8 Easy Ways To Kill A Queen Ant In Your House Or Yard (2023)

If you see many ants in your house or yard over a period of time, then you probably have an ant nest in your home or on your property. This nest may be:

  • A mature ant nest, with at least one queen (but probably more) laying eggs in there to keep the ant colony growing, or
  • A satellite nest: These are small nests that workers build near to a mature ant nest. Sometimes a queen or several queens live in a satellite nest, and other times there are just workers living in there.

The ants you see running around are workers. You will never see queen ants roaming freely outside with these workers.

A queen spends her days laying eggs. She stays deep inside the nest and only leaves when she has to, such as when the nest is under threat or if she wants to start a new nest somewhere else.

Worker ants do all the labor in the nest and outside, such as cleaning and feeding the queen, taking care of the young, going out to look for food, or farming food for the colony.

Killing the worker ants that you see will not get rid of your ant problem because the queen lives and will keep on laying eggs, so more and more ants are born.

If you kill the queen ant, the workers that are alive will live until they die off or are killed. After that, the ant colony will be gone because no more ants are being born. The challenge is that there is often more than one queen in a nest, so you need to make sure you kill all the queens.

Here are eight proven methods and some popular products on Amazon that will help you kill all the queen ants in a colony (and many of the worker ants at the same time):

Place ant bait traps near the nest and ant trails

8 Easy Ways To Kill A Queen Ant In Your House Or Yard (1)
(Video) 3 Natural Ant Control Methods Using Household Ingredients That Actually WORK

One of the best ways to get rid of queen ants and worker ants is ant bait traps. Ants collect the sweet poison in these traps thinking it is food, and they take this “food” back to the nest.

The ants eat this food and share it with the other ants living in the colony, including the queen. This poison kills all the ants in the colony over a few days or weeks, depending on the size of the nest.

For the best results, place these ant bait traps near to the ants’ nest and the ants’ trails, where you see ants walking behind each other in a line.

Make sure that animals and children cannot get to the ant traps because they contain poison.

If you want to try making your own ant bait traps, here’s an easy ant bait recipe to try:

  • 2 tablespoons ofborax or boric acid
  • Half a cup of sweet food, like jelly, peanut butter, or sugar

If you want to know what foods a certain type of ant eats so you can use that food in your ant bait trap, go to this blog post for a list of ant types and their favorite foods.

Mix the borax with the food. If you want to use borax and sugar, dissolve the mixture in a little warm water, to form a thick goo.

Split the mixture into smaller portions and put each portion on a small plate or piece of cardboard.


Your DIY ant bait traps are now ready to be placed near the nest and along ant trails.

Drench the nest with insecticide

If you know where the ants are nesting and where the queen ant is hiding, drench the nest with this Demand water-based insecticide from Amazon. It’s safe for use indoors and outdoors. This product kills ants immediately on contact, and it will continue to kill any ants that move around inside the nest for the next 90 days (destroying any surviving workers).

If you can’t get to the ant nest because it’s hidden or is in a place that’s hard to reach, try this spray foam insecticide. It has a long, slender nozzle that gets into difficult-to-reach places, such as cracks and crevices. The foam kills ants for up to 18 months, which is long enough to kill the queen and any worker ants in the colony.

Release beneficial nematodes

Nematodes are insects. When you release good nematodes into your soil near an ant nest, the nematodes enter the nest and start killing the ants in there. They do this by releasing bacteria inside the ants, which kills the ants within a few days.

Make sure you release enough Hb nematodes to kill all the ants and the queen ant in the colony.

To get the best results:

  • Don’t release nematodes if you have other chemicals, pesticides or insecticides in the area as these will kill the nematodes.
  • Release the nematodes on a cloudy day or early in the morning when the soil isn’t very hot.
  • Apply a lot of water to the area after releasing the nematodes.

If the nematodes don’t manage to kill all the ants, there’s a good chance that they will at least chase away the ant colony or those ants that do survive.

Use a bug bomb to kill the queen

If the ant infestation is severe or the queen ant is hiding in your walls, under your floorboards, or deep in your cupboards, you can try fogging your house.

(Video) Make Your Yard ANT FREE FOREVER In 3 Easy Steps

If you want todo this yourself, I recommend trying thisodorless and film-free bug foggerfrom Amazon.

Be sure to follow all the instructions on the label. You will need to set aside four hours for fogging – two hours for the actual fogging and two hours to air your house after.

Rent an ozone machine

Some people have had a lot of success in getting rid of ants in their house with an ozone machine.

You can rent orbuy your own ozone machine, which will kill bacteria, mold and all insects, like ants, in your home.

Follow the instructions carefully as this is a lot like fogging your house (but it takes a little longer): Depending on the strength of the machine, you’ll probably need to leave the machine on inside the house forat least ten hours, then open all the doors and windows to air the house for a good hour or two before you or anyone else goes in.

