Household Ingredients to Control Ant Populations


  • Ryan Nguyen Texas A&M University
  • Daniela Almaguer
  • Sydney Busch
  • Madison Davis
  • Abigail Dean
  • Rafael Gomez
  • Varun Patel


: Ant infestation is a common issue worldwide. These insects are a nuisance and pose a threat to children, pets, and the elderly. Although pesticides prove to be the most efficient form of killing these insects, the chemicals found in them can be harmful to humans. In addition, ants are becoming more and more resistant to pesticides, meaning that harsher chemicals are becoming necessary. This experiment studies inexpensive, non-toxic household ingredients that can be used as alternative pest control methods. It was hypothesized that the black pepper solution would result in the greatest number of ant deaths. The ant subjects used were identified as Tetramorium caespitum (Hymenopter: Formicidae, L.), more commonly known as pavement ants, belonging to the order Hymenoptera and family Formicidae. The specimens were collected using two different baits: honey and peanut butter, of which peanut butter proved to be a more successful bait. Ants were placed in three containers with three different solutions of ground cumin, black pepper, and cinnamon. The ants were observed, and results were collected at different time intervals. Upon review of the data, ground black pepper seemed to control the sample population the best. Therefore, it was concluded that the most effective household ingredient tested was black pepper.


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