Does Vacuuming Ants Kill Them? [5 Ways To Do It Right]

Ants tend to enter our homes in search of food, meaning that even small amounts of food crumbs can attract hundreds of them.

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Some ways of getting rid of them are more effective than others, but does vacuuming ants kill them?

No, simply vacuuming ants does not kill them, although some of them might die due to the suction force. You can kill ants by combining the right vacuum with the right product, for example using diatomaceous with a shop vac. 

Let’s take a look at 5 effective ways to kill ants by vacuuming them.

Does Vacuuming Ants Kill Them?: Explained

No, simply vacuuming ants with your ordinary vacuum cleaner will not kill them, except for a few of them that might not survive the suction force.

But the truth is, you shouldn’t even try to kill ants!

These creatures are essential to our ecosystem as they turn and aerate the soil, making it possible for oxygen and water to reach plant roots. 

In addition, ants take seeds down into their tunnel to eat the fleshy structures that are attached to the them (elaiosomes). The seeds then sprout and grow new plants.

Therefore, I advise you vacuum up the ants with a handheld vacuum and simply release them far away from your home.

However, if you still want to kill ants with a vacuum cleaner, here are a few effective ways to do it:

1. Shop Vac and Diatomaceous

You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth food grade on your carpet or hard floor to dry out the ants and kill them.

Let it sit for a few minutes, and then slowly vacuum it up.

When vacuuming:

  • Use a dust mask
  • Ensure you protect your eyes from Diatomaceous Earth
  • Ventilate the house
  • Keep pets and children away

2. Vacuum Cleaner With Hepa Filter and Borax

Sprinkle borax on the carpet or hard floor and use a vacuum with HEPA filter to clean it up. 

Borax contains microscopic sharp edges that tear into the ants and kills them.

The HEPA filter will ensure that none of the borax escapes your exhaust.

3. Table Salt, Broom and Vacuum

If you do not own a shop vac or a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter, you can simply sprinkle table salt on your carpet or hard floor, brush it in with a broom and let it sit for a while.

Then, use your regular vacuum to clean the area. 

4. Bagged Vacuum Cleaner

You can simply get rid of the ants by using a bagged vacuum cleaner.

Although it won’t kill them, it will allow you to get them all into the bag and make it easy for you to dispose of them.

Just make sure you throw the bag away right after vacuuming and that you dispose of it as far from home as you can. 

5. Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

You can use a bagless vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the ants and clear the infested area.

However, you will need to empty the canister into a trash can outside of your house and ensure you add some diatomaceous earth in the bag. 

Seal the bag up and let diatomaceous kill the ants.


u003cstrongu003eIs Vacuuming Ants A Good Idea?u003c/strongu003e

Vacuuming ants is a good idea if done correctly. You will have the choice to either let the little guys run free away from your home or kill them by using the right vacuum combined with the right product.

u003cstrongu003eCan Ants Survive A Vacuum Cleaner?u003c/strongu003e

Ants do not suffocate in vacuum cleaners and they are unlikely to die due to the suction force. The only way to kill a colony of ants with a vacuum cleaner is by combining the right vacuum with products such as borax, diatomaceous earth, or table salt.

u003cstrongu003eCan You Vacuum Ants With A Shop Vac?u003c/strongu003e

Shop vacs are great for vacuuming ants, u003ca href=u0022, fleas, and any other insects. However, most ants will get into the chamber or dust bag alive. Adding diatomaceous earth to your shop vac bag will ensure that no ants stay alive after vacuuming them up.

u003cstrongu003eCan Ants Crawl Out Of A Vacuum?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, ants can crawl out of a vacuum cleaner since vacuuming ants does not kill them. You should either vacuum ants using borax, table salt, or diatomaceous or ensure you release the ants far away from your home after vacuuming them up. 

u003cstrongu003eDoes Killing Ants Attract More?u003c/strongu003e

Killing ants attracts more only if you do not move the bodies within 2 to 4 days after their death. A dead ant emits Oleic Acid. This acid signals other ants to come and collect the body and carry it to a dumping ground. Keeping dead ants away from the colony ensures the survival of other ants.


Ants are an essential part of our ecosystem and should not be killed.

Instead, you should vacuum them up with a handheld vacuum and release them far away from your home.

However, if you do want to kill ants with a vacuum, the 5 most effective ways to do so are:

  1. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth food grade and clean the area with a shop vac
  2. Sprinkle borax and clean it up with a vacuum cleaner that has a Hepa filter 
  3. Sprinkle table salt, brush it in and vacuum the area
  4. Use a bagged vacuum cleaner and dispose of the bag right away
  5. Vacuum up the ants with a bagless vacuum cleaner, empty the canister into a trash can outside, and add some diatomaceous earth in the trash bag. 


  • Brenda Pearlman

    My name is Brenda Pearlman, and my friends always joke about the “pearl” part. Why? Because I am a clean freak, who likes to see everything shine like a pearl, lol. With years of using my vacuum to clean almost everything in the house, I have discovered tips and tricks that I want to share with you! I am looking forward to helping you make your home shine 🙂

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