Will Bleach Kill Ants? Is It Effective?

Bleach can kill ants, but it is not a permanent solution. It will only work on the ants who have been exposed to the bleach. Leaving you wondering how to get rid of the nest. Also, there is an inherent health danger to yourself when using bleach.

Ants coming into your house is never a fun time. Typically they are looking for something to eat or drink. An infestation could also be due to the ants wanting to relocate to somewhere warmer and drier.

However, you don’t want them taking up residence in your home. Ant bait is a great option to rid your house of these pesky insects. Another idea is to use bleach.

If you are wanting to try bleach on the ants, read on. We will also offer you some solutions to keep them from entering your home.

close up of ant in hole

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How you can kill ants with bleach

If you look at an ant under a microscope, you will see that their bodies have small holes. They close these to stop water from coming into their body. So, if you spray an ant with water, they will be fine. Yet, if you spray the ant with bleach, these holes won’t close.

What’s the difference then? It comes down to the vapor from the bleach. The ants can close their holes when they are exposed to liquid. But when they are faced with gas, it’s a different ball game.

Because these holes in the ants’ exoskeleton won’t close, the bleach works its way into the internals of the ant. The result is that they are burnt internally by the bleach and are gassed by the chlorine. Now you have on your hands…dead ants.

There are several ways you can use bleach to kill the ants.

Add it to ant bait

Place some bleach on the ant bait. When the ants come to have the food, they consume the bleach along with the bait. After a few minutes, those ants that have taken the bait will pass away.

Spray it

Make a strong bleach concentration with water. Pour it into a sprayer and then cover the ants with bleach. If you are getting rid of the ants from inside your house, then make sure that you have the area well ventilated. The fumes from the bleach can be overpowering.

Wipe them away

Get a cloth and dip it into some bleach. As an aside, you will want to use a cloth that you don’t mind being discolored from the bleach. Once you have your bleach on the cloth, rub it over the ants. That can get a bit icky as you feel the ants be smushed under the cloth. Don’t do this method if you are squeamish.

Hot water

Boling water is an instant ant killer. Combine it with bleach and you have a solution that will annihilate them. Add boiling hot water and bleach into a container. Mix and then pour it out over the ants.

Why bleach kind of works at ridding ant infestations

Talk to the pest removal experts and they will tell you that using bleach to kill ants is only a temporary solution.

You can only kill the ants that you see. That means that those ants that have remained in the nest are unaffected. When they come out to explore, you need to repeat the bleaching process all over again.

What you need to do is attack the nest. The issue with using bleach for this is that it isn’t effective. You have to ensure that you have gotten every single ant within the colony.

Bleach can cause you problems

If you suffer from health issues, bleach may aggravate these. Particularly any respiratory problems. You also may experience a burning sensation on your skin; rashes forming; bad headaches; nausea and vomiting.

Applying bleach to surfaces on which there are ants can cause discoloration in the area. That can result in a hefty repair bill. Something that can be avoided if you phone a pest control expert.

Natural ways to keep the ants at bay

Once you have taken care of the ants that you can see, you need to take the battle to the next level. Stopping more of them coming into your home. Here we offer you several options that will help you do so.

Most of these take advantage of the ants’ strong sense of smell. If a scent affects the pheromone trail of an ant, then it makes it hard for other ants to follow it. That screws up the communication network of the ant.

These, just like the bleach, are seen as short-term fixes. Once the ants can’t detect the scent anymore, they could start to come into your home again.

Vinegar and Water

Mix a 50:50 solution of vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Then spray over the surfaces of your home. Pay particular attention to the original entry point where the ants had come into your house.

You will have the smell of vinegar linger in the air for a while, but it will soon disappear. However, the ants will get a whiff of it for days. That will stop them from coming in.

Fragrant oils

If you are into aromatherapy, then you may have some essential oils laying around. Mix several drops of the oil with water. The more oil you use, the stronger the smell and the more effective it will be.

Dip a cloth into your scented water and then wipe down the surfaces in your home.

Dishwashing liquid

Create a solution of water and dishwashing liquid. Use this to clean the areas around your home. The smell of the dishwashing liquid may repel the ants.

Diatomaceous Earth

This doesn’t work by scent. It is naturally produced and comes from the shells of small sea creatures. Diatomaceous Earth is effective with ants on two levels:

  • If an ant consumes a portion of this, the edges of the shell will slice the ant. The result is a dead ant.
  • The other way Diatomaceous Earth works is by drying out the ant internally. The ant then passes away due to a lack of moisture in its body.

To use this product, you pour it around the areas in which the ants can gain entry into your house.

Keep the ants away

A couple of other ways in which you can stop the ants from entering is to block their way as well as remove any food temptations.

Seal your house

Look at the area in which the ants have gained entry into your home. Seal it off with a caulking gun, putty, or glue. Whatever the situation dictates. Don’t settle for just one area. Inspect the rest of the location and see if there are any holes or other means for the ants to get inside.

Now, have a good look over your entire house. That may seem a bit of overkill, but the ants can be determined to get inside one way or another.

Keep your surfaces clean

One reason that ants come into your home is that they can smell food. If you don’t give your household surfaces a good wipe down, then you are inviting the ants to come and dine at your place.

You can use bleach to clean down your surfaces. If you don’t like the idea of bleach, then use a citrus-based solution or dishwashing liquid.

Continue Reading: Does Bleach Kill Spiders?


Killing ants with bleach is possible. However, you will only be able to get rid of the ants you see. That’s because you need to cover each one with bleach. It’s only a temporary solution because other ants residing within the nest are untouched.

Once you have taken care of the initial ant problem, you can keep the rest of the ants from coming into your home. Wiping down your surfaces with a strong scent is one way that works.

A longer-term solution is to seal up the entry points, then call a pest controller.