Banish Ants From Your Home With This Household Soap

Ants might seem like an innocent enough pest, but they can quickly take over your house if you're not careful. Seeing one or two rogue ones on the floor by your pet food or on the countertop might not make you worry right away, but that just means more are on their way. And before you know it, you have an infestation that is causing you to scrub down the kitchen each evening and vacuum the floors before bed. But rather than letting it get that far, there is an easy way to banish them from your home before the whole colony takes over, and all you need is some soap. Castile soap, that is.

Castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner's) is different from normal soap in that it's not made with synthetic surfactants. Instead, it's made with oil (like olive or coconut oil) and mixed with a sodium or potassium hydroxide base. Since it's completely natural, it's biodegradable and safe to use on everything from plants to skin. But it's also a powerful pest deterrent. Here is how to use it to reduce your indoor ant problem.

How to use Castile soap to banish ants

To get rid of your bug problem and keep the ants away, you're going to need to use two ingredients: Castile soap and tea tree oil. You need two different ingredients because you're trying to achieve two different things. The soap will kill the ants on contact, but the tea tree will deter new ones from returning. This is important because ants leave behind a pheromone trail that signals to others in the colony that they have found a great food source. This will lead more worker ants to show up in your house, but the tea tree smell will repel them from moving forward since it will be too overpowering. Instead, they will interpret it as dangerous and move on to somewhere easier to forage.

To create the Castile ant deterrent, all you need to do is mix 1/4 cup of Castile soap with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle and shake it well to combine. Add between five to 10 drops of tea tree oil into the mixture, and use it to spray down any area with high ant activity. However, do not use this mix if you have pets, such as cats or dogs, since tea tree oil is highly toxic for animals. You also want to avoid spraying it directly onto plants since the oil can burn their leaves.