An Analysis of Household Products as Ant Repellents


  • Jenna C Harlan Texas A&M University
  • Marina Conner
  • Kim Dinh
  • Cameron Stevens
  • Brandon Marx
  • Francisco Salinas
  • Andrea Macias


In the summer, harvester ants are responsible for all the ant mounds found across the front and back yard of every household across the country. Pogonomyrmex barbatus are extremely active ants and bites when they feels threaten. The sting from the bite spreads poison along our lymph channels causing irritation and can lead to serious medical complications. However, this does not compare to what danger the chemicals in current ant repellents present to our health. Therefore, we tested the effectiveness of household products as an alternative method as ant repellents. A quarter size of honey was deposited into the center of 7 separate plastic containers. Next, for each container we placed one of the following household products: baking soda, black pepper, vinegar, mustard, coffee grounds, bleach, and crushed up bay leaves completely around the honey as a barrier. Then 10 harvester ants are placed on the outside of the barrier to examine which household product kept the most ants away from the honey after 5 hours. The results presented that coffee grounds was the best repellent, because it successfully kept all the ants away from the honey. However, the bleach, vinegar, and mustard were better ant pesticides killing most to all. Therefore, common household substances can be used as an alternative to effectively repel insects or as pesticides. This would reduce the use of harmful chemicals that are found in ant repellent products.


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