It Actually Works!

All right, so I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve seen it work on my garden pests, as in the previous blog on spraying for aphids. However, there’s something about ants that always makes me think they’re invincible. I really don’t mind ants outside. I mean the black ants, of course. Fortunately, I haven’t found red ants in my yard. The black ants don’t bother my plants too much, knock on wood. They’re good cleaner-uppers. They even aerate the soil a bit. I’ve also heard someone say that southern California is built on one big anthill, so you can’t really try to get rid of them.

However, inside my house is another matter. Inside, they give me the heebie-jeebies. Even moreso than spiders, earwigs, or sowbugs. I guess it’s because spiders are usually solo, they don’t travel around the house too much, and they eat other bugs. Earwigs are pretty isolated too, inside. And sowbugs are just so slow and funny when they ball up, that who can really dislike them entirely? Ants inside are another story.

As you may have seen in some of my kitchen videos, my countertop has flecks of black in it, so the ants really blend in. Until there are a lot of them. Then, all of a sudden, I realize my entire countertop is moving. One day, I grilled some super yummy burgers and had them sitting on a plate on the counter. At least we got one serving out of them, because by the time we came back for seconds, the ants had already gotten there. Plus, I once found two crawling on my baby in her crib. That was not a good scene.

The only plus I can say for ants in the house, is that they really encourage me to keep my kitchen clean and free of crumbs.

So when I found a few ant scouts in my kitchen the other day, I grabbed my bottle of Castile Soap cleaning spray and doused them. They shriveled up on contact. As I said, I shouldn’t be surprised. However, I didn’t expect it to work that fast. It was immediate. I let the spray sit for a bit to make sure the area was cleared, and then wiped it off. Also, the tea tree essential oil that I had added to my spray messes with the scent markings the ants leave, and discourages any followers.

Please note! If you’ve seen my video for this castile soap spray, you’ll notice that the concentration is much higher than it is for the garden pest spray. If you use the castile soap spray on your plants, you will burn them.

So, no nasty Raid fumes. No scary residue on food surfaces. No extra expense for additional products. And most importantly, no more ants.

17 thoughts on “It Actually Works!

  1. Also To prevent ants from coming back and repel them try placing bay leaves (dried) on the counter. I swear it works!! My parents have a huge ant problem in the summer and when I learned that bay leaves keep them out I tried it and they didn’t have ants all summer! My parents were so happy! :D

  2. Lisa,
    I used the 1/4c peppermint and 1 quart water on what ? are mites(bird mites brought in from outside on our throw rugs. The only thing that happened was it pissed them off and they started jumping airborne off the rugs going every where and biting. Is there any thing else you might think to add. I thought this would work so well. Please Help.

  3. Hi Maria – Tell me a little more about how you applied this. If you just sprayed the surface of the rugs, the mites could have hidden in the fibers. Then, since bugs don’t like peppermint, they would definitely be abandoning ship. The soap only works when it’s wet. The residue doesn’t have any impact on them. If your rugs could take it, it would be best to soak them in castile soap and water.

    All the best,

  4. Hello Lisa,

    I wonder what you think about using the castile soap spray solution on head lice.

    My daughter recently brought these little critters home from school and I have since been religiously wet combing to remove the lice before they are old enough to lay more eggs so as to break the cycle. I suppose we have been lucky really as, although she is now 8yo, she has not had them up until now.

    Whilst doing this bug busting I thought about your posts regarding the castile soap spray and how it works on aphids and ants as they have exoskeletons which, I think, also applies to head lice.

    I am tempted to try it out, I figure it can’t do any harm, but I was curious about your thoughts on this matter. Is it something you have ever thought about?


  5. Hi Melanie – I am so sorry you have to deal with such icky bugs! I have wondered before whether or not the castile soap would be effective. We’ve had a couple nearby scares with lice, but my kids have yet to get them – knock on wood. Theoretically, the castile soaps would kill the lice. I don’t know if it would have the same impact on the eggs. The stronger the soap the better, and it couldn’t hurt to try. I would do around a 1:1 ratio dilution with water. Apply it to the hair and really work it in. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or as long as your daughter can stand it. Let me know one way or the other how it works.

