While it is not the best solution to getting rid of an ant infestation, Lysol can offer a quick and short-term remedy. The chemical contains a scent that repels ants and interferes with their pheromone secretion.
It can also kill ants by blocking their pores or drowning them.
Lysol also contains benzalkonium chlorides, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, and potassium hydroxide, which can be lethal to ants. However, they can only kill ants if they consume them.
Since ants have more scent receptors than other insects, it is almost impossible for them to consume anything with traces of Lysol.
Note: This is not professional advice and shared as general and hypothetical information. Seek the advice of professionals.
How Lysol Kill Ants
1. Blocks their Pores/Spiracles
Ants are complex insects, and they have an elaborate respiratory system that is mainly comprised of spiracles /pores, which are a series of holes located on the sides of their bodies. The spiracles are connected through a network of tubes that help distribute the oxygen to almost every cell in their body.
When the Lysol is sprayed on the insects, it blocks the pores, disrupting their breathing and suffocating them to death.
2. Drowns Ants
Ants are not equipped to breathe when submerged under any liquid. How long it takes an ant to drown is dependent on the liquid’s surface tension.
For instance, water has a high surface tension that is why a lot of insects are able to float on it. Ants, in particular, depending on their species, can survive as much as 24 hours before they drown.
However, Lysol has significantly lower surface tension. This means that it is easier for ants to break it and drown. Actually, this is the best method to kill ants using Lysol.
That said, it is essential to note that it is not the chemical composition of Lysol that kills the ants; it is its physical properties. Therefore, pest control professionals would have similar results if they use any other liquid with lower surface tension, for example, Windex and most disinfectants.
Also, drowning does not always work. For example, fire ants are known to form strong links using their mouths and legs to keep them afloat on most liquid surfaces.
How Lysol Repels Ants
Another way Lysol can help pest control professionals deal with an ant infestation is by repelling them through either of the following methods.
1. Disrupts Pheromone Secretion
Ants travel by following the pheromones left by others. This helps them track food and also alert each other when there are predators.
When pest control professionals spray Lysol on ants, it disrupts their pheromone secretion. Thus will not be able to track their movement and communicate with each other. This can be detrimental to ants since they rely on their social network to survive.
However, this is just a short-term fix since this effect wears off with time. For best results, spray it directly on the colonies or target their travel routes.
2. Acts as a Repellant
Lysol has a scent that repels ants and other insects. Ants, in particular, have a strong sense of smell and will avoid areas that contain traces of Lysol. The downside to this is that you cannot use Lysol to trap ants.
3. Keeps Surfaces Clean
This is the most obvious and probably the best way to use Lysol to deal with ants. Ants tend to infest areas that are dirty or have spills. Using Lysol to keep surfaces clean prevents ants from infesting a home.
Is Lysol The Best Product To Control Ants?
Lysol is not a hack that will offer a lasting solution. It works similar to other cleaners and disinfectants and mainly kills ants by suffocating or drowning them. Basically, pest control professionals can have similar results if they used any other liquid with the same or closely related properties.
We have also mentioned above that the effects of Lysol wear out after some time. As such, it will only disrupt pheromone secretion for a while, after which the ants will resume to normal.
Also, if you decide to drown them, you will have to use a lot of it, and still, you will only be able to kill a few of them, but the colony is still intact. Unfortunately, that means that the homeowner will have a recurrent problem with ants.
How to Make Lysol More Effective At Killing Ants
Note: This is not professional advice. Seek the advice of professionals before using Lysol.
How pest control professionals use Lysol determines how effective it will be. As we have already established, Lysol does not have chemicals that can efficiently poison ants. The best way to kill ants is to poison them; that is why insecticides are more effective.
One way you can increase the effectiveness of Lysol is by mixing it with other insecticides. However, this will also reduce the efficiency of the insecticide. So it is a “win-lose” solution. Check with professionals about the safest and legal mixes.
pest control professionals sometimes also mix Lysol with natural ant irritants such as pepper. Pepper is excellent because it irritates ants to the extent of immobilizing them, making it easier for you to drown them. They can also combine it with vinegar which is acid and can damage ants’ exoskeletons.
That said, any remedy that involves the use of Lysol is only short-term. You would need to apply it directly where there is an ant infestation due to its repelling scent. To be able to do this, you need to bait enough ants.
For instance, pest control professionals can use sugary foodstuffs to attract ants. When they accumulate in large numbers, you can drown them. Still, ants are constantly looking for food and have a very organized system making it hard to trap a large number of them.
Lysol is a cleaner and not an insecticide. While it technically can kill ants it will not offer a long-lasting solution let alone replace the use of insecticides and other natural remedies.
What makes it infective is that it does not contain chemicals that are guaranteed to poison ants. Also, for you to drown the ants, you have to use a lot of it. Some of the best alternative products pest control professionals use include Borax, Terro ant killer aerosol, and Diatomaceous earth.
Joe is a freelance writer for FaunaFacts. Joe has written extensively about snakes for the site, but also contributes content about a range of animals.