Will neem oil kill ants or keep them away? Here is everything you should know about using this oil for ant control.
Neem oil is a versatile product with a lot of uses including serving as a pest repellent and inhibitor. It’s also widely used in gardens for its pest control properties.
What more? Neem oil is used on the skin to prevent infections, promote wound healing, and serve as an anti-aging product.
Our focus is on a single goal; to determine if neem oil kills ants with its many uses.
Ants are known to cause all sorts of problems. These creatures pose a nuisance because they cause food contamination, cause property damage (as with carpenter ants), while certain species are odorous.
Neem Oil Ant Control
Neem oil is named after the trees from which it’s sourced; the neem tree. This oil is pressed from the seeds of neem trees and serves as an organic insecticide for a wide range of pest issues. This includes ant control.
What more? Neem oil has been used medicinally as well as for cosmetic purposes.
Will Neem Oil Kill Ants?
Not exactly! Neem oil won’t do much to exterminate ants. So, expecting excellent results by applying neem oil to kill ants won’t only be disappointing but a waste of time.
However, neem oil is can be applied for indirect ant control in gardens. What does indirect and control mean?
A close observation of certain plants will reveal aphid farms being created by ants. This serves as a food source for ants and will continue to remain so until something is done.
Luckily, a product such as a neem oil will do the magic by killing their food source.
When aphid farms created by ants are destroyed, there’s no incentive for such ants to be around the area. You’d have succeeded in pushing these creatures out.
Neem Oil Inhibits Ant Growth
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, neem oil contains an active ingredient known as Azadirachtin, which acts as an ant repellent and interferes with ant hormones.
Interference with insect hormones means their lifecycle is affected.
Also, this extends to their molting, feeding, egg-laying, and mating. So, while neem oil won’t kill ants directly when applied, it affects their normal processes.
Applying Neem Oil For Ant Control
Neem oil doesn’t kill ants directly.
However, it helps to repel them by altering their life cycles among other things. To have these creatures repelled, you’ll need to spray neem oil around target areas such as your garden.
To do this, you’ll need to have a spray close by. About 2 tablespoons of neem oil are to be mixed with about a gallon of water. Before applying, ensure that it’s thoroughly mixed.
Empty into your sprayer and spray all plant surfaces until totally wet. Ensure you cover the undersides of leaves.
Seek Help When Neem Oil Doesn’t Seem to Work
There’s never a guarantee that neem oil will give you relief from ants. This is coupled with the fact that neem oil doesn’t kill ants. Here, your best bet will be to seek professional help.
Calling for professional pest control will do a lot to contain ant infestation.
This should be after you’ve done all you can to rid your home of these pests. A more comprehensive approach is applied to kill these pests in no time.
Other Natural Ways To Control Ants
Using essential oils for ant control is a natural method and although they do not always work, we’ll be looking at some options that do. There are other natural ways to get exterminate ants.
Popular homemade ant killer recipes include the use of glass cleaner & liquid detergent solution, diatomaceous earth, pepper, hand soap, tea tree oil, and peppermint.
Other natural remedies include lemon eucalyptus oil, boiling water, white vinegar, cinnamon leaf essential oil, and cornstarch.
There are other natural solutions like boric acid, and coffee grounds.
Let’s consider some of these as follows;
Glass Cleaner & Liquid Detergent Solution
When ants come around, they follow pheromone scent trails that guide them toward food sources. A combination of glass cleaner and liquid detergent solution eliminates or neutralizes the scent trails.
Spray this mixture at areas most targeted by ants.
Before long, these pests will leave your home. When sprayed directly on ants, this mixture succeeds in killing them.
Diatomaceous earth consists of the fossilized remains of diatoms that absorb the oils on ant exoskeletons. This results in their death. It’s best to use food-grade diatomaceous earth for this procedure.
All you have to do is sprinkle this product around areas you’ve noticed ants congregating.
Get some cayenne pepper or black pepper and apply as a deterrent. Ants get irritated by the smell of these products. Ants will normally move as far away from the treated area as possible.
Pepper can also be used as a preventive treatment.
Hand soap can be used in place of dishwashing soap. Here, soapy water needs to be made and sprayed along ant-infested locations. This kills them within a short period of time.
Tea Tree Oil
About 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil are needed to make a mixture with about 2 cups of water. This should be emptied into a spray bottle and apply around affected areas.
An alternative will be to have cotton balls immersed in your tea tree oil solution and placed at strategic points.
You can try out peppermint in place of neem oil.
Here, you’ll need about 10 to 20 drops of peppermint oil mixed with 2 cups of water. Get a spray bottle and empty the mixture into it. Now spray around affected areas.
This should give you the much-needed relief you seek.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
The oil of lemon eucalyptus is sourced from the gum of the eucalyptus tree. An active ingredient contained within this oil is known as PMD. This is known to kill and repel ants.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Unlike the oil of lemon eucalyptus, lemon eucalyptus oil is extracted from the lemon eucalyptus tree. Its citronella content gives it its repellent effect against ants and other pests.
Eucalyptus oil doesn’t kill ants and only does little to repel them. In place of eucalyptus oil, other natural remedies can be used with great results. These have been included above.