Here is all about using alcohol for ant control.
Rubbing alcohol has wide applications as a cleaner, for home health as well as medical practices among others.
For home health, this product is used as a deodorant, a liniment for muscle aches as well as for evaporating water from the ear, etc. In terms of its medical use, denatured alcohol is applied as a surface disinfectant.
What more? Rubbing alcohol comes in handy for treating post-operative nausea. For home use, it’s deployed for cleaning dry erase boards and also for sink and chrome cleaning.
It’s also useful as a deodorizer for shoes. There are tons of uses for rubbing alcohol.
However, we’re more interested in finding out if it can be used for killing ants.
About Rubbing Alcohol For Pest Control
There are two main forms of rubbing alcohol; isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol. In their concentrated forms, both of these denatured alcohol types are known to be toxic.
The safest method of usage is to have them diluted.
The use of rubbing alcohol for pest control is quite popular. Among pests treated or exterminated using this product are whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, and thrips just to name a few.
This product is applied in such a way that it makes contact with the bodies of these pests.
When it makes contact with pest bodies, a series of events occur in quick succession that leads to extermination.
Here, protective wax covering pest bodies is melted by rubbing alcohol, thus exposing them or making them more vulnerable to dehydration.
Insect pests cannot withstand the dehydrating effect of rubbing alcohol and die off within a short period of time. Now the question is; are ants among pests killed by rubbing alcohol? Let’s find out.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Ants?
Ants have exoskeletons that will get damaged when products like rubbing alcohol make contact. This is simply a way of saying rubbing alcohol kills ants.
The ethanol contained in rubbing alcohol does most of the damage through dehydration.
It’s believed that aside from the effects of rubbing alcohol when it’s sprayed directly on ants, the pungent smell it gives off also has its impact on them.
However, there are safety concerns when it comes to rubbing alcohol use. It must not be inhaled by humans in large quantities due to its toxicity. More on this will be discussed shortly.
How Rubbing Alcohol Kills Ants
Rubbing alcohol kills ants in much the same way as it does to other insect pests. This has been mentioned earlier to include drying out or destroying the protective wax layer on ants.
Plus, it gives off a burning sensation on their exoskeletons. Ants are easily dehydrated and die off due to contact with rubbing alcohol.
As a DIY’er, getting the best results is paramount. You want to achieve the most extermination within the shortest possible time.
So, you can either use rubbing alcohol in its full strength to achieve the most impact or have it diluted. Target and spray the rubbing alcohol insecticide on ants as they move to and from their colonies to a food source.
You must ensure that this product touches their body.
With this product sprayed, ants are killed within a few minutes.
Rubbing Alcohol also has Repellent Properties
Spraying rubbing alcohol on surfaces or disinfecting such surfaces with this product also serves to keep ants away. In other words, rubbing alcohol has repellent properties.
It will kill ants when sprayed on them, while treated surfaces will keep more ants from coming.
For its repellent effect to be felt, rubbing alcohol will have to be reapplied when the residual effect wanes. The disinfecting properties of rubbing alcohol help remove scent trails.
So, other ants are unable to connect the dots to a new food source.
Where to Apply Rubbing Alcohol Ant Treatments
Indiscriminate use of rubbing alcohol for ant treatment isn’t recommended. It could damage certain surfaces. As such, you’ll need to know safe spots to apply this product.
When treating ants, rubbing alcohol can be used on surfaces such as terrazzo, marble, and limestone.
However, the same cannot be said for wooden surfaces. It slowly dulls out or discolors the wood finish making it lose its beauty. You can use it on leather surfaces but only infrequent usage is recommended.
Plus when using on leather surfaces, ensure that only a little is sprayed.
You may want to go with specially formulated cleaning products for wood and leather surfaces. With these treatment procedures followed, you’ll notice significant results in your treatment.
Going Beyond the Effects
However effective your ant extermination methods are, one thing remains; the attraction of these pests to your home. Basically, you want to find out what attracts them in the first place.
Ants are only seen when there are suitable conditions such as moisture, and food.
Your rubbing alcohol treatments only do so much to eliminate them. It doesn’t take long before other ants take the place of those killed.
A more comprehensive approach will be to use your rubbing alcohol treatments while also addressing the causes.
Why Ants Come into your Home
Ants are mostly attracted by food sources. Sweet foods are among their favorites. Examples of these sweetened foods include candies, syrups, honey, and jelly.
A wide array of other sweetened or sugary foods will readily attract ants to your home.
A simple spill of any sweetened food is enough to draw ants to your home. What more? A few sugar crystals scattered around will do more to attract ants than you think.
The point is; no matter how insignificant you think tiny food particles are, they’ll contribute to worsening ant issues.
So, while treating ant presence (the effect) using rubbing alcohol, it’s important to also do the needful to keep these pests from returning.
Such action is known as a preventive control.
Treatment is only as effective as your Application Strategies
The most effective pest remedies can still give mediocre results when proper application guidelines aren’t followed. This is where pest control specialists or technicians have an edge.
They understand pest behavior and use such knowledge to get the best extermination results for ants.
Rubbing alcohol kills ants.
However, there’s no 100% guarantee that it will fully resolve your ant problems. This is especially true when adequate preventive measures aren’t adhered to.