Many people use cornmeal to prepare delicious food, which is considered a versatile pantry staple ingredient used for many purposes. However, it can cause toxicity in ants by interfering with their stomach and causing problems related to the digestion of food due to high starch content.
Can You Use Cornmeal To Get Rid Of Ants? You can use cornmeal to get rid of ants because these insects consume it as a food source and get attracted to it, but you have to add any toxic compound to make it lethal for ants. Mix boric acid into cornmeal powder (1:9) and add any sweet food like sugar or peanut butter to make it suitable for consumption and effective. It can take a few hours to days to kill common species of ants in urban areas.
Ants are fascinating creatures on Earth as they adapt to changing environmental conditions and consume man-made food or explore natural sources to ensure survival.
Should I use cornmeal to get rid of ants?
Cornmeal or ground corn flour is highly nutritious for ants in granular or powder form, potentially attracting insects to get their food.
It contains iron, selenium, phosphorous, and many other healthy ingredients that are helpful for the growth and development of insects.
Most probably, you have heard about the toxic effect of cornmeal powder, as it can cause an explosion due to the indigestion of granules, but it is not considered accurate.
It is supposed that these granules can expand in their bellies after some time of entering the stomach, but there is no scientific evidence to support it.
The reason for this myth is the high content of starch, as one cup of cornmeal contains more than 100g of starch, which is not easy to digest and pass out of their bodies.
In addition, it can disrupt pheromone trails by dominating their body scents, creating problems for foragers to continue trail movement. It cannot lead to their death due to its non-toxic nature.
Moreover, it can be used as an attractant for ants and make potential baits against them when you mix any toxic compound.
Furthermore, you do not have to get expensive baits from stores as you can use this to make homemade baits to remove the insects if there is a small infestation.
How do you use cornmeal to get rid of ants?
Cornmeal cannot kill ants alone due to its non-toxic nature, so add boric acid to make it toxic.
Put 1 tablespoon of boric acid to a bowl containing 9 tablespoons of cornmeal powder or granules. You can adjust its quantity according to requirements but keep it in 1:9 concentration.
In addition, mix peanut butter or honey to make it a slightly wet bait because these tiny insects avoid eating dry food that can get stuck in their mouth.
You can also add soybean oil into it to improve the consistency of the bait and make it effective for grease-loving insects that are not attracted to sweet food items.
Wear gloves while preparing and spreading the bait close to colonies or trails of insects because these insects can bite you.
Transfer the bait to the lid of the container or put a spoonful of bait on small cardboard pieces. Put it at strategic locations providing entry routes for ants.
Moreover, you can dab the paste with cotton on areas with the risk of infestation, like cracks and windows, so ants from nearby colonies can reach the bait and consume it.
Furthermore, you have to monitor the effect, whether it is attractive for insects, and increase the amount or change its location if you do not see any workers drawing toward it.
Is it safe to use cornmeal to get rid of ants?
It is considered a safe product to get rid of ants as it is a food source for these insects and poses no toxicity for people and pets indoors.
You can use it indoors to control the population of nuisance pests without worrying about side effects because corn is safe for humans and animals.
Moreover, you have to be careful of ant baits prepared from cornmeal because they also contain toxic compounds, like boric acid.
Boric acid also has low toxicity for non-targeted species of insects, pets, and children. However, it can be moderately toxic for people if they consume it in large quantities.
Similarly, it can cause problems of thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues in animals if they consume boric acid above safe quantity.
In addition, the third component of bait is sweet food like peanut butter or honey, which is not harmful for consumption.
So, you can use cornmeal baits because they contain a mixture of three ingredients, which dampens the toxic effect of boric acid to some extent.
How long does it take for cornmeal to kill ants?
Cornmeal can kill ants when used in baits, but it acts more slowly than insecticidal sprays, which interfere with the insect’s body from the exterior and disrupt its functioning.
However, this bait starts several hours or days after ingesting toxic chemicals because these ants hold boric acid in their stomach without digesting it.
It begins to react within their stomach after 1 or 2 days, depending on the species and the nutrition requirement. It can also take almost a week to kill an entire colony, including queens.
The colony’s size also determines the time required to remove a colony because smaller colonies usually disappear more quickly than larger ones.
The polygynous colonies are hard to remove from the house because multiple queens produce eggs and new workers in a colony.
However, all ants die when the bait is transferred down to the colony, reaches the queen’s stomach, and kills growing larvae and pupae.
Do ants hate cornmeal?
Ants do not hate cornmeal because it provides healthy nutrients to tiny insects that have to eat energy-rich food every hour to keep themselves active.
They get attracted to cornmeal powder or even granules if present on the floor or countertop. It is known that ants avoid eating this due to their inability to digest the food, but this is not true.
These insects do not avoid eating it and consume it as a food source. Accordingly, many people use it as an attractant in preparing baits against individual insects and whole colonies.
Most commonly, the species of ants living in urban areas and exploring indoor areas for food can reach a storage box or container with cornmeal to eat it.
Accordingly, it can help get rid of the common species found to be living indoors, like pharaoh, argentine, sugar, and carpenter ants.
Furthermore, it can also attract insects living in backyards, gardens, and lawns, including black garden ants, pavement, tawny crazy, and acrobat ants.
So, you can conclude that cornmeal is not dangerous for the consumption of insects, and it does not repel ants away, but it can become deadly when a toxic powder is incorporated into it.