How long does vinegar keep ants away? (Method and Timescale)

Try to go buying vinegar to keep ants away, and you'll be surprised just how many types there are! There are roughly 24 types of vinegar available on the market right now, so it's pretty common to be confused about which vinegar is best for ants control. 

While you can also make vinegar at home, the most important thing is to ensure that it exudes its pungent smell. Ants literally hate the smell of vinegar, and they will avoid it by all means.

Vinegar is highly effective if you're controlling a few ants that you can spot. But for more extensive infestations, you want to call a pest control expert to get rid of the ants.

This guide will teach you how to use vinegar to eliminate ants effectively, and you'll also learn how long vinegar keeps ants away, but first, let's talk a little about these tiny guys.

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4 Amazing Ant Facts That You Need To Know

Ants are quite common. You can find them almost everywhere in the world! That's because they can survive in nearly any climate. 

Did you know that there are nearly 10,000 different ant species? All ant species have a similar body structure, consisting of the head, thorax, and abdomen. They all have six pairs of legs, and their colors range from red to black to yellow to blue and more. 

The most striking fact about ants is that although quite small, they possess the largest brains of all insects. A single ant has approximately 250,000 brain cells, making them especially intelligent and smart! 

Another fact that will baffle you is that ants can live up to 30 years! You read that right___30 years! When in her natural habitat, the queen ant can live this long. Ants colonies are divided into three types, queen, female and male. 

The queen ant has wings and is responsible for laying eggs for reproduction. The female ant, also called the worker ant, can live for up to 3 years! They don't have wings and cannot reproduce. Their work is to search for food, defend the colony, nurture the larva, and repair nests. 

The males are smaller than the females; they are referred to as the drone ants. They only live long enough to mate with the queen and die soon after 10-14 days. 

What Makes Vinegar A Perfect Natural Remedy To Keep Ants Away? 


Vinegar is perhaps the most versatile household item. Besides being an effective cleaning agent, vinegar has also been used successfully in pest control. 

White vinegar solution is commonly used to keep ants away. White vinegar contains approximately 95% water and 5% acetic acid. The acetic acid produces the pungent smell and sour taste associated with vinegar, making it a safe and natural solution to ward off these little creatures. 

The strong vinegar smell also destroys or wipes out the sent trails/pheromones the ants leave behind and destroys their sense of smell. Additionally, vinegar is acidic and can potentially kill ants. 

But it can only kill ants through contact action, which means that you'll have to spray the solution directly onto the ants.  This makes vinegar a perfect and more economical pest control option for managing small ant infestations. 

Vinegar As Ant Repellent

While some insects like fruit flies are highly attracted to vinegar, others like spiders and ants despise the smell of vinegar and would rather look for another place to invade. 

One thing about ants is that when the worker ants go in search of food, they leave a trail of scents known as pheromones from their nests to your house. 

Once the ant finds a good food source in your house, for instance, in your pantry, they send a signal to the rest of the colony, which then follows the trail into your house. 

When you spray or wipe down a surface where ants are moving, you wipe away the scent trail, and the opportunistic pests lose their direction and wander around. 

You can also repel or deter ants by spraying infested areas like cracks, crevices, windows, doors, and anywhere else ants frequent. 


A Step By Step Guide On How To Keep Ants Away Using Vinegar

Dilute The Vinegar With Water

Add equal amounts of water and vinegar into a spray bottle to dilute.

Add Essential Oils

Mix in a few drops of essential oils of your choice, like eucalyptus/peppermint oil. Return the sprayer cap and shake the solution thoroughly to mix homogeneously. 

Spray Targeted Areas

The vinegar solution is an effective ant-repellant. So, you want to treat all places where ants can enter your house. For instance, spray cracks on walls, windows, doors, and crevices in basements as they are possible ant entry points. Ensure to spray the solution thoroughly and evenly so that the entire surface is covered for maximum effectiveness. 

You can also wipe off ants' pheromones by dipping a clean cloth into the solution and wiping the entire surface. Do not rinse the surface; instead, leave the ant treatment to dry. 

Repeat Treatment Daily

Remember that vinegar treatment is only temporary, meaning that you'll need to treat the surfaces frequently within the week for successful results. If you don't see effective results, using a more concentrated vinegar solution is a good idea to keep the ants away. You can also consider giving your home a thorough cleaning using vinegar to deter ants and ensure they don't return. 

The only downside to keeping ants away using vinegar is that it leaves behind an awful smell that may discourage most homeowners. However, this is a 100% natural, safe, effective, and cheap ant control method. 


How Long Does Vinegar Keep Ants Away?

Once you treat surfaces using vinegar, it takes about 60 minutes for the treatment to take effect, and in just a few hours, the ants will be dead. Next, you'll need to get rid of the dead ants using a damp paper towel and discard them. 

The efficacy of vinegar is short-term, which means that the solution remains effective for a few hours. In fact, the pungent vinegar odor dissipates as soon as the solution dries.  

When used as a standalone treatment, vinegar is not effective for heavy infestations. Additionally, vinegar alone cannot get rid of an entire ant infestation in your home. 

The Best Way To Keep Ants Away

Though it effectively keeps ants away, vinegar cannot possibly exterminate or deter a whole ant infestation. So if you're facing a heavy ants attack, the best thing to do is seek help from pest experts. They'll inspect your entire home, determine the exact ant species invading and draw a treatment plan that will effectively eliminate the ants and prevent chances of re-infestations.

In Conclusion

An ant infestation can be devastating for most homeowners. These tiny nuisance pests are social pests, which means that they invade in colonies. With an adequate supply of food and water in most homes, ants tend to reproduce relatively fast! This makes it extremely challenging for homeowners to get rid of ants on their own. 

Though vinegar can effectively keep ants away from your home, it's quite hard that it can exterminate an entire ant infestation. The best thing to do is seek help from a pest expert. They will do a thorough inspection of your entire home and determine the most effective ant treatment that will render your home pest-free and provide long-term protection from pest infestations.

Further reading:

Why Do Ants Suddenly Disappear

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