Ants vs. Vacuum: Removing Them From Your Home

Ants can pose a frustrating issue for numerous homeowners, prompting many to resort to using a vacuum cleaner as a solution.

While a vacuum cleaner may provide a convenient and swift means to eliminate ants, it raises questions about the effectiveness of killing them and the potential for their escape.

This post aims to shed light on why a vacuum cleaner falls short as an ant killing method, and instead offers multiple tips to effectively eradicate ants from your home.

Does Vacuuming Up Ants Kill Them?

While a vacuum cleaner may be a great way to remove an ant infestation, it doesn’t always kill the ants.

Some ants might die when being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, but a good majority will not. The fact is that ants are too small and light to be hurt by the vacuum cleaner.

Not only that, but they can easily escape the vacuum cleaner, after all, they did find a way into your home.

How To Remove Them

Here are the steps you can follow to vacuum up ants and effectively eliminate them from your home:

  1. Prepare the vacuum cleaner: Ensure your vacuum cleaner is in proper working condition and equipped with a hose attachment or crevice tool for precise suction. Empty the vacuum cleaner dustbin of its contents in the trash, this will make disposing of the ants easier.
  2. Vacuum the ants: Carefully and methodically vacuum up the ants using the hose attachment or crevice tool. Focus on the areas where you’ve observed ant activity, such as along trails, near nests, or around their entry points. Get into tight spots and cracks to make sure none of them are hiding.
  3. Empty the dustbin outside: When you have vacuumed up all the ants, empty the dustbin outside and away from your home. If you can, drop the ants off at least 36 feet or more from your home.
  4. Find why the ants came in: Removing the ants is only the first step, you need to figure out why they came in and how to stop them from coming back into your home.

Keep Them Away

Here are some steps you can take to keep ants from returning to your home:

  1. Close gaps and cracks: Inspect your home for any cracks, gaps, or openings that ants will use as entry points. Seal these areas with paint, caulking or rubber strips to block their access.
  2. Keep a clean environment: Ants are like to food, waste and water sources. Clean counters, sweep floors, and clean up spills promptly. Keep food and leftovers in food containers, and keep the pet bowel clean.
  3. Remove food and water temptations: Be sure to get rid of any food or water sources that may attract ants. Keep kitchen sinks dry and fix any leaks or moisture issues in your home.
  4. Use ant deterrents and sprays: Certain scents repel ants, such as peppermint, citrus, vinegar, or cinnamon. For more effective ways to remove ants, you’ll need to use a bug spray for ants (Amazon Link Ad) or hire a professional pest control company.
  5. Trim vegetation: Ants often use trees, shrubs, and overhanging branches as pathways into homes. Trim back vegetation and ensure it doesn’t make direct contact with your house.
  6. Remove ant trails and nests: If you notice ant trails or nests in your yard, eliminate them to discourage ants from returning. Use ant baits or seek professional assistance if necessary.
  7. Regularly inspect and maintain: Stay vigilant and periodically check for signs of ant activity in and around your home. Address any issues promptly to prevent a full-scale infestation.

Here is a great video showing you how to get rid of ants in your yard:

The Best Vacuum For Pests

The best vacuum cleaner to use against ants and other pests will be a shop vacuum.

Every home should have a shop vacuum for its ability to clean things your normal vacuum cleaner can’t. For example, water messes and those pests around your home.

With the rise of cordless shop vacuum cleaners, they’re quickly becoming my go-to for people. Not only can the cordless shop vacuums suck up water and those ants in your home, but they’re quicker to get out and get going than the corded ones. This matters, especially when it’s a spider or creepy bug you want to remove from your home.

Any cordless shop vacuum will work, but I suggest people go with the Dewalt shop vacuum (Amazon Link Ad). The biggest reason I say Dewalt is that there are many batteries for it (Amazon Link Ad), even 3rd party ones, or battery adaptors (Amazon Link Ad) if you’re not in the Dewalt family.

If you’re like me and have a Harbor Freight nearby, they too have a nice cordless shop vacuum. You will need to buy the battery and charger for it separately.

Another great thing about using these cordless shop vacuums around your home is that they’re often smaller and easier to manage. I have a large shop vacuum for big jobs, but when there is a nasty bug in the home I go with the cordless option as it’s so much easier.



Hello, I'm Lee from ""! Launched in 2016, my site addresses the online information gap about "robot vacuums" and "vacuum cleaners," areas where I have hands-on experience. Got questions about a post or topic? Feel free to comment or contact me (contact)!

Leave a Comment