Kill Ants With Neem Oil: Safe And Effective

So, you have the dilemma of ants crawling all over your plants? And you’re looking for an effective way to get rid of them without harming your fruit trees and your veggie patch?

Neem oil is the perfect solution for these common pests!

Will Neem Oil Kill Ants

It is a non-toxic, natural treatment that will both kill ants in your garden and prevent them from returning.

In today’s chat, we offer a great guide on how to prepare your own homemade neem oil solution to apply to your plants. We will also provide a range of natural alternatives to killing ants around the garden.

Grab a coffee, put your feet up and let’s get started!

How Neem Oil Affects Ants

Neem Oil kills and repels ants at the same time.

Neem oil is a natural pesticide, originating from the seeds of the neem tree. It is safe to use on your edible veggies and fruit trees. The active component in neem oil that kills and repels ants, is azadirachtin. This interferes with the ant’s hormone system, disabling growth and egg-laying. It also interrupts the ant’s ability to feed. Additionally, neem oil also kills aphids, essentially eliminating the ant’s food source – aphid sap. Neem oil will kill all kinds of ants, including leaf cutter ants, fire ants, and black ants.

Neem oil is biodegradable and organic – which is a plus in our books!

How To Get Rid Of Ants With Neem Oil

ants on plants

To prepare the solution, mix 5 ml neem oil with 2ml dishwashing soap, into one liter of water. Spray neem oil directly onto ants, and along ant trails. When applying to plants, ensure you also spray under the leaves.

Preventative spraying can also be used to repel ants from your plants and garden.

How long does it take neem oil to kill ants?

Neem oil applied to plants and garden areas may take several days to show results. Reapply in 7-10 days if needed. When ants are sprayed directly, they can die within hours.

Will Neem Oil Hurt My Plants?

It is important not to overuse neem oil. It can be toxic to your plants and to humans if the concentration is too strong or the oil is used undiluted.

Ensure homemade solutions are mixed with the correct ratios to avoid overuse. For store-purchased products, shake thoroughly before use and apply according to directions.

Is Neem Oil Toxic To Humans?

Neem oil is safe for humans if applied correctly. As mentioned, it is safe for your edible garden plants. Caution is noted that the solution does not make direct contact with your skin as this may cause dermatitis or allergic reactions. In addition, the oil should not be ingested as it may lead to a range of health emergencies including seizures, kidney failure, and metabolic acidosis.

Is Neem Oil Toxic To Insects?

Neem oil will not kill earthworms, honeybees, or predatory wasps unless they have been directly sprayed with the solution.

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants Without Using Neem Oil

ant on leaf

There are several natural methods for treating ants if neem oil is not an option for you. Here at the Garden Bench Top, we can recommend the following treatments.

  • White vinegar – mix one part vinegar with one part water and spray over surfaces where ants travel. Pure vinegar can also be applied directly to the ants to kill them. Diluted solution sprayed on surfaces will act as a repellant.
  • Liquid soap and water – mix one part of dishwashing soap with equal parts of water and pour over the visible ant nest in the garden. You can also apply directly to ants crawling on plants, with a spray bottle. Essentially, they drown in the water as the soap breaks down the surface tension.
  • Cornstarch – combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 15 ml of water. Apply to areas where ants travel and onto visible ant mounds. The insects are lured by the sugar, and once the mixture is ingested it forms a solid mass that kills them.
  • Boiling water – simply pour boiling water onto nests or down ant holes for an effective, natural means to destroy them. Be liberal with your application to ensure the ants’ nests underground are completely drenched.
  • Cinnamon – has been shown as an effective repellant and also to destroy ants. Place cotton balls sprinkled with cinnamon or saturated with cinnamon oil near your plants. You can also add cinnamon oil to a spray bottle with other essential oils.
  • Diatomaceous earth – this is naturally occurring silica, from fossilized plankton. This product is sprinkled onto ant nests or any visible trails. It is important to follow directions on the packaging. This compound simply kills by dehydration as it slowly absorbs all the moisture within the ant.
  • Coffee grounds – scatter a bag of ground coffee around the garden in areas where ants frequent or travel, and on the ant colonies. This natural product is known to be an effective repellant.
  • Lemons – the juice or peel from the lemon can be used to repel ants. Simply place the fruit peel or spray the juice on areas near your plants or garden beds where ants have been observed.

The Use Of Essential Oils

tea tree oil helps to deter ants

Dilute these oils with water and apply from a spray bottle. Caution is needed as these oils may be harmful to your pets.

  • Tea tree oil – 5 to 10 drops with 2 cups of water. Saturated cotton balls can also be left around the garden where ants frequent.
  • Peppermint – 10 to 20 drops with 2 cups of water.
  • Lemon Eucalyptus oil – simply place saturated cotton balls around the garden as needed. This oil can be harmful to children and should not be ingested.

Final Thoughts

Neem oil is the ideal solution to the ant infestation in your garden. It is a natural way to kill ants as well as repel them with preventative applications. Importantly, it is safe to use on your veggie patch and fruit trees. It will not harm beneficial garden insects and is non-toxic to humans.

We have provided a guide on making your own homemade neem oil spray. In addition, we offer several alternative methods for treating ants in your garden, whilst still keeping it natural and chemical-free. With these great tips onboard we know you’ll have success in being ant-free.

Happy gardening!