Does Alcohol Kill Ants? The Powerful Ant Killer

Does Alcohol Really Kill Ants? Find Out the Truth Here.

Dealing with ants, particularly when they invade your home and contaminate your food, can be annoying. 

You have the option to eliminate the ants using commercial insecticides or a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. 

Using alcohol provides a safe and organic method to eradicate the ants, without concerns about harmful chemicals entering your house. 

Preparing the alcohol mixture requires only a short amount of time.

Does Alcohol Kill Ants 

Alcohol serves as an effective ant killer and repellent. 

It functions by causing dehydration of the ants’ exoskeleton, dissolving their protective waxy layer, and disrupting their pheromone trails. 

Additionally, its strong odour disrupts insect movement and balance, making it an effective repellent.

If you have been experiencing ant problems in your home and garden, it is important to address them. 

Ants can become a nuisance, particularly when they invade your home and contaminate your food. 

While there are numerous commercial insecticides and pesticides available, we do not typically recommend their use. 

Instead, it is advisable to opt for natural or alternative methods to eliminate ants, which will not only maintain the health of your plants but also protect your well-being. 

For instance, when growing herbs and vegetables, it is crucial to avoid using just any pesticides since you will eventually consume the food. 

The chemical residue from pesticides can enter your system and potentially lead to health issues in the future. 

Continue reading to discover how you can utilize alcohol and other solutions to effectively eradicate these bothersome pests.

How Does Alcohol Repel Ants?

Alcohol, specifically ethanol found in beer, wine, and liquor, has the ability to dissolve an ant’s exoskeleton, which acts as a protective shell. 

This dehydration process ultimately leads to the ant’s demise. Furthermore, apart from being a repellent, alcohol disrupts an insect’s sense of smell. 

Ants communicate through scent trails, which can be disrupted by spraying alcohol on them, making it challenging for other ants to follow the trail. 

Denatured, ethyl, isopropyl, and rubbing alcohol all possess the ability to kill ants. 

Therefore, if you are wondering whether rubbing alcohol kills ants, you now have the answer. 

There are over 12,000 distinct types of ants worldwide, and despite our perception of them as repulsive, they hold a crucial role in the ecosystem. 

They serve as vital members of the world’s natural cleaning crew, aiding in the decomposition and removal of various forms of debris, including decaying organic matter, rotting wood, and animal remains.

Disadvantages Of Using Alcohol

The strong odour emitted by alcohol makes it inappropriate for nighttime use against ants in a room. 

Excessive amounts of alcohol can potentially be toxic, and visitors may perceive it as a sign of addiction. 

It is advisable to use alcohol sparingly during the day when windows can be left open.

When using alcohol to control ants on plants, it is important to avoid soaking the soil, stem, or leaves. 

This can lead to drying out and eventual leaf fall. In the case of potted plants, ethanol can cause burning, dehydration, and even death to the plants

Does Alcohol Remove Ant Trails?

The disinfecting properties of alcohol make it effective in removing ant trails. 

Wipe the trails on walls or floor with a hand towel soaked in a small amount of alcohol, or use a spray bottle to spray alcohol directly on the trails.

The ethanol in alcohol acts as a disinfectant and effectively eliminates ant trails. 

It is important not to use excessive amounts, as a single spray or wipe is sufficient to deter ants. 

Using alcohol in small quantities proves effective in repelling ants.

For kitchen counters, sprinkle ethyl, isopropyl, or rubbing alcohol on ant trails and use a clean, soft towel to wipe the area. 

Ethyl alcohol is colourless, preventing staining on surfaces. Its strong odour also acts as a deterrent, keeping ants away.

Does Alcohol Kill Ant Eggs?

Alcohol can dehydrate and burn ant eggs, leading to their destruction, as it penetrates their weak layers. 

Ensure thorough coverage and soaking of the eggs in alcohol for effective results. It typically takes 1-2 hours for alcohol to completely eliminate ant eggs.

Pouring substantial amounts of alcohol into an ant nest increases the likelihood of killing the queen ant who is responsible for egg-laying. 

If the queen is not dead, worker ants will relocate her, resulting in no further egg production. 

This significant decrease in the ant population occurs due to the absence of new baby ants.

Once eggs are saturated with alcohol, they dry out and become incapable of hatching. 

The disturbance caused by the queen’s demise prompts worker ants to remove her from the nest. 

Additionally, the odor emitted by alcohol acts as a deterrent, driving the worker ants away.

To eliminate eggs within an anthill, mix 4 cups of denatured alcohol with an equal amount of hot water and pour the solution into the anthill. 

The alcohol will swiftly kill both ants and their eggs upon contact. 

The steam produced will emit a strong repelling odor, compelling all the ants to evacuate.

However, exercise caution when using this method on pepper plants or other vegetable plantations, as the concentration levels of the solution may cause leaf burns.

macro photography of red ant on rock during daytime

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

Looking to eliminate ants naturally? You don’t have to rely solely on alcohol or come up with your own methods. 

Here are five alternative solutions you can utilize to eradicate these bothersome pests. Ensure you eliminate them before they have a chance to bite you.

  • Vinegar: The strong smell and acidic nature of vinegar disrupt ants’ scent trails and interfere with their communication, making it difficult for them to navigate and find food sources.

  • Boric Acid (Borax) : When ants come into contact with borax, it adheres to their bodies and legs, dehydrating them by removing the waxy outer layer that helps retain moisture.

  • Grits (Corn Meal) : The idea behind using cornmeal is that ants cannot digest it properly, leading to their demise.

  • Cinnamon : Ants dislike the strong scent of cinnamon, so it acts as a deterrent and disrupts their pheromone trails, making it harder for them to navigate and find food sources.

  • Cayenne Pepper : he strong smell and spicy nature of cayenne pepper irritate ants and disrupt their scent trails, making it challenging for them to navigate and find food sources.

How To Kill Ants With Alcohol

To effectively kill ants using alcohol, follow these steps:

  1. Identify ant trails: Locate the paths where ants are commonly seen. These trails usually lead to their nests.
  2. Prepare the alcohol solution: Mix equal parts of alcohol (such as isopropyl or rubbing alcohol) and water in a spray bottle or container.
  3. Spray or apply the solution: Spray the alcohol solution directly onto the ants, their trails, or areas where they frequent. Ensure thorough coverage.
  4. Repeat as needed: Monitor the ant activity and reapply the alcohol solution as necessary.
  5. Clean up: Once the ants are eliminated, clean the treated areas to remove any residue and maintain hygiene.

Remember to use alcohol in a well-ventilated area and follow safety precautions. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that alcohol may not be suitable for use on certain surfaces or around plants, so exercise caution and consider alternative methods if necessary.


Alcohol can be an effective tool for killing and repelling ants. 

Its ability to dissolve the ants’ exoskeleton, disrupt their pheromone trails, and interfere with their sense of smell makes it a natural and organic alternative to commercial insecticides. 

However, it is important to use alcohol sparingly and with caution, as excessive amounts can be toxic and may have adverse effects on plants and surfaces.

While alcohol provides a viable solution, it is also important to consider other natural alternatives for ant control, as there are over 12,000 unique types of ants worldwide, each with their own characteristics and behaviours. 

By exploring options such as boric acid, essential oils, boiling water, or vinegar, you can tailor your approach to suit different ant infestations.

Remember, the goal is to eliminate ants without compromising your health or the well-being of your plants. 

By combining knowledge of natural remedies and proper application techniques, you can successfully combat ant problems and maintain a clean and pest-free environment.

So, whether you choose alcohol or other natural methods, take action against ants and protect your home and garden from these bothersome creatures.