Pour boiling water into the nest

8 Easy Ways To Kill A Queen Ant In Your House Or Yard (2)

Ants are cold-blooded insects that need sunshine and external heat to stay warm. But even if it gets very cold, ants don’t usually die. They just go into a lazy mode to save energy when they have time to adjust.

On a warm day, ants that are underground will come up to the surface and workers will carry young ants up into the mounds of the nest, where it’s warmer. Mounds are the piles of sand on an ant nest that you can see above ground.

(Video) How to Kill & Get Rid of FIRE ANTS! A Long-Term Solution

Pouring boiling water into an ant nest will immediately kill any ants it comes into contact with. The only problem with this method is that ant nests often run deep, and boiling water doesn’t penetrate deep enough to kill all the ants or the queen.

But this method can still be effective on a warm day that’s between75 and 95°F (24 – 35°C), when many ants are sitting high up in the mounds, and with a small or young nest that isn’t as deep underground as a mature nest.

Inject orange or neem oil into nesting holes

Some ants don’t make nests underground – they chew tunnels into wood and live in them. These ants are called carpenter ants, and you can click here to get a list of all the signs that you have carpenter ants and not termites.

If you do have carpenter ants, inject pure orange oilorneem oilinto all the holes in the wood, wherever the ants have made tunnels. These oils kill ants.

Carpenter ants are one of the few types of ants that have only one queen, so you need to make sure you get the oil in every tunnel to find the queen.

The oils do get absorbed by the wood over time, so it’s important to inject the oils regularly and into any new holes as you find them.

Call in a pest controller

If all of the above methods fail and the ants keep coming back, then the easiest and most effective way to kill the queen and get rid of the ant colony is to call a professional pest controller.

They will come to inspect the problem and suggest the best way forward based on how bad the infestation is, what type of ants are in the colony, how many queens and nests there are, etc.

(Video) Get Rid of Ants: Fast, Cheap and Easy

Alternatively, you can wait for the ants to move on to a new nesting area, but there’s no guarantee that they ever will and no way to know how long such a migration might take.


Is it easy to kill a queen ant? ›

Since the queen ant stays hidden inside the colony for her entire life, she can only really die from two causes: worker ants or humans. Worker ants will kill off multiple queens but sometimes go too far and accidentally kill all the queens. Other than that scenario, a human is likely responsible for a queen's death.

What will kill ants immediately? ›

Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray it directly on the ants to kill them, then wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them. You can also use vinegar and water as a deterrent; spray it around your windowsills, doorways and other places where you see ants coming inside.

What is the fastest way to kill an ant colony? ›

Make a colony-killing bait by blending equal parts Borax and corn syrup. Smear on a small piece of cardboard or index card. Ants love corn syrup, and when they eat it, the Borax kills them.

What attracts a queen ant? ›

The queen searches for a mate, often being attracted to large, distinctive objects such as especially tall trees, large shrubs or hill tops. These sites act as meeting places for queens and males from many nests, ensuring that they can find each other.

What happens if I kill a queen ant? ›

So, what happens when a queen ant dies? The answer is straightforward, the colony will eventually die as well. Ants don't flee to another territory or nest if their queen passes away. Instead, they continue bringing resources back to their settlement until they die of old age or external causes.

Does a queen ant ever come out? ›

You will rarely spot a queen ant outside of the nest because she spends most of her life laying eggs. If the queen is out of the nest, that means it is mating season, and she's on the prowl for a mate.

Can queen ants harm you? ›

Queen ants cannot sting. They are relatively inactive and immobile and they primarily engage in feeding and laying eggs. They are dependent on other members of the ant colony for defense.

How long will a queen ant live? ›

For one thing, queen ants can be incredibly long-lived – one scientist had a queen that lived for almost 30 years. In the wild, it's not uncommon to find queens that are more than a decade old. Ants from other castes may have a lifespan of a few months to a year or two.

Does Windex kill ants? ›

Home Ant Control Tips

Windex, the glass cleaner, is a known insect killer. When you have an ant swarm in your house, spray them all with Windex and they will die nearly instantly. Windex can also eliminate some of the scent trails that ants follow to find food.

Does salt kill ants? ›

Use Table Salt + water OR no water. This solution does “kill”. It dehydrates them.

What really kills ants? ›

Baking soda (or borax)

In fact, Baking soda and borax will both kill ants upon ingestion. For best results, mix equal parts baking soda or borax for ants and confectioner's sugar and place it into a shallow container where ants can reach it.

How do you kill an ant super colony? ›

Use boiling water over the colony: This kills the ants and floods the colony. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over it: A white powder containing skeletons of small sea creatures, diatomaceous earth acts as small shards of glass when ingested by acts, killing them from the inside.

