We have all heard of some bizarre ant-killing home remedies that people use – some that work and some that certainly do not. The process of killing ants is trial and error. So is it worth trying flour? Can flour kill ants or is this another myth?
Yes, flour can kill ants. It comes as a surprise to people when they find out that a generic baking ingredient can be lethal to ants.
Not only can flour kill ants, but it also acts as an ant repellent. Ants like to move in trails and determine where to go through the use of pheromones which other ants leave behind them.
The key component of a successful ant deterrent is being able to mess with the ant trails, so they do not know where to go.
You will find that by making flour trails, you will interfere with the ant trail, and they will disperse.
Why Does Flour Kill Ants?
Many people do not understand the logic behind flour killing ants. After all, flour is a regular food item we all use without even thinking it could be a silent killer.
It is neither poisonous nor acidic. So then, how does flour end up killing ants?
People believe that flour kills ants when they ingest it. This is because when ants ingest flour, it goes into their stomach and mixes with their bodily fluids which then causes it to expand.
When the ant’s stomach expands too much, it explodes, hence killing the ant. However, while this home remedy is quite popular, there is not much scientific evidence to back it up.
Therefore, if you choose to use flour, it is better to use it as bait to lure ants because they are attracted to it. After using flour as bait, you can kill the ants using an ant killer or other home remedies like soapy water.
You can also use flour to mask the scent of ant trails. If you mask the scent, the ants will disperse, and there will be no more trails. However, masking ant trails is only a short-term solution.
You can really amp up the effectiveness of flour by mixing in some spices that mess with the ant’s sense of smell. Try mixing in black pepper, cayenne pepper or even coffee grounds.
Do Ants Eat Flour?
If flour is so lethal, is it because ants ingest it or is it for another reason?
Although it may not be appetising to a human on its own, ants eat flour which is what can lead to their death.
Unfortunately, when a house has an ant infestation, you’ll find that ants are attracted to food items like pasta and flour.
Although many people assume that ants will not be attracted to dry and bland food because they love sweet things, they are wrong.
It is best to take precautions against insects and keep your flour and other dry ingredients safe. It would help if you never left your pack of flour open or even loosely tied in the same pack you bought it.
Ants can get through anything and even the smallest of holes. The best thing to do is put the flour into airtight jars made of glass, so no ant stands a chance.
How Can I Get Rid of Ants in Flour ?
Unfortunately, you may come across a situation when your flour becomes infested with ants. It is best to try to get rid of ants in the flour instead of throwing it away.
Ants in flour can happen if your flour is not kept in airtight jars. Leaving flour packs open can lead to ants laying eggs in it, which the naked eye cannot easily see.
However, by following the steps below, you can make your flour ant-free:
Thoroughly Clean Cupboards
If you have found ants in your flour, chances are the ants are also in your other food ingredients. Therefore, it is best to deep clean your pantry and cupboard to ensure that other food items are safe from ants.
By giving your pantry a thorough clean, you will ensure that your other ingredients are safe. Moreover, you will save other ingredients from getting infected too.
You can clean your pantry thoroughly by throwing out any open containers or packs that may have become infested. By vacuuming the entry, you can get any ants crawling inside the pantry. It is best to use a strong-smelling spray to repel any ants lurking nearby.
Store Flour Properly
The best way to store your flour in your pantry is in airtight jars. You can get airtight glass jars so you can view the contents inside and spot the flour sitting in your pantry.
Not only flour, but you should also store your other grains the same way, such as pasta, pancake mixes, and more. An airtight jar will ensure that no ant passes through and infests your flour.
If you do not notice too many ants in your flour, pick out the visible ones or sieve the flour, so ants get left behind. If there were ants in the flour, chances are that the larva and eggs are still there as they are too small to be seen.
You can place your flour in packets and freeze them for four to five days. By freezing the flour, you will kill the eggs and larva.
Use an Insecticide
After cleaning the pantry and freezing the flour, take preventative methods to deal with ants. For example, you can spray your pantry with a non-toxic insecticide to avoid further infestations.
It may come as a surprise but flour has been known to kill ants. However, there is no scientific evidence to back it up.
The logic behind this is that when flour enters the ant’s stomach, it expands, causing the ant to explode. However, ants are also attracted to flour, and it is best to use it as bait.
Moreover, you can use flour to make trails and mess with ant trails, so they disperse.
Sometimes, ants also infest flour in homes and lay their eggs in it. You can get rid of this problem by deep cleaning your pantry and freezing the flour to kill the eggs.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden