How To Keep Fire Ants Out Of Pet Food Bowls Outside?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

How to keep fire ants out of pet food bowls outside? There are several methods for keeping ants away from your pet food and, more importantly, your home. Spring brings warmer temperatures and blossoming flowers, but it also brings ants into your house. The ants love to search for your pet’s food and spend the next several months destroying it.

Always check to discover what kind of ant you have in the house. Fire ants, for example, can be dangerous to pets. Because of the tropical weather in certain regions, it is more difficult to eradicate them, but it is still feasible to keep them away from your beloved pet and its food.

Continue to read to find how to keep fire ants out of pet food bowls. 

Are fire ants dangerous?

Are fire ants dangerous?

Yes, fire ants can be dangerous to your beloved pets. When threatened, fire ants swarm like hornets, defending their nests with painful, toxic stings that can leave welts and trigger anaphylaxis, which can be deadly.

Why Are Fire Ants Attracted To Pet Food?

Ants enjoy a variety of foods in addition to humans. It may seem unusual that they enjoy pet food, but they do. Keeping their food dishes outside for easier access is a smart idea if your pet goes outdoors regularly.

how to keep fire ants out of pet food bowls outside

Crumbs and whatever food that ants have left behind should be washed every two days, or more if feasible, or every two weeks at the absolute least. It is particularly essential in the case of ants. Ensure the detergent is pet-safe before using it, and then rinse completely with fresh, clean water.

How to keep fire ants out of pet food bowls outside?

Different kinds of grilled meat pieces in dog food bowl. Also ants and flies are on it.

To keep fire ants out of pet food bowl outside, follow the below-mentioned methods:

Food Bowl Water Moat

A water moat is a defense device for protecting food. Castles in the past dug a large ditch around their walls, which then filled with water. It worked well in keeping the enemy at bay because the only way to get to the castle was to swim, or perish trying!

The meal bowl water moat uses the same technique. Ant proof cat bowl and ant proof dog bowl would be good for your pet.

Peppermint Oil

A transparent bottle of peppermint essential oil with blooming peppermint twigs

Their sense of smell guides fire ants, and peppermint oil is an excellent weapon for disrupting this perception. This essential oil is widely recommended for keeping all types of pests out of your house, including cockroaches, spiders, and, yes, ants.

It should emphasize that it does not kill the ants; rather, it keeps them at bay. Take a spoonful of pure peppermint oil and combine it with a cup of water in a spray bottle. Wipe the surfaces with the mixture and spray it all over where the ants have crept.

Keep Pet’s Dishes Clean (cat food bowls)

Portrait of cute lovely dog licking water from a bowl placed on the living room floor at home.

Ants love to pick up the crumbs and food left behind by your pet, inviting them into your home. Washing your pet’s dishes regularly is one of the easiest methods to keep fire ants out of their food bowl.

Every few days, thoroughly clean their plates using a pet-safe detergent. To ensure that soap residue is cleaned from the bowl, rinse it well with new, clean water.

Orange Peels

orange rind, on white background

Orange skin contains vital oils that discourage various animals, including fire ants. In a blender, combine the peel of one orange with one cup of water.

Pulverize it till it’s a consistency you’re comfortable dumping on any ant hills you come across. Turn it into a natural ant spray for more convenience. Using orange peels has the added benefit of making everything smell zesty, fresh, and clean.

Vacuum Regularly

mechanical brush collects dust from the floor, close-up.

The area around your dog’s or cat’s dish is begging for ants. The majority of pets eat sloppily. While you may not detect any crumbs on the floor, they most likely threw some on the floor in the surrounding vicinity.

Sweep and vacuum the floor to ensure nothing is left behind that may attract fire ants. Do you want to make things easy for yourself? Make use of a mat! A dog food mat will collect all the food splatters, making cleanup a breeze.

 Store in Plastic Containers

Candies in plastic containers

Keep fire ants away from pet foods. The first line of defense is to store them in sealed plastic containers. You can also invest in ant-proof dog food containers.

If you keep your pet’s food in the bag, the ants will have an easier time invading. There are a variety of plastic containers intended exclusively for keeping pet food that you may purchase.

Tea Tree Oil

bio herbal cosmetics and alternative medicine concept

Tea tree oil is an efficient fire ant repellent. Complete the following steps to utilize this method: Combine 5 to 10 drops of this oil with 1 cup of hot water in a clean plastic spray container.

Apply the mixture to any house areas where ants are commonly seen. Alternatively, soak cotton balls in the mixture and scatter them over your home.



