Ants need water to survive in the hot environment because it helps cool their bodies. However, the situation can be different if the water temperature is higher than the thermal tolerance limit.
Can Ants Survive Boiling Water? Ants cannot survive boiling water because they have less tolerance to high temperatures, and the temperature of hot boiling water is around 160 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It can burn their soft exoskeleton when you pour it over the mounds. It can also kill the queen and eggs of ants if you pour enough water that reaches the bottom of the nest.
Ants are strong creatures that are not easy to remove from the house if they invade in larger groups, as their small size and larger population make them stronger.
Moreover, it can potentially damage the soft bodies of tiny insects when you target their trails, as only a few colony members are part of the trail.
The insects living in the soil probably have chances of survival because the soil soaks water and lowers its temperature, making it ineffective for killing the tiny insects.
Why ants cannot survive boiling water?
Ants have sensitive bodies that cannot tolerate extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, as the body temperature of cold-blooded creatures regulates with the changing external environment.
Their internal body temperature raises with external temperature, and it feels like their bodies are burning when it reaches close to boiling temperature.
Accordingly, their tiny and sensitive bodies can burn when exposed to hot liquids because this temperature is higher than their tolerance limit.
They have a hard outer shell of chitin to protect their bodies, but the exoskeleton cannot resist damage due to high temperatures, resulting in death ultimately.
Moreover, they have muscular bodies and lack bones, so they can get destroyed in a short time when the hot liquid touches their soft bodies.
This way, you can kill hundreds or thousands of ants inside a mound at once because they can reach deeper into their mounds by flowing downwards.
They do not get a chance to survive for even more than a second or two as they can drown in water. They can close spiracles to control breathing, but high temperatures can damage the exoskeleton.
It seems cruel to deal with the infestation by brutally burning their bodies, as it can be extremely painful for them when hot liquid touches their bodies.
How do you use boiling water to kill ants?
Boiling water (100 degrees Celsius) can be an ideal solution to deal with ants infestation at home because it can help kill a large population of these insects in a short time.
You do not have to wait for these insects to reach the bait station and feed their colony members. It can be a quick and short-term solution to get rid of these nuisance insects from the home or garden.
In addition, you can use it to deal with ant trails heading indoors to invade the food resources and hidden spots to get food and shelter.
Pour the hot water directly on the trails to drown these insects completely so they can feel a burning sensation and die immediately.
In the same way, you can also pour boiling fluid inside their colonies through entry holes which can reach insects deep inside the tunnels and burn them.
It is better to ensure your safety while dealing with boiling water to pour it into the mounds. Wear safety gloves to avoid contact with the skin because it can burn your skin badly.
How hot does water need to be to kill ants?
The temperature of the water determines the efficacy for killing the ants because they only die when you pour boiling liquid directly on their bodies.
These insects can perform well at a temperature range between 73 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit when their bodies remain functioning.
However, they can’t tolerate temperatures above 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit as it is a critical thermal limit for these insects.
So, it seems impossible for them to survive at boiling temperatures when the external temperature reaches around 200 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (93 to 100 Degree Celsius)
Their bodies begin to burn when it exceeds 160 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit as their soft bodies are not suitable to deal with such hot liquid.
So, the range of temperature should not be less than around 160 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise, they can reach some cold places to lower their body temperature.
This water having maximum temperature can make them die immediately because it destroys the waxy exoskeleton, causing it to melt.
Does boiling water kill ant queens and eggs?
Boiling water can be deadly for the queen ant in a colony if it comes in direct contact with them. These royal members live in the depth of nests to avoid the risk of attack by predators.
Moreover, the queens spend lives within nests and come out of their chambers when they have to mate or are about to die, so they are kept in the innermost chambers of the nest.
In the same way, they can also kill soft eggs by breaking their outer covering, as they are not highly resistant to extreme conditions like high temperatures.
You have to pour more water to drown these queens because it should reach the depth of nests and touch the bodies of queens and eggs present there.
In addition, soil can efficiently absorb a large amount of liquid and leaves only a small amount of it behind to reach the underground tunnels.
Accordingly, there are more chances of the queen’s death when it reaches the depth; otherwise, it can only kill a few workers living close to the entrance hole of the nest.
Most probably, you are thinking about the ideal amount of water that is sufficient for killing the queen, as it is essential to kill the queen to stop the multiplication of their population.
It depends on the species of ants and the size of mounds because a large colony builds deeper nests with many chambers to accommodate its members.
Almost 2 to 3 gallons of water is enough to deal with the population of these insects comprising thousands of workers and a single queen, but it can vary for other species.
You can also treat the mounds with hot water many times to kill all of their population, so pour this hot liquid around 2 to 3 times repeatedly so that it reaches the bottom.
What type of ants can survive boiling water?
Boiling water can be a suitable method to choose while dealing with smaller colonies of ants because it can be ineffective on larger populations.
I did not find it effective while trying to kill the population of fire ants because their individual nest contains around 100,000 to 500,000 ants..
I poured around 3 liters of boiling water into an underground nest but found them coming out of the nest after some time.
Again, I poured 1 gallon of hot water into their nests, but there was no such significant effect on their population because their queen was still alive.
Accordingly, it can be a reliable method for the colonies based on only a few hundred or thousands of insects having smaller nests.
In addition, it can help get rid of the population of pharaoh ants, argentine, or acrobat ants, but you cannot be sure about its efficacy on the mounds of pavement, carpenter, and sugar ants.