Effects of neem oil on house ants

by Wendy
(Phoenix, AZ)

Is there any recipe for using neem oil to stop house ants? I read about using neem as a spray on plants, but what about mixing it with sugar or protein so ants take the neem oil back to the colony?

Been googling, but haven't found anything like that yet. May have to just experiment and see if anything works. Just didn't want to have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, if there was something that works out there already. Any additional information will be appreciated.

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Mixed results for neem oil on ants
by: Birgit

Hi Wendy,
Pure neem oil is supposed to work against ants but I never saw detailed reports about the traditional use of neem oil against ants.

Many reports float around online from people who use neem oil to deter ants in the garden and house. The results are mixed. Some swear by it, some saw no effect.

I'd say that it depends on each situation and species, but also on the neem product used.

People seem fond of buying pre-mixed anything. For them, any bottle that mentions neem on the label will do.

Often those bottles contain clarified neem oil extracts, not pure neem oil. Neem extracts only contain a fraction of the ingredients of raw, cold pressed neem oil.

Especially when dealing with insects, pure neem oil is the best product to buy. You then mix your own neem spray, freshly every time.

Back to your problem: you will indeed have to do your own experimenting and testing here. When people use neem against ants they use it as a deterrent. Make neem spray, spray it around the kitchen or whatever area they have invaded and see what happens.

This worked great for some people. I have to say that I have NOT seen much effect from this myself. My ants did not care.

Also, while this may keep them away for a while, neem oil is not stable and does not last for long. You may need regular applications.

To wipe out the whole ant colony with neem oil you indeed have to mix your own bait. This shouldn't be too hard to do. Find something the ants like (some are more attracted by sugary things, others prefer oils and grease) and mix it with the oil. Let us know how you go!

If you want to avoid reinventing the wheel and are also considering other solutions than neem oil, here are some other natural alternatives.

The best natural ant deterrent I know of:

I swear by tea tree oil. I have tested this again and again, under very challenging circumstances, and ants HATE, HATE, HATE it.

Just smear some tea tree oil across one of their trails and watch what happens.

I use undiluted tea tree oil near their entry points. I just wipe it everywhere with a cotton ball. To deal with a big infestations I also add some oil to water and wipe everything down with it. You could instead add a few drops to a spray bottle of water and spray it around.

It takes a couple of days as the ants make detours and try to get around it, but eventually they give up. And in my experience they don't come back for months. If you see any scouts, spray again.

Eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil are reported to work just as well but in my experience are not as effective. You need more of it and do it more often.

A non-toxic ant bait:

Boric acid (a white powder) is not toxic in the environment, only if ingested by insects. (Obviously you shouldn't eat it either.) You can buy ant bait with boric acid or you can make your own. As long as the ants take it, it works without fail in eliminating the colony.

Great Results From Neem
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Thank you to Neem I'm mosquito free. You have to try it yourself to believe it.

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Mixture for ants
by: Anonymous

Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of borax (20 mule team) and put in a jar lid and set in their path. They eat it and take it back to the colony to eventually kill all of them. Also, mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon of borax (20 mule team) with 1 cup of water to make a spray and spray on their trail where they enter the house and in 3 days they will be gone. I spay around the windows and doors to keep them out. When the spray dries they eat the crystals and take them back to the nest and POOF they are gone.

This is what I do and it really works.

Fire Ants
by: Anonymous

Would the above mixture of honey or sugar and borax work on fire ants as well?

I have to dogs and I use dish-washing liquid on the mounds. It kills the mound, but the remaining ants move and start a new colony.

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I just bought one whole gallon of 100% cold pressed Neem oil from Dr. Adorable Inc. It arrived in good time but there were no (mixing instructions), NO paper work at all, not even a receipt! You would think that a big company could afford to include a brochure or a little instruction book? Anyone who knows exactly how to mix and use this stuff on a fruit tree, berry plant or vegetables please email me at( Philmeyers377@yahoo.com ) Thank you

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