Does vacuuming ants kill them? Even though ants are not as harmful as other pests like roaches or mice, they can still be pretty annoying. The biggest question is how numerous and resilient these creatures are. Once your home has gotten infested, getting rid of them might become quite a challenge. What is the most effective way to exterminate ants in your house? Can you just vacuum them? Read on to find out.
Can you kill ants with a vacuum cleaner?
A vacuum cleaner might seem like a reliable tool to eliminate ants but sadly that’s not the case.
The thing is that vacuuming ants does not kill them.
These tiny insects might not look like much but in reality, they are incredibly tough. Their entire bodies are covered with a strong armor consisting of a material called chitin. Chitin is a perfect combination of light and sturdy.
It means that even when ants are sucked into the vacuum cleaner they’re well equipped to survive the stress. Of course, a couple of unlucky ants might die (mainly when they’re crushed with the brush) however the overwhelming majority of them will be fine.
The best vacuum
Some people claim that you just need a specific type of vacuum cleaner for the job.
For example, you can find information that a vacuum with corrugated flexible tubes is the best vacuum for ant extermination. Crevice tools are also reported to be effective. From my experience, this is simply not true.
The crevice tool does appear to kill a bit more ants than a regular brush but is still highly ineffective. To kill more ants with a crevice you need to crush the ants against the floor with it.
The flexible plastic corrugated hose is also of little help in your ant-killing expeditions. Since these insects are so lightweight and tough, they don’t get harmed much even when they hit the corrugations in the hose. Some of them might die, a few of them will get injured but most will be intact.
The bottom line is that all vacuuming variables cannot help you to kill those pesky ants.
Is a vacuum cleaner useless?
So are vacuum cleaners of no help then? Not at all. While a vacuum cleaner is ineffective at killing these pests you can use it to remove ants from an area.
Suppose, you discovered a group of ants feasting on some piece of food in your kitchen. Or stumbled upon a line of ants transporting some crumbs to their colony. How do you get rid of them quickly and without a mess?
You could, of course, just wipe them away with a mop, or pick them up with your bare hands. However, neither of these methods is good enough.
The chances are the live ants will just disperse and start crawling all over your mop and all over you. Gross!
That’s where the vacuum cleaner comes into play. All you need to do is just easily and quickly vacuum ants and throw them out.
How to vacuum ants?
Removing ants with a vacuum cleaner is very easy.
Just turn the vacuum on and suck ants in the way you would do with any kind of small particles. Your vacuum doesn’t need to be very powerful too. Even the lighter suction will do just fine.
People are sometimes concerned about damaging their vacuums, but I assure you this is not going to be an issue. Vacuuming ants is safe for your appliance.
Is that it? No, unfortunately not. After you vacuumed the ants, you can’t just go on with your day. Make sure you empty your vacuum cleaner, otherwise, the ants will just crawl back out.
Yup, that’s right. Since these pesky ants don’t get killed during the vacuuming, nothing prevents them from escaping their prison once the suction stops.
This is why you need to throw the ants away as soon as possible. If you have a bagless vacuum, just toss the ants into a garbage bag and then wash the container like you usually do.
With a disposable vacuum bag, this whole process is even easier. Just don’t dump the bag into the trash can otherwise the ants will crawl right back out.
The best way to proceed here is to throw the vacuum bag into a trash bag and then seal it tightly. After this, you can toss the bag into the dumpster the way you usually do. Just make sure that the bag is sealed tightly enough. Eventually, the ants will die inside the bag.
If you want to grant them a quicker death you can do it with some diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a natural insecticide made of a compound called silica. Silica is safe for indoor and outdoor use.
To kill ants, pour some diatomaceous earth into the vacuum bag or the trash bag and give it a little shake. All the ants will die shortly.
How to eliminate ants?
As you can surely say, a vacuum cleaner is only a temporary solution. If you want to put an end to your ant problem once and for all, you’re gonna have to need some more serious tools.
Like so many other annoying pests ants form colonies. So killing the individual workers is not enough to stop the ant infestation of your house. The queen can always lay more eggs. So what do you do then?
One of the most reliable ways to kill ants is to feed them bait.
The worker ants don’t eat the food they find while they’re out foraging. What they do, is they bring the food back to the colony and feed it to the larvae. The larvae will then secrete a nutritious substance.
It’s this substance that is consumed by both the workers and the queen of the colony.
The ant bait is specifically designed to target all of these ant groups. The workers take the poisonous bait back to the colony and feed it to the larvae. The larvae produce a poisoned substance which is eventually consumed by the workers and, what’s more importantly, by the queen.
You can use individual worker ants to deliver poison directly to the queen.
A very popular bait is called Advion ant gel insecticide. The gel is odorless, non-staining, and very effective. All you need to do is to put some bait on the ant trail and the workers will bring it back to their colony.
Just keep in mind that ant baits don’t work instantly. Some time will pass before the colony starts to die out. In the meantime, you’re going to need to supply the bait. But don’t worry, one package is usually more than enough. Just follow the instructions provided with the gel.
Ant spray is a more delicate approach. If you don’t want to kill the entire colony of innocent ants sprays are what you need.
Sprays are great for keeping ants at bay. Use the spray on windows, doors, and other places where these insects get into your house.
And don’t worry such chemicals like ant sprays are safe for indoor use.
At the same time, you can use sprays to protect your family on picnics or barbecues. All you need to do is spray on the ground around the area where you and your family are going to be. Neither ants nor other crawling insects are going to be able to cross this barrier.
Does a vacuum cleaner kill ants? The answer is no. Vacuuming ants does not kill them. Some of them might end up dead, but most will just crawl back out. However, a vacuum cleaner is still a very effective tool when you need to get rid of them. Just don’t forget to empty your vacuum afterward.
The most effective way to solve the ant problem once and for all is to feed the ants bait. You can purchase ant bait anywhere and it is very easy to use. Just put some on the ant trail and the workers will carry it back to their colony.
Will ants leave if you kill enough?
No. Quite the opposite might happen.
When ants die they release special pheromones that alert and attract other ants. These pheromones are the signal for battle.
Can you vacuum ants out of carpet?
Yup. If you need you need to remove ants from the carpet, the vacuum cleaner will do the job. Just remember that vacuuming ants does not kill them. So make sure to clean your vacuum, otherwise, the insects will just crawl back out.
If you have a bagless vacuum, empty the container into a trash bag. If you have a bagged variety, just throw the old bag in the dumpster.
Should I squish ants in my house?
If you have an ant problem in your house, it’s better to deal with it some other way. Squishing them might just attract more live ants and they will be angry.
How do I get rid of ants permanently?
If you vacuum ants it will not help you in the long term. The best way to get rid of those pesky insects is to use bait.
Just put some amount of gel bait on the ant trail and they will carry it back to their colony.