Some individuals have had success by creating a line with ant chalk around their pet’s dish. The fire ants will not cross the line, so they will keep their distance and leave your pet’s food alone. It worked for a few folks at first, but it wasn’t as successful afterward. Do it again with a fresh, chalked outline if this happens to you.


Apple Cider Vinegar in a Bowl

Vinegar is an inexpensive and efficient way to kill and repel ants that can be found in any food dish. It also acts as a natural cleaner. Clean hard surfaces, such as floors and worktops, using a 1-to-1 vinegar/water combination anywhere ants are prone to go.

Spray the mixture on fire ants or wipe them away with a paper towel if you notice them. After the vinegar dries, ants can smell it, but most humans can’t smell it for long.

Baking Soda

Wooden bamboo eco friendly toothbrushes, baking soda  on white background. Dental care and zero waste concept

Baking soda is a simple, non-toxic approach to keeping fire ants away without having to worry about your pets becoming drawn to it.

Mix baking soda with confectionery sugar and sprinkle it in and around your kitchen to get rid of ants. They’ll be drawn to the sugar, but it’ll be the baking soda that will put them to death.

Diatomaceous Earth

food grade diatomaceous earth supplement - small pile of powder on a grunge wood with a text in vintage letterpress wood type

Diatomaceous earth is a form of silica created from the fossilized remnants of diatoms, small aquatic creatures (a type of plankton). Diatomaceous earth isn’t harmful to your health. It kills fire ants and other insects by absorbing the oils in their bones, causing them to dry up.

Sprinkle the powder about your home and in your pet’s food bowls, and the ants will die due to their eating. If it gets up in the air, be cautious not to breathe it in.


cream Vaseline on finger

Vaseline can be used to keep fire ants away from your pet’s eating dish or area. They wouldn’t be able to crawl over the sticky substance. Therefore, this may be a viable option. Please remember that the pet will/might smear it all over the floor, dish, himself, and other surfaces.


Organic Raw Brown Cinnamon on a Background

Cinnamon has shown up in many lists as a product to get rid of fire ants since it confuses them and causes them to get lost. Adding this spice to Vaseline is a simple method use it. The Vaseline will have a cinnamon scent when you apply it, so you’ll know precisely where you’ve put it.

Borax (Acid)

Borax compounds for goldsmith specialist in gold

To properly use Borax to get rid of fire ants in your house safely, make a combination of 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons Borax, and 1 1/2 cups warm water.

Soak several cotton bowls in this mixture and place them where ants are a problem. Because of the sugar, the ants get lured to the combination, but the Borax will kill them. 

Baby Talc Powder

Talcum powder on hands

Vaseline and baby talc powder appear to have the same effect. The only difference is that the ants won’t come near it because of the odor. This procedure should be used with caution since dogs should not inhale talc powder. It might be hazardous to your pet, so proceed with caution.


Black pepper in a wooden shovel on white background. The view from the top.

Pepper is another chemical that fire ants cannot tolerate or traverse. If you sprinkle regular black or cayenne pepper around your pet’s dishes, it will keep ants away.

Dish Soap and Boiling Water

Put a little dish soap into a spray bottle full of hot water. As and when required, spray.


Having fire ants move around in your pet’s food might cause them to quit eating. Maybe not all together, but the sensation will undoubtedly be interrupted. This article outlines the essential measures to take to get rid of fire ants in your house, kitchen floors, grounds, yard site, and, more crucially, from your pets’ food.

You can also use strong remedies like coffee grounds, cornstarch, tape, bait traps, insecticide, lemon eucalyptus oil, and repellant sprays for red ants and pharaoh ants.


Why are there ants on cat and dog’s food bowl?

Ants are no laughing matter! Because dog chow is inherently scented, it attracts ants. Even the most attentive dog owner may occasionally have to cope with ant infestations. They can not only get into your dog’s food bag, but they can also get into his bowl!

What is the best and easiest method to get rid of ants in my yard for my pets?

Add one part water and three parts of vinegar in a bottle to get rid of ants. Apply the solution to the affected region. The acidity of the vinegar repels ants. Although pets dislike the taste of vinegar, it will not harm them.

What is a natural scent to drive away ants?

The natural scents that repel ants are cinnamon, chili pepper, mint, pepper, cloves, and garlic. Bay leaves may also be used to keep ants away by placing them in cabinets, drawers, and containers.

During outside dow do you keep ants out of dog food?

To keep ants at bay:
Rub some vinegar on your tablecloth.
Rub some lemon juice to your picnic table, as it does the same thing and smells much better.
Because ants dislike the fragrance of mint, spritz yourself and your table with a little mint mouthwash.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.