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Using Windex or a Natural, Non-Toxic Solution to Kill Ants Indoors

Updated on April 7, 2016
alezafree profile image

Aleza Freeman is a prolific freelance writer living in Las Vegas with her husband, son, two cats, a snoring dog, and the occasional spider.

I swear the ants were THIS big. At least it seemed like it at the time.
I swear the ants were THIS big. At least it seemed like it at the time. | Source

Back in college, my Northern California apartment was invaded by ants -- lines of them, like tiny soldiers, trailing along the wall near the ceiling.

My roommate and I totally freaked out, grabbed the nearest can of bug spray and sprayed the life out of those unsuspecting little dudes.

Upon following the trail of carnage back to its place of origin, we discovered the ants had made a humble home inside our new houseplant, Ophelia (yes, we named our plant after a tragic "Hamlet" character).

Assuming we had accomplished the task of mass ant extermination, (and procrastinating on the whole ant-carnage cleanup thing) we decided to give Ophelia some TLC by dousing her in water. As soon the water hit Ophelia, a fountain of living ants (including the queen) came gushing out with the force of the mammoth fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The queen. I dare you NOT to scream.
The queen. I dare you NOT to scream. | Source

All hail the Queen

Usually the mother of all the other ants in a colony, The queen ant is larger than the other ants, and (in my opinion) quite a fright-inducing sight. So when she came gushing out of Ophelia in all her reproductive glory, I screamed at the top of my lungs, grabbed the bug spray, and maniacally sprayed the plant and its ant spillage until there was no more spray to be sprayed. Strangely enough, Ophelia actually flourished after her pesticide bath.

The ant colony was officially destroyed (and I feel horribly guilty about it to this day).

A lesson learned

Later, I learned a little tip from my friendly exterminator. He said if you want you get ride of ants it's better to spray the invaders with Windex, rather than bug spray. It brings about the same results, and it's less toxic to humans.

This is of particular importance if ants invade your kitchen (as these food foragers are known to do). I mean think about it. Do you really want a toxic pesticides covering the surfaces where you cook and eat?

Added bonus: While it may not alleviate your murderous guilt, spraying Windex to get ride of ants sure does help keep your surfaces shiny and clean!

Natural Solutions from the HubPages Community

Windex really is a great alternative to bug spray when there are ants in the house, but it isn't a totally natural approach. Several Hubbers have written about the more natural (less toxic) approaches to pest control, including some home remedies for ants:

Ice ice, baby.
Ice ice, baby. | Source

Take a bite out of ant bites

When I was a kid, I was playing around in the dirt before dinner (as kids tend to do) and my finger was bitten by an enormous red ant. Boy did that sting ... and throb ... and burn! I still remember the pain to this day. I also remember the handsome waiter who brought me a cup of ice for relieving the pain of the ant bite. It worked almost instantly!

Here are some other natural solutions for alleviating the pain of an ant bite:

  • Pour Lemon juice on the bite

  • Rub it with Aloe Vera

  • Soak it in Worcestershire sauce

  • and, of course, ice

I personally say go with the ice. It's not only natural, but it's free. If it doesn't work, you can always add some vodka to your cup of ice and drink away your pain the old fashioned way.


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    • profile image

      Beth1001 13 days ago

      Windex is a great idea. Thanks! Once when the ants were coming up through the heater registers on the floor (I live in an old house) I scoured the internet to look for non-toxic solutions so my dog wouldn't be affected by the poisons I have used in the past. Turns out baby powder is an effective deterrent. I poured a thin line of it around the heater register and they would not pass it. But this time the ants are coming in through the walls so I needed a different solution. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      Jeremy 3 months ago

      My cofee pot has some sticky residue on it. It was covered in about 100 ants when I woke up. I sprayed them with windex. They were dead within 20 secs. Works great!

    • profile image

      Ugottabekidding 17 months ago

      Windex works amazingly well. Had ants in my kitchen two straight summers. I'd never spray insecticides in the kitchen. As I understand it, ammonia suffocates ants; it kills them while actually cleaning surfaces. The ants die instantly.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We have lots of ants in our cottage so when we get back there in the spring we will definitely try Windex rather than bug spray. This is the first time I have heard of this. Thank you.

    • alezafree profile image

      Aleza Freeman 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      @grandmapearl Yay!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi alezafree! You know we've lived here so long, it has never occurred to me to write a Hub about my underground home. What a great idea! Thanks for suggesting it. It's now on my 'to Hub' list. :)

    • alezafree profile image

      Aleza Freeman 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Thanks @grandmapearl! A partially underground home sounds very cool! Have you ever hubbed about that? I'd love to know more.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Alezafree, another very useful Hub. I learned a lot from this. As I have an annual pilgrimage of ants into my kitchen, I will employ some of these more natural methods for discouraging them. Since we live in a partially-underground home, I cannot trace the source. Otherwise I would plant yarrow at that entry point. That works quite well for some ant species. Anyway, thank you for your good tips! Voted Up and Useful

    • alezafree profile image

      Aleza Freeman 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Thank you @mon29 glad to help!

    • alezafree profile image

      Aleza Freeman 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      @droid Great question. I will have to confer with my bug guy!

    • droj profile image

      droj 5 years ago from CNY

      Neat trick! I'll have to give it a try. Does it work on anything other than ants? Like yellow-jackets or spiders?

    • KaisMom profile image

      KaisMom 5 years ago from Keizer, Oregon

      I, too, hate to kill anything. I'm thinking about addressing that issue in a future blog. I thought it was very funny -- and informative. Thank you for the kind comments about my Scaredy Cat hub.

    • alezafree profile image

      Aleza Freeman 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      @KarenN I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thankfully I've only dealt with this issue a couple times. I really hate the thought of killing a living creature, even bugs.

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 5 years ago from United States

      How funny! I never knew that Windex would get rid of ants. I usually just break up their trail a couple of times that seems to do the trick.