    All the best,

  6. This worked great. I had some ants investigating my bathroom. I used this solution to kill any ants I could find then I just cleaned the rest of the bathroom with the solution. I kept checking throughout the day and when I saw a live ant, I’d spray it. They die instantly. The next day I found two ants and killed them. The day after that just one ant. Yesterday and today, no ants to be found. Just in case I keep the spray bottle handy under the sink.

  7. Hi Tony – Fabulous! And you cleaned your bathroom at the same time! Just think – if you had used a conventional ant spray, you then would have to clean the spray. What a vicious cycle. :)

    Glad the Dr. B’s did the job!

    All the best,

  8. Do you think this may work outside?? Like if we dump a lot on an ant pile? My son is allergic to fire ants and we live in Texas, they are everywhere!!

  9. Hi Lisa,

    We’ve been battling ants in our dishwasher – yuck! We can’t figure it out but likely coming from a drain?? And then they get on the counters/floors. I have been using vinegar/water solution in the dishwasher and think it is helping but not completely. Could I spray the castille soap spray in the dishwasher? Does it work to prevent ants or just kill the ones I see on contact? I have the peppermint Dr. Bronner’s on hand. I have young kids and do not want to spray anything toxic but want to have an ant-free house too!!


  10. To those who were talking about head lice. We had a really bad time of it last year it seemed every day there was something coming home about them. I found something that worked wonders and they never got head lice again even with it running rampant in the school. Tea tree oil. We put it in their shampoo and Dr Bronners tea tree castile soap was also used at times. It killed the lice and kept them from coming back the rest of the school year.
    I wanted to share this with everyone because I could not believe the results it was amazing! To get them out of the bedding I added about 5 tablespoons of Dr bronners in the wash in hot water and never had a problem again there either. My neighbor didn’t want to do it so her daughter had them really bad and came over to play with my kids and my kids never got them from her again. Yay Dr bronners rock’s lol

  11. I am sorry to be so late in responding here.

    Priscilla – The soap would kill ants in came in contact with inside or out, but it only works when wet, so if you sprayed it outside, it wouldn’t be a long lasting solution. You could pour it into an ant hill and it would do some damage. Ants, though, have numerous underground tunnels so they would have some escape routes. However, if you poured it down their hole often enough, it might encourage them to relocate.

    Kristin – I get ants up my drains all the time. Very annoying! You can definitely spray the inside of the dishwasher with the castile solution.

    Angela – Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your success story. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will ever only be theoretical knowledge for me to pass on to others! Keeping my fingers crossed!

    All the best,

  12. I’m new to Dr Bronner’s and just want to pass on a great tip I have regarding spiders. ORANGE – any kind of citrus actually – is a great natural spider repellent. I had been using orange and lemon-scented disposable Clorox wipes in the spots where “my” spiders tend to “take their meals” – but from now on with be spritzing these areas with Dr Bronner’s CITRUS castile soap diluted in a bottle. Thanks for making all your wonderful products. The tea tree soap has helped so much with the rosacea I’ve had for over 20 years. Never being a fan of non-natural remedies, I gave up on the oral anti-biotics long ago. Even though they did help for a while, I was always uncomfortable/uneasy about taking them. But I’m loving the tea tree for my complexion and have purchased Dr Bronner’s for laundry, house-cleaning and showering too. It’s my firm belief that the 21st century is going to show us that we can – and must – return to the natural world as much as possible. Keep up the great work!

  13. Hi Janet – It sounds like you’re in sync with where Dr. Bronner’s stands! I’m so glad our products have been such a help to you. And I will be trying that tip with the orange on spiders – I haven’t been able to chase the black widows out of my compost pile!

    All the best,

    • Hello Lisa!
      I know this site is about Dr. Bonner’s but I was wondering if you had some tips on composting. Recently, I started composting but I am unsure of the best practices. Please share. Thanks in advance for your help!

  14. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for this. I wanted to pin it, as I do so many of yours, but Pinterest won’t take it because it says it can’t find anything pinnable. If you get a chance, would you please add a photo to the page so we can pin it?

  15. I heard about this while I was talking with my friend about ant removal. So I bought a bottle and diluted it with water. When I sprayed the ant with the soap it worked perfectly but the next day, I woke up and found there where more ants! HELP! I used the peppermint soap.

  16. Does anyone know if this works on flies? We had a lot of flies get into our apartment and getting them out has been a nightmare.

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