Does Boiling Water Kill Ants?

There are many effective ways of killing ants from ant powder to borax and even flour. One fairly common trick is to pour boiling water over a nest but does boiling water kill ants and how does it work?

Boiling water does kill ants, and it is especially helpful if you pour it on a mound that is likely to be an ant’s nest.

If you spot any ant trails in your garden, it is best to follow them and see where they lead you. Ant trails usually lead to ant mounds, where all the ants live alongside their queen ant.

If you pour hot water onto the mound (and, therefore, into the nest), it may reach the queen through the tunnels. This way, the ant population in your garden will die out. Ultimately, you need to kill the queen ant to destroy a colony.

Ant Mound Nest Boiling Water

Does Hot Soapy Water Kill Ants?

One effective way of killing ants is to use soapy water. Not only ants but soapy water is known to kill a range of other pests in the garden without harming beneficial insects or plants.

Many people spray soapy water on ant trails, and it is effective in killing them. Ants walk into a trail because they release pheromones, and as a result, they follow each other. Using soap will help erase the pheromone trail of the ants, which means they will disperse. 

However, soapy water is only effective with a few ants, not a lot of them. Many people prefer using hot soapy water to kill ants. If you pour hot soapy water on an ant nest, it will kill almost all the ants, and if better, it can also kill the queen ant.

The hot water will kill the ants, and the soap will rid the pheromone trails to prevent ants from returning to the nest. 

The soapy water does not kill ants. However, it works to break their resistance against water and will cause them to drown. In addition, ants have exoskeletons that are coated with oil.

Therefore, when these ants are immersed in soapy water, it will break down the oils and cause them to drown. 

Does Vinegar and Dish Soap Kill Ants?

To increase the effectiveness of your boiling water, you can also combine soap with other ingredients. For example, combining dish soap and vinegar can create a strong solution to kill ants. 

Vinegar, by nature, deters ants because of its smell. Ants do not like strong-smelling acidic scents like vinegar and citrus. These strong-smelling scents will help erase the pheromones and confuse the ants.

While the dish soap will kill ants, the vinegar will help deter them. You can warm the mixture and spray the hot solution on the ant trails in your garden. 

Do Ants Drown in Water ?

Many people prefer taking the easy road and drowning ants using normal water instead of waiting to boil it. It is common for ants to drown in water.

However, how long it takes for ants to drown in water will depend on the particular species. Some species may drown quicker than others. Ultimately, ants will drown.

You should not expect quick results if you choose to hose down the ant mound in your garden. On average, ants take 24 hours to drown, which means you will need to water the ant mound for a long period.

In addition, you will also need to ensure that you continue to water for a few days. Using water to drown ants is that there is no guarantee that it will reach the deep, underground tunnels. 

While water can be a temporary fix, it will not solve your ant problem. The ants will disperse at that moment; however, the water will not do anything to their ant trail. You will find that the ants will come back and resume their trails because there was nothing to mask the pheromones. 

If you pour hot boiling water on ants, it will kill them instantly. However, if you use normal water in ant nests, you will find that ants form clumps. While ants take longer to drown, they also have certain tactics to help prevent them from drowning.

First, an ant’s legs are not strong enough for it to swim. Therefore, ants will link their legs together and form a chain. You will find ants forming balls in water and hence, floating in the water. Ant’s bodies can trap air bubbles which causes them to float in water and keep them safe. 


While many people prefer using chemicals to kill ants, there are also home remedies to get rid of them. Some of these home remedies include pouring boiled water over ants to kill them.

For example, if you follow an ant trail in your home, you will find that it will lead to an ant nest. The ant nest includes many ants, so killing so many of them is easier if you pour boiled water over them. 

You can also use hot soapy water to kill ants. Soap has a strong scent to it that messes with the ant trails. Also, soap breaks down the natural oils on ants and stops their resistance to water. Therefore, if you use hot soapy water, you can drown and kill ants.

However, using water will be a temporary fix because there is no guarantee that you reach the mother ant, without which the colony will not stop existing.

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