What is the best homemade ant killer? ›

Try combining three parts powdered sugar with one part boric acid. The sugar will lure the ants in and the boric acid will kill them, Pereira says. Liquid is better—adult ants prefer to drink their food—so water this stuff down a little. “I recommend this to a lot of people,” Pereira says.

How do you kill an entire ant colony? ›

Soapy water
  1. Mix 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap or ¼ cup Castile soap for every quart of water.
  2. Spray the mixture to erase ant trails and kill ants on contact.
  3. Pour the mixture directly into the ant nest to wipe out the entire colony.
  4. Repeat treatments as needed.
Jun 17, 2022

How rare is it to see a queen ant? ›

First, it's important to note that it's extremely rare for most people to encounter a queen. That's because it's the job of the colony to protect the queen, so she stays hidden in a wood nest most of time. Carpenter ant queens are much larger than other ants in the colony and may measure up to an inch in length.

How do you tell if an ant is a queen? ›

The queen ant will have scars where the wings once were, which you should be able to see if you examine her closely. Her trunk is usually as wide as her head, and her abdomen is large because her primary responsibility is to lay eggs for the colony. If you see an ant with a smaller head, it's most likely a worker.

Can a queen ant survive on her own? ›

Most queens arn't interested in food and will therefore be very easy to care for. Simply leave them alone in the dark. The queens gets their nutrition from breaking down their wing muscles that will never be used again. She is meant to spend the rest of her life beneath the Earth's surface.

How deep is the queen ant? ›

Digging up a colony

Some species will also dig very deep, for example, some Pogonomyrmex have been found with nests over 5 meters deep. Some species, like Myrmica in areas that get snow, only dig about 4" down and often only dig beneath rocks and lifting a rock can yield an entire colony.

What season do queen ants come out? ›

In spring and fall, some of the reproductive caste (winged male ants and virgin queen ants) take off on a nuptial flight at which time they mate. The males soon die and the fertilized females lose their wings and start a new colony.

What does a queen sugar ant look like? ›

The largest ant in the colony is the queen. You can identify her from female workers because her thorax is more prominent as she once had wings. Her abdomen may be a bit more puffed out before she mates and lays her eggs.

What do queen ants eat? ›

Queen ants typically do not forage, but use the proteins from their decaying flight muscles as a food reserve.

Will queen ants fight? ›

New research demonstrates that queen ants fight by antennal boxing to become the reproductive queen, and that worker ants reinforce queen behavior by feeding dominant females and expelling, or killing, their weaker sisters.

Can 2 queen ants live together? ›

A colony of ants can contain more than one queen, but this depends on what species it is. Queen ants are usually the biggest ants in the colony.

How many ants does a queen lay a day? ›

Queen ants can produce about 800 eggs per day. A “mature” colony can contain more than 200,000 ants along with the developmental and adult stages of winged black-colored male and reddish-brown female reproductives.

Are queen ants born or made? ›

Ants adhere to a caste system, and at the top is the queen. She's born with wings and referred to as a princess until she takes part in the nuptial flight, mates with a male ant, and flies off to start her own colony.

Do queen ants sleep at night? ›

Yes, they do. In this research environment queen ants would sleep significantly longer per episode. In fact, each sleep episode for a queen ant would last just about 6 minutes, while worker ants would only sleep for just over a minute.

How do you find a queen ant in your house? ›

Queens tend to be found at the center of an ant's nest. Queens tend to prefer moist areas, commonly found in rotting wood. If you found an ant hiding in a damp area of your home or outside, especially in damp wood, this is more likely to be a queen.

Does Dawn soap kill ants? ›

If you spray the solution directly on an ant, Dawn will penetrate their exoskeleton and kill them on contact. This also works for wasps and cockroaches.

Can peroxide kill ants? ›

For ants, hydrogen peroxide is fatal, but when placed between a rock and a hard place, scientists found they'll drink the substance to cure themselves, New Scientist reports.

Can Dawn dish soap get rid of ants? ›

If you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50/50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture.

What liquid kills ants? ›

White vinegar

White vinegar, available at all grocery stores, is a cheap and effective way to kill and repel ants. It is also a natural cleaning agent. Try using a 1-to-1 vinegar/water mixture to clean hard surfaces, including floors and countertops, wherever ants are likely to travel.

Does Clorox kill ants? ›

A common question that our Clegg's pest control customers ask is “can you use Clorox bleach to get rid of ants?” The answer is yes. All brands of bleach can kill ants. Clorox is the most popular brand of bleach out there but there are other brands that can also get the job done when it comes to killing ants.

