Does This TikTok Hack with Orange Peels Get Rid of Ants?

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Has a bad bite convinced you get rid of those pesky ants once and for all? We checked out this DIY hack and here's what we discovered.

Ants are a pain. Whether it’s fire ants in the South or tiny brown ants in my Midwestern garden, when you disturb them, they bite you. And those bites can vary from annoying to, in the case of fire ants, really hurtful.

When you have an ant problem, do you need a full array of pesticides? Or will something as simple as a homemade orange oil solution work, as demonstrated in this TikTok video?

@gardeningsimplified

Quick way to get rid of ants Naturally #tipsandtricks #antproblem #ants #gardeningtipsforbeginners #gardeningtips #gardenhacks #diypestcontrol #diy

♬ Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop Dogg

How It Works

The video demonstrates how to make the solution: Pulverize orange peels, mix with water and heat for several minutes. Then pour the hot orange oil mixture on the ants.

Did it kill the ants as the narrator claims? Probably some.

Orange oil from peels contains a chemical known as D-limonene. When applied to ants and other insects, it removes the waxy coating on their respiratory system, suffocating them. Pouring the mixture while still hot may not have made a difference, but it sure made the person in the video happy.

How To Kill Ants With Orange Oil

You don’t have to make your own orange oil ant-killing solution. You can buy a product like Orange Guard which contains orange oil to control fire ants and other insects.

The manufacturer suggests two ways to use it. Spraying directly on ants kills them on contact. Spraying every three to four weeks in cracks or crevices where insects enter your house can prevent them from coming in. Orange Guard is certified organic by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

To kill fire ants, pour the orange oil down into the mound as instructed on the label. That increases the likelihood of killing the queen, effectively killing the colony.

Do Other Home Remedies Kill Fire Ants or Other Ants?

No. According to the Extension Service at Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities, most home remedies for killing fire ants don’t work. Those include anything with grits, club soda, soapy water, wood ash, baking soda, molasses or vinegar. Mixing fire ant mounds together, if you’re brave enough to try it, doesn’t work either!

Other Methods of Killing Ants

Besides orange oil products, you can also kill some ants with traps or baits.

I prefer Terro Indoor Liquid Ant Killer Baits, which contain Borax. When I see ants indoors, I place one of the baits near them. Foraging ants are attracted to the bait and carry the Borax back to their colony, killing all the ants inside. Problem solved!

If you’re using bait to kill fire ants, be sure to get one labeled for fire ants, like Amdro Fire Ant Killer Bait. Then carefully follow the instructions on the label.

Of course, to deal with a particularly bad infestation of fire ants, ants or termites, it may be time to call a professional pest exterminator. Always be sure they’re licensed and insured before signing anything.

Popular Videos

Carol J. Michel
Carol J. Michel is an award-winning author of several books including five gardening humor books and one children's book. As the holder of degrees from Purdue University in both horticulture and computer technology, she spent over three decades making a living in healthcare IT while making a life in her garden. She started writing about gardening on her blog called May Dreams Gardens which lead to numerous magazine articles, her books, and a podcast called The Gardenangelists. She was recently named a GardenComm Fellow by Garden Communicators International.