One of the main reasons why ants invade homes is that they are looking for food in order to keep the entire colony alive. No other part of your abode is brimming with grub more than the kitchen. Just about anything that comes into contact with food can attract ants, and that includes the microwave.
To get rid of ants in the microwave, first rid the kitchen appliance of grease and food particles. Afterward, kill ants by wiping down the interiors with soapy water. Ants can be exterminated, too, with baking soda and sugar. It’s also a good idea to erase any ant trails to prevent a reinfestation.
Whether dead or alive, ants can easily turn a microwave meal from delicious to atrocious!
If you are frustrated that you cannot reheat or cook food in the microwave without ants feasting on it, continue reading. Below, you will come across some foolproof tips and tricks on how to get rid of ants in the microwave effectively. And since they can also get rid of ants elsewhere, you can enjoy an ant-free kitchen, too.
But before anything else, let’s give an answer to this pressing question…
Can a Microwave Kill Ants?
In general, microwaving ants for a few seconds is not enough to kill them. It can take a few minutes before ants die in the microwave, as their tiny bodies can take a while to heat up. Coming into contact with food or scraps of food hot enough will kill ants in the microwave.
It’s true that ants survived whatever it is that killed the dinosaurs as well as wars that wiped out millions of people from the face of the planet. However, it isn’t true that ants can survive the microwave.
Here’s the reason why your microwave failed to kill ants when you tried to nuke them once: you didn’t microwave ants long enough. But had you microwaved ants for a few more minutes, you would realize that they are not at all that invincible within the confines of a microwave — you would have surely heard small popping sounds.
The following are why ants do not die in a microwave right away:
- They have very little water in them — microwaves work by causing water molecules to rub against each other.
- Because they are very small, ants tend to lose heat very quickly.
- Chitin, the material that makes up their exoskeletons, can shield them from high temperatures.
- Some places in a microwave are cooler than the rest.
The bottom line is that you can kill ants by microwaving them for a longer period of time. Or you can follow the steps on killing ants in the microwave below and save electricity — so don’t stop reading now!
What Can You Do to Kill Ants in Your Microwave?
A mixture of dish soap and water can kill ants in the microwave. Soapy water also gets rid of the trail of chemicals ants leave behind for the rest to be able to find the microwave. A mixture of baking soda and sugar can kill ants in the microwave and also in the nest, from the queen to its babies.
You can leave the microwave running for a few minutes to kill the ants in it. However, this is a complete waste of electricity and may damage your microwave, too — it’s a terrible idea to run a microwave empty.
It’s a good thing that there is a quicker and safer way to rid your microwave of ants, and it’s by wiping down its interiors with a sponge dipped in soapy water. This works effectively as dish soap can suffocate ants until they breathe their last. But before you give this solution a try, remember these two very important things:
- Unplug the microwave beforehand.
- Wring out excess soapy water from the sponge.
While it’s true that ants in the microwave (and elsewhere in your kitchen) are a nuisance, it’s still a must that you maintain your safety and that of your loved ones. It’s also a good idea to keep your microwave out of harm’s way. And that is why you should bear in mind the two safety tips mentioned above.
And now, here are two things that you may try to free your microwave of ants:
Use a dish soap and water mixture
Wiping down the interiors of your microwave with soapy water is like hitting two birds with one stone: it lets you kill ants and get rid of grease and food particles, too.
To make an ant-zapping solution, combine one part dish soap and two parts water in a bowl. Mix, dip a sponge in it, wring out excess and wipe away those ants and anything else that’s not supposed to linger in your microwave. Use a damp kitchen towel to remove excess soapy water and allow the microwave to air dry.
Count on baking soda and sugar
You can kill ants not only in your microwave but also those that are waiting in the nest for the meals to arrive. It’s none other than by making a homemade ant killer using baking soda and sugar.
Baking soda can kill ants by altering the pH levels in their tiny bodies. But because ants know that baking soda can kill them, they will do anything and everything necessary to avoid it at all costs. This is when the importance of adding sugar, which is something that ants find irresistible, to baking soda comes in.
Don’t just add any sugar — use confectioners’ sugar, the kind that’s fine powder.
All you have to do is mix equal parts of baking soda and confectioners’ sugar. Transfer to a small dish and leave it in the microwave to allow the all-natural insecticide to do its job.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Reinfestation?
Keeping the microwave clean at all times is an effective way to keep ants at bay. It is also a good idea to keep various surfaces and other kitchen appliances spotless in order to keep them from attracting ants. To prevent a reinfestation, the scent trails ants tend to leave behind should be eliminated.
It’s not enough that you kill ants in the microwave. To prevent the same type of headache from bugging you for a second time, it’s also a must that you keep ants from invading your microwave all over again.
The good news is that it’s not that difficult to keep your microwave from being overrun by ants once more, ruining your culinary masterpieces (or TV dinner) each time. Besides the microwave, it’s also fairly easy to keep the rest of your kitchen appliances from being attacked by ants.
What you need to do is keep the kitchen clean and get rid of any remaining ant trails that can make it trouble-free for ants to locate your microwave et al. These are some of the best non-toxic ant trail erasers:
- Equal parts of water and vinegar.
- One part lemon juice to three parts water.
- A cup of water with 10 to 20 drops of peppermint oil.
- Rubbing alcohol diluted with water.
- A little cinnamon, cayenne or black pepper powder.
Just Before You Try to Rid Your Microwave of Ants
Ants first came into being between 140 and 168 million years ago. And because they have already been around long before the first human beings roamed the planet, you cannot expect them to leave you be that easily!
But by following the tips and tricks above, you can free your microwave of ants.
Keep in mind that just because you are able to rid your microwave of ants successfully doesn’t mean that those creepy crawlers will no longer invade it again. If you fail to keep your versatile kitchen helper spick and span, it is very much likely for ants to once more feast on anything that you put and leave behind in the microwave.
Can you spray insecticide in the microwave?
Spraying the microwave with insecticide is a quick way to put an end to an infestation alright. However, since a microwave is used for reheating and cooking food, spraying it with insecticide can cause poisoning. Insecticide can also cause a fire and damage the components of the microwave.
What foods are ants attracted to the most?
Ants are attracted to many foods. Leading the list is sugar, which, unbeknownst to many people, can be found in most food products, from bread, pasta sauce to beer. Some ants also love fat and grease, which is why they are still attracted to particles of food that contain absolutely no sugar.