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Ants are undoubtedly useful, but they are also uninvited guests. In order to protect the environment, various home remedies are used to combat it. We looked at what baking soda can do against ants.

In a nutshell

  • Ants can be fought with home remedies
  • Baking soda effectively kills ants
  • Effect is based on a disruption of the acid-base balance and the development of carbon dioxide
  • Feeding bait necessary as ants recognize and avoid the poison

What is baking soda?

From the chemist's point of view, this substance is sodium bicarbonate with the chemical formula NaHCO3. The trivial name is mainly known from households, where the substance is used in a wide variety of forms. It is probably best known as the main component of classic baking powder, where its gas-forming effect is important. Under the influence of water, sodium bicarbonate reacts to form carbon dioxide, better known as CO, among other things2.

How baking soda works against ants

Abandon use as a leavening agent and consider the way NaHCO3 can help to fight ant colonies, two modes of action of the substance come into focus:

  1. CO2-Education: As in the kitchen, the substance reacts with the moisture inside the ant after consumption and generates CO2. The stomach of the animals is extremely stressed. Damage to internal organs is one of the possible causes of death.
  2. Acid-base balance: The ant stomach depends on a very fragile chemical balance in a very narrow pH value range to function properly.
ants on baking soda

Sodium bicarbonate changes the pH value so quickly and extremely that the animals' bodily functions are disrupted. Here, too, death follows in most cases.

Notice: Again and again one reads about the "exploding ant" after eating baking soda. Although the animals do not burst perceptibly, the destruction of the digestive tract that occurs corresponds to the effect described.

Use baking soda properly

In order for the home remedy to actually achieve the desired effect against ants, you should know how to use it correctly:

  • NaHCO3 mix with sugar, icing sugar or other feed attractant
  • Place bait on observed ant trails and on the nest itself (if known).
  • only small quantities in each case in order to avoid danger to pets through relevant consumption quantities
  • Renew bait after rain, dew and other moisture
  • Observe changes in the population and, if necessary, add or relocate bait places

Tip: Only use dry substances as attractants. Moist attractants such as honey lead to CO2 formation even before consumption. A large part of the effectiveness fizzles out unused.

frequently asked Questions

Why does the baking powder used have no effect?

It is perfectly possible to use baking soda against ants instead of baking soda. The corn starch contained does not represent a disadvantage for the effectiveness. If the powder does not work, you have probably chosen the wrong baking powder without sodium hydrogen carbonate as a propellant. While other leavening agents also produce the gases required for baking, they are ineffective against ant colonies.

Why doesn't the ant trail dry up despite this?

If you only reach the ants' routes, it may take a very long time before the bait is not only consumed on site, but also transported to the home nest. Only when you lay out baking soda right next to the nest can you assume a sufficiently high input into the breeding ground that the colony will be decimated or completely eliminated.

Are there alternatives to sodium bicarbonate against ant colonies?

If you use baking soda or baking soda against ants, be prepared for a long death throes of the animals. Sometimes chemical baits, due to the toxins they contain, achieve quicker results and less suffering. However, you are bringing poison into your house or garden, which can also affect other life forms.

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