12 Effective Methods To Kill Ants On Tomato Plants


Much likely with Severus Snape in Harry Potter, Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, or Walter White in Breaking Bad, and Ants have both the positive and negative impact on the tomato plant garden.

If you find ants as bad visitors for your garden, then you can take action to prevent them with many popular strategies like using Boiling Water, Ant sprays, Diatomaceous Earth, Sugar-Vinegar spray, Windex, Citrus oil, Oleic oil and many more.

In this article, I will describe whether ants are good or bad and how to get rid of ants on tomato plants step by step.

So, Let’s get started-

Killing Ants On Tomato Plants-Step By Step

There are several ways to kill ants. Here I have described 12 most effective and widely used methods. I have tested most of them and got positive and effective results every time.

1. Soapy Water to Kill the Group of Ants

Soapy water is a natural homemade insecticide that can kill a group of ants very easily. 

Here is the process of making soapy water at home:- 

  1. Take a bottle or container.
  2. Fill it with one part of soap and two parts of normal water. 
  3. Now shake the bottle to mix it properly.
  4. Use directly over the group of ants.

Spraying this will suffocate them immediately and after a while, they will die. To get more the insecticidal soap recipes, Here is the resoure.

An alternative idea for you,

Setting out a trap of soapy water is also a better idea to kill ants. You can lure the ants into your traps by simply using some sugary things.

Soapy water can also be used to kill other insects also. It is harmless for humans and pests and shows no side effects.

You can buy ready to use soapy water. Our pick is Safer Brand 5118-6 Insect Killing Soap Concentrate

2.Ant Sprays

Ant sprays are particularly planned to attack, immobilize, and merely destroy the nervous system of ants or ant like insects. 

Some tomato insect sprays work faster than others, but in common terms get the task done. The powerful concentration of the lethal nerve gas sprays is more productive in destroying these small insects.

But beware!

If some of these guys (ants or insects) somehow survive an initial encounter with this spray, they can eventually evolve tolerance to the spray. So try to kill them for the first time with the strong and effective ant sprays. 

I have tested an ant spray. It is so powerful that it can kill a whole ant colony within minutes. Here is the best ant spray for you to kill ants on tomato garden.

  1. Raid Ant & Roach Barrier Spray 
  2. Mighty Mint Natural Spray for Spiders, Ants, and More – Non-Toxic.

3.Vinegar and Water Solution

Ants actually hate vinegar. These things easily kill ants in a short time and prevent them from returning that place again. 

You can make this easy solution at your home. Here is the procedure-

  1. Get a bottle or container.
  2. Add 1 part of vinegar and 1 part of water.
  3. Shake them to mix properly. 
  4. Spray directly  it over the ant colonies

You can get the solution as ready to use. Here is our recommended vinegar solution – Calyptus 45% Pure Vinegar | Home and Garden.

Wait! There is something more vinegar can do.

  1. Vinegar and water can also be used as a deterrent; you can spray it around windowsills, doorways, and other areas where you want to control ants.
  2. Using this vinegar solution to clean the grounds, floors, counterparts or windows can make ants less likely to crawl over these surfaces amazingly.
  3. White vinegar is an outstanding household cleaner, and you can’t sniff it once it dries.

4.Lemon Juice Solution

If you can’t tolerate the smell of vinegar or no access to it currently then you have an option to spray the ants with lemon juice solution. 

They’re hostile to the citric acid of lemon juice, so you can try this spray as a deterrent as well by spraying it around the boundary of your house.

Here is the process of making a lemon juice solution-

  1. Get a container or sprayer.
  2. Add 1 part of lemon juice and 3 parts of water.
  3. Shake to mix it up properly.
  4. Use directly onto the ants.

5.Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is truly an effective insecticide against ants on your tomato plants. It’s formulated of fossilized diatoms that have been in the ground, turns into powder.

How does it kill ants?

When insects like ants walk over this powder, the little, thin fossil shards scratch the waxy outer coating on ants exoskeletons, which causes their bodies to dry out and eventually they die.

Sprinkle the powder along with your windowsills, baseboards, or around the boundary of your house to destroy ants. Try to work with an applicator or a dusting bulb. 

Our recommend diatomaceous earth is Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth-Bed Bug Flea, Ant, Crawling Insect Killer.

Safety Precaution, 

It’s suggested that you wear either mask or cloth over your face at the time of dealing with diatomaceous earth.

Although this powder isn’t fatal when ingested but the tiny particles or fractions can be dangerous for your lungs if you inhale them.

Diatomaceous earth can be inefficient if it gets wet, or even if the air is moist or humid. It will get back its potency when dry, so if your house’s humidity level is decreasing the potency of your DE powder. Then consider utilizing a dehumidifier in the trouble areas.

6.Windex for Ants

Windex is a neurotoxin paralytic chemical. You are required to spray it directly over the ants you want to kill. Windex paralyzes ants until it desiccates (like a bug form of dehydration situation).


Windex is such highly toxic that it can cause damage to other animals or birds if they get in touch or eat it. It can cause bleeding, lungs/ stomach/ brain damage, or even cause blindness and death.

Although Windex is very dangerous it is also very effective. If you can use it with adequate safety precautions then you will probably get the best results.

Here is a recommended Windex that I have tested before- Windex Glass and Window Cleaner Refill.

7.Citrus Oil

Ants do not like citrus oil. So spraying fresh lemon or orange peel at the edge of the tomato plant can help a lot by tracing them back to their residence. Place fresh citrus peel at the base of the plant to get the best result. This process is often used for home-based small gardening.

You can also use rubbing orange or lemon juice in front of their residence and on the route. Repeat the application after several days.

Here is the citrus oil that you can spray-Green Gobbler All Natural Orange Oil Concentrate.

8.Ground Cinnamon

Ants hate cinnamon. You just need to place cinnamon sticks close to the bottom of your tomato plants, and around the ants home. Replace the new sticks regularly. This process is effective for also tomato plants.

You can also spray Cinnamon oil. Our pick-Organic Cinnamon Essential Oil

9.Oleic Acid to Treat Whole Ant Colony

Ants are extremely vulnerable using oleic acid. This is usually found in almond oil and sunflower.

How does it function?

After two days of an ant dies, it starts to release oleic acid, and with this other ants know to remove their dead members to a mass ant graveyard.

Even if an ant of the colony is alive, but covered with oleic acid then the other members will however eliminate it to the graveyard.

This information is available on the Internet in regards to how ants react to oleic acid. They don’t like to cohabit close to their graveyards, so in theory, they may begin avoiding regions where the oil is.

The best oleic acid that is experts recommend Oleic Acid by CCS LLC

10.Boric Acid with Sugar

Another very effective homemade solution to treat ants is the boric acid and sugar mixture.

Here is the process of making this solution-

  1. Take one cup of boric acid.
  2. Take two tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Add some water and mix them properly.
  4. Place this solution wherever you see ants.

They will take the dangerous sugar and boric acid mixture to their home which will wreck the whole ant colony.

Wondering how does it work?

Ants along with all other exoskeleton bugs keep water within a waxy layer coating. If this area is destroyed they desiccate (the thought of bug word dehydrating) and die within 3 days.

You can try this ready to use boric acid to kill ants on tomato plants-Zap-A-Roach Boric Acid Roach and Ant Killer

11.Garlic Spray Mixture

Spray garlic water to stave off ants from your tomato garden. You can make garlic spray at home.

The process of making garlic spray is-

  1. Get 2 tablespoons of mineral oil.
  2. Add 3 ounces of minced garlic.
  3. Keep it 1 one to soak properly.
  4. Now add 1 pint of water and 
  5. 1 ounce of liquid soap.
  6. Mix them properly.
  7. Spray directly on the ants’ colony.

It will kill ants within a few days. This process is safe. You can also buy ready to use garlic spray mixture.  Our pick is Garlic Barrier Liquid Spray.

12.Boiling Water

Boiling water is one of the best and quick solution to get rid of ants. If you have found the ant colony then just pour boiling water on it to kill them very quickly. However, avoid pouring boiling water on your tomato plants.

The Core of Ant Colony: The Queen Ant

If you’re going to kill the whole ant colony then, well first of all you need to know that killing those tiny individual ants is not going to benefit you. Because you must have to kill one special ant, the queen.

Wondering why?

The queen is the one and only ant that lays eggs. No other ant has not that ability. So if the queen ant dies then the rest will ultimately die.

One interesting fact about ants,

Ants have two stomachs. One of them is for their own digesting purpose and the other one is for holding foods (That’s also named as the social stomach). They use the second one (social stomach) to share food with the rest members of the colony.

That is why poison can be the best way to destroy the whole colony. Because, after they fill their social stomachs up, they usually return home and begin feeding the rest of the member.

Thus if a lot of ants return with some food (with poison) then the queen might get fed some as well and possibly she can die also. After the queen ant dies the rest ants will also vanish after some days as no more ants are being made. 

How Can Ants Benefits Your Tomato Garden?

As you know, ants have both the good and bad effects on any vegetable garden, Here I have mentioned some of the most effective benefits of having ants on tomato plants:-

1. Ants Can Control Pests and Insects Naturally

Ants can control many types of pests and insects by eating their eggs and youngers as well as disturb them at feeding time. Such as the Green lacewings, Ladybeetles, and many more.

Ants are such a helpful biological control vendor, in fact, that many gardeners enlist them as a part of an Integrated Pest Management method.

Sounds good, right?

This isn’t a recent idea, either. A lot of gardeners have been using ants as an agent to control pests since 300 A.D.

2. Ants can Improve Pollination Rates

When the natural pollinator populations are decreasing day by day, many gardeners and farmers are struggling with the pollination process to achieve consistent, plenty of harvests from fruiting crops.

Don’t worry,

Ants can assist you! By hovering from flower to flower in search of food, ants continuously act as unintended pollinators.

3. Ants Support a Healthy Ecosystem

In conventional gardening, ants aerate the soil by digging underground channels that carry oxygen, water, and nutrients close to plant roots.

Ants can also speed up the decomposition rate of organic materials, like leaves or dead insects, and eventually fertilizes plants.

Tower Gardening doesn’t use much soil (However this is more productive as a result). In this case, ants can still assist the altogether growing environment.

Because in addition to eating on pests, ants themselves serve as food for larger animals, such as birds, frogs, lizards that furthermore help prevent pest and insect problems.

How Can Ants Harm Your Tomato Garden?

A few ants in your tomato garden isn’t normally a matter of concern. But if you see a lot of them then this is probably not good for your tomato garden at all. They can sometimes cause harm to your garden. Here is some of the problem comes with ant-

1. Ants Increase Pest Populations

If you have ever dropped a soda or bag of candy on the walkway, you perhaps know the answer, what happens. Yes, ‘sugar’. Ants come to get sugar.

And one more time guess what aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale, and other sap-sucking pests naturally produce?

Yes, Sugar this time also, but in the form of a sticky liquid secretion known as “honeydew.”

The interesting part is,

Much likely humans farm cows, ants farm aphids- safeguarding these nasty bugs from predators so that they can “milk” honeydew produced by them.

They’ll then take the honeydew back to their colony to share it with their queen ant and among some other workers. Sometimes ants may tend to move aphids to the nest to get better results.

The scientific term for this relationship is known as mutualistic symbiosis.

2. Ants Cause Pain and Property Damage

There are two species of ant, in specific, that tend to be known as troublemakers.

Possibly the most notorious ant variety, fire ants, or the red ants on tomato plants will sting when provoked. Their venom generates a painful welt that stays for several days.

Unnecessary to say that, if your tomato plants are swarming with the dangerous fire ants, harvesting can be a horrible experience.

There can also be carpenter ants or the black ants on tomato plants that can bite with their powerful jaws and then spray formic acid. It results in a burning sensation. Although it doesn’t like fire ants it bites.

However, the biggest problem with this familiar ant variety is its nesting manners. Carpenter ants create their residences in wood. And they aren’t much choosy about what kind of wood. It can cause many bad things as well.

Last Words

Unless it is the worst of ant infestations, I prefer not to kill them only to get rid of the ants on my tomato plants. Rather, try to find some creative things to deal with these ants or other insects.

However, I have described all the possible ways that came into my mind. Hopefully, you will be benefited from it.

If anyone finds a greater solution of dealing with these ants or any other insects, then please share with us using our comment section below or directly mail us.

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