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5 myths about ants debugged

Ant control can be a major pain.

Before we delve into our list of common ant myths, let’s take a look at these familiar insects and the traits that make them so difficult to eliminate.

Ant facts

Ants are considered social insects and organize themselves in colonies. They communicate using their olfactory receptors – in other words, they use their scent to pass important information to other ants in the colony. This is the reason why “the ants go marching one by one” or travel in a straight line, returning to the same locations time and time again.

Ants under a magnified glass

One of the smallest insects that can invade your home, ants are notorious for causing big headaches, leaving frustrated homeowners up to their own devices when it comes to wiping out their ant infestations. Here are some of the most creative, albeit false, theories circulating the web:

MYTH #1:

Cinnamon kills ants.


Ants don’t like cinnamon but unfortunately it doesn’t kill or repel them.

MYTH #2:

Vinegar kills ants.


Vinegar just removes the smell/trace of ants. While it may help confuse or throw off the rest of the colony, vinegar alone might not be enough to rid your home of these bothersome insects.

MYTH #3:

Boiling water repels ants.


If – and only if – the water is boiling will it kill the ants that it is poured on. However, it will not repel future ants from invading your home.

MYTH #4:

Ants won’t cross a chalk line.


A chalk line may temporarily stop the ants (it’s the smell that “disrupts the scent trail”) but it won’t be long before they figure out a way around the chalk. We probably don’t have to tell you, but ants are very persistent creatures!

MYTH #5:

Uncooked grains, like oatmeal or grits, will kill ants by expanding in their stomachs and then exploding.


Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that ants can be killed off by dumping grains in or around the “hive.” What we do know is that only the oldest members of an ant colony can digest solid food. The adult, worker, and reproductive ants, can only digest liquids.

And the biggest ant control myth of all?

As long as you kill or remove the ants you can see, your problem is solved.

Unfortunately, where you see a few ants, more will likely follow. If you have or have had an ant infestation in your home, you know you need a remedy that will control the population, not just kill a handful of ants here and there.

The most surefire way to eliminate your ant problem is to contact a professional pest management company. Ehrlich Pest Control has been New England’s choice for pest control for almost one hundred years, with no pest problem too big – or, in this case, too small – to handle.

Contact us today to learn more about our services, which include ant control in Massachusetts and all over the Northeast.

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