lies in their respiratory system.
Like most insects, these creatures breathe through their exoskeleton. With bleach interrupting this natural process, these insects end up dying.
As stated earlier, all bleach brands will achieve the same exterminating effect on ants.
2. Bleach is in No Way an Effective Insecticide
There’s a tendency for people to assume that bleach can be used as a broad-based insecticide. However, the truth is; such an assumption is entirely false.
In a nutshell, bleach isn’t an effective insecticide. Like a lot of household products, it just happens to have an exterminating effect on certain pests such as ants.
Due to this fact, bleach can’t be used for serious control.
As a matter of fact, you’ll never find a pest technician using bleach for ant control. There are specially formulated insecticides meant for the control of ants and other pests.
A lot of these are readily sold as over-the-counter DIY Treatments.
3. Does Bleach Have Any Repellent Effect on Ants
Apart from being an ant killer, bleach will also serve to repel ants.
To better understand how this happens, you’ll need to consider ant behavior. Ants go about following scent trails left behind by other ants that lead to the food source(s).
As long as such scent trails remain, these insect pests will always find their way. By applying bleach along their pathway, you’re not only killing those it comes in contact with but also eliminating the scent trails.
Bleach has a strong smell that masks those scent trails being used by ants.
You can have the area wiped with a cloth soaked in bleach or simply spray along an ant trail you find. However, this still brings us back to an earlier point made which is; bleach use for ant control won’t give comprehensive results.
Remember that you’re not treating their colony, but only applying where you find them.
Ways To Use Bleach For Ant Extermination
There are multiple ways to use bleach for ant extermination.
Such multiple options allow you to choose what works best for your situation. These include spraying on ants, applying on an anthill, using bait, and wiping ant trails.
Another treatment option includes boiling some water with bleach.
Spraying on Ants
One of the most common ant extermination methods involves spraying bleach directly on ants.
Here, you’ll need to pour some bleach (either in its concentrated form or mildly diluted). You’ll need to have seen an ant trail before applying.
With the trail found spray the bleach contents on them until they’re dead.
Applying on Ant Hill
If you wish to perform a more comprehensive treatment of your ant problem, you can trace their trail to their colony. If such a colony is in the form of an anthill, targeting such for treatment will be a great idea.
For best results, you might want to dig up the anthill a little.
This exposes the upper part for the next stage of treatment. Now, boil some water mixed with bleach and pour over the exposed section of the anthill.
The water goes in and kills as many ants as it comes in contact with.
Even with such an invasive treatment method, there’s no guarantee you’ll eliminate these ants. Nevertheless, you’d have done a good job of exterminating a significant amount.
Using with Bait
Ants love sweet food items, using this knowledge; you can have sweets such as sugar or other sweetened food mixed with bleach. These insects are likely to feed on such which leads to their death.
However, there’s no guarantee that they’ll feed on your bait.
Wiping Ant Trail
As stated earlier, ants can be killed by wiping their trails. You’ll need to use clothe soaked in bleach to follow their trails. This will be an alternative to using a spray bottle.
Boiling Water with Bleach
If you’ve seen a significant number of ants around, these can be targeted by boiling some water mixed with bleach. Pour such water over these ants to kill them instantly.
As discussed so far, bleach can kill ants, but cannot substitute for pesticides specially formulated for such purposes.