Does cinnamon kill ants? ›

Also, if an ant inhales cinnamon, it can suffocate and die. Ground cinnamon can be sprinkled on an ant's pathway for them to inhale. You can also soak a cotton ball in a solution of cinnamon essential oil and water and then wipe down common ant hot spots, such as doors and windows, to help repel ants.

Who is an enemy of the ant? ›

Creatures That Eat Ants

Other insects such as beetles, caterpillars and flies. Spiders, such as black widow spiders and jumping spiders. Snails and other hard-shelled organisms. Snakes.

What's the best outdoor ant killer? ›

  • Terro Liquid Ant Baits. Best Liquid Bait. Buy on Amazon.
  • Raid Multi Insect Killer. Most Versatile. Buy on Amazon.
  • Terro Ant Dust. Best Dust. Buy on Amazon.
  • Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil. Best Non-Toxic Killer. Buy on Amazon.
  • Ortho BugClear Insect Killer. Best For Lawns. Buy on Amazon.

Can you starve an ant colony? ›

After 24-h starvation three of the baits did not result in any queen deaths, with only Exterm-an-Ant producing an average of 25% mortality. In contrast, 100% queen and worker mortality was observed in colonies starved for 48 h and given Xstinguish or Exterm-an-Ant.

Why are ants so hard to kill? ›

The main reason is they live in huge colonies, each of which has hundreds of thousands of individuals. Their sheer number makes it difficult to kill them all. Even if you locate their nest, destroy it, and kill every ant in it, there will still be many survivors who were out foraging at the time.

Can you suffocate an ant colony? ›

How it works: Baking soda and baby powder both suffocate ants by clogging their spiracles, which are pores in their exoskeleton that they need to breathe. If ingested, baking soda will create a chemical reaction inside the ant that kills it.

What do ants hate? ›

Ants hate the smell of strong citrus fruits. Save your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and scatter them around entry points. It's a natural way to deter ants without harming them.

What smell do ants hate? ›

Lavender may smell pleasant to humans but it's not so popular with ants, flies, moths, fleas and mosquitoes. A pot near your door can keep ants away; lavender in boiled water is thought to repel ants; and the oil can help to keep skin bite-free.

What kills ants outside naturally? ›

Baking Soda Remedy: To destroy an ant colony, dust the ant mound with baking soda and then spray with full-strength white vinegar. A-Peel-ing Advice: Ants don't like the smell of citrus. Save and dry peels from oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.

Will killing the queen ant kill the colony? ›

Unfortunately for the ants' colony, when the queen dies, the worker ants can only survive for a few months. The colony dies off rather quickly because the workers cannot reproduce. When there's no queen to lay eggs, the workers die off, and there are no new ones hatched to replace them.

Can you drown the queen ant? ›

Many people think they can get rid of ants by drowning them or suffocating them. These methods for getting rid of ants are simply not effective because ants do not have lungs.

How long do queen ants live? ›

For one thing, queen ants can be incredibly long-lived – one scientist had a queen that lived for almost 30 years. In the wild, it's not uncommon to find queens that are more than a decade old. Ants from other castes may have a lifespan of a few months to a year or two.

What ant food kills the queen? ›

Cornstarch is another natural method you can try to kill the queen ant. Place a line of cornstarch around the nest or ant hill. The ants will take the cornstarch into the colony to be used as food. The fiber content in the starch will make the ants swell and die, including the queen if she eats the cornstarch.

Can queen ants hurt you? ›

Queen ants cannot sting. They are relatively inactive and immobile and they primarily engage in feeding and laying eggs. They are dependent on other members of the ant colony for defense.

Do queen ants bite people? ›

Queen Ants and Humans

Certain species of ants are equipped with a stinger and defense mechanisms, and if the queen ant feels her brood is threatened she may retaliate with a bite or sting.

Do queen ants have poison? ›

Poison gland – A poison gland containing venom is attached to the stinger. Queen and winged reproductive (unmated queen) ants also have a poison gland. However, they do not use their ovipositors as stingers, as do worker ants. Venom – The venom of imported fire ants is produced in the poison gland.

What months do queen ants come out? ›

In spring and fall, some of the reproductive caste (winged male ants and virgin queen ants) take off on a nuptial flight at which time they mate. The males soon die and the fertilized females lose their wings and start a new colony.


1. DIY Ant Trap to Kill and Get Rid of Ants using Borax
(Daisy Creek Farms with Jag Singh)
2. NATURAL ANT REMEDIES: How to get rid of Ants at Home and Garden – Top 12 Ant Killer Ways
3. How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants (3 Simple Steps)
(Solutions Pest & Lawn)
4. Which of these NATURAL INGREDIENTS Keeps Ants Out of Your Home? (Experiment)
5. How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally (3 Ways To Kills Ants)
6. Pouring Boiling Water Onto a Fire Ant Nest
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated: 07/01/2023

Views: 6134

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.