How to rid ants?

So far, we’ve provided gardeners with humane tips to clear their vegetable gardens of unwanted rabbits, squirrels, and cats. Methods ranged from ultrasonic devices to physical barriers. However, ant infestations are a different beast of a problem. Too small to be restrained by fences and too numerous to be relocated, we’ll help you tackle your ant issue by providing non-toxic methods used successfully by other gardeners.

If you can see the anthills, pouring boiling water over them several days in a row is a great way to reduce or eliminate an ant colony. If you can’t see their hills, read on.

Ground cinnamon

While not the cheapest method, sprinkling ground cinnamon along the perimeter of your garden (or any surface area, for that matter) will repel ants, but not kill them. Create a thick line that will force ants to climb over and watch both red and black ants refuse to do so. Cinnamon will also reduce the amount of ants in your compost pile if they are bothersome.

If you scout for deals, you can find 1-lb bulk bags that are inexpensive.

Diatomaceous earth

Created from the crushed shells of fossilized diatoms to form a fine powder, this substance actually consists of incredibly sharp edges that will penetrate an ant’s body, causing it to die of dehydration within two weeks.

Although incredibly lethal to insects, diatomaceous earth will not harm humans or family pets. Be sure to use 100% food grade diatomaceous earth in your vegetable garden. Prices are reasonable on Amazon.com, with a 5-lb bag at a low price.

Mixture of cornmeal, borax, and honey

Cornmeal is an inexpensive method to reduce (read: not eliminate) the ant population, but will take some time to work. It’s also completely safe for your vegetable crops. However, if you mix cornmeal with borax (a household chemical compound found in toothpaste or soap), you’ll see results much more quickly. Borax is extremely lethal to ants when ingested and also harms their outsides.

Add a touch of honey to mask the taste of borax and to attract ants. Place the mixture where there is a heavy concentration of ants: you can even leave it in the mixing bowl. Ideally, the sticky substance will be taken back to the colony and kill the queen as well.

You can find borax here, and cornmeal here.

Use beneficial nematodes

These worms can repel ants, beetles, moths, flies, and fleas. How can a worm do all of this? These microscopic creatures enter host bodies and excrete bacteria from their digestive tract that proves lethal within 24-48 hours.

However, nematodes can only be applied to garden soil that is between 42-90 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, you should make sure the air temperature is at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Beneficial nematodes can be purchased at nurseries or online. You can find them here.

Orange guard

If you can’t find the source of the colony, you can at least target the ants themselves. Orange Guard is a liquid spray that includes only natural ingredients (the main ingredient is orange peel extract, otherwise known as d-Limonene). This product is not harmful to garden soil or surrounding environment and is EPA-registered. Since all ingredients are food grade, it also won’t damage your crops.

A majority of consumers attest that this $8 product (32 oz) does what it claims, but one customer warns that the essential oil in d-Limonene is not completely safe for cats, so bear this in mind if you decide to purchase.

Provide strategically placed trap or repellent crops

Scented marigolds typically repel ants, although some gardeners have actually experienced ant attraction. Either way, ants may leave your vegetable crops alone. Other plants that have been suggested to repel ants? Artemisia, catnip, pachypodiums, adeniums, optunias, chrysanthemums, garlic, spearmint/peppermint, and tansy. Plant these around or in your garden to help reduce crop destruction from ants.

What methods do you use?

Creative Commons Flickr photos courtesy of William Warby and OliBac.

Ant Killer Tactics – How to Get Rid of Ants in the Garden

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Ants. Love them or hate them, it is undeniable that they are amazing creatures. With large, complex societies, fungus-farming techniques and an empire which almost spans the entire globe, it is a blessing that they are so small and have not yet developed an overwhelming collective intelligence.

During the summer months, you may have noticed convoys of ants going to and fro in your garden. Some may have even made it into your home in search of sugar or anything else they can get their mandibles on. Like most garden pests, ants will generally do their own thing without bothering anyone else. In case they are becoming a nuisance, it is time to start asking how to get rid of ants in the garden.

Table of Contents

What is a colony of ants?

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not to fear the result of a hundred battles.

This quote may be a little over-dramatic, but it does help to know a little about the pest you wish to remove.

A colony of ants sometimes referred to as an ant society, is made up of thousands upon thousands of individual ants under the leadership of one queen. Other than the queen, there are also workers, soldiers and drones. Most species of ant build massive underground nests. These structures are incredibly complex and contain nursery rooms, farming rooms, food storage areas and even tunnels to control the airflow inside the nest.

We usually only see a few entrance mounds and small piles of fine dirt. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Researchers in Brazil unearthed an abandoned ant nest, which covered an area of 500 sq ft and was measured to a depth of 26 ft. While nests of this size are uncommon, it does illustrate the fact that ant nests are much larger than we may initially think.

Ants and your garden

Some of the more ecologically-minded among you may be wondering if ants are beneficial to your garden or if they really cause damage to your plants.

Ants can be somewhat beneficial to your garden. Since they are predators, they hunt other insects that live in your lawn and can aid pollination while they are foraging. However, ants like to build nests around the root system of plants, which can stunt growth and leave plants more vulnerable to disease.

Quite a few species of ant also eat honeydew, which is excreted by aphids as they feast on plants. Ants have been known to protect aphids from other predators, such as ladybirds, to maintain a reliable food source. Increased aphid activity in your garden, especially when they have bodyguards, can be disastrous for plant life as they can advance unhindered through your garden, sucking out all of the tasty plant juice.

How to get rid of ants in the garden

Before morphing into Rambo and unleashing righteous fury upon the unsuspecting ants in your garden, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are they in an isolated area of my garden?
  • Are they a threat to me or to my family?
  • Are they a threat to my home?

There is no need to kill things just for the sake of killing them.

Now that the moralising is taken care of, let’s move on to turning you into the world’s greatest ant killer.

Looking to get rid of the little buggers inside your house? Check out Fantastic Pest Control’s article on getting rid of ants in house.

Natural methods

When it comes to ant infestations, it’s never about simply sporadically spraying their seemingly endless trails with an ant killer weapon of your choice. Na-ah, to eradicate the entire ant threat in your garden, you have to go straight for the source. The following methods have been proven to eliminate ants both outside and inside the ant nest:

  • Boiling water. The most widely known natural ant extermination method is using boiling water. Simply locate as many entrances to the nest as possible and pour boiling water inside. You may have to do this repeatedly until all of the ants are dead.
  • Dish washing liquid and oil. This method has quite a high success rate as the dish washing liquid and oil soak into the ant exoskeletons and suffocates them. All you need to do is mix half a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with one and a half teaspoons of cooking oil (olive oil and canola oil work best) with 1 quart of water (0.946 kilograms or 2.08 lbs or 33.38 ounces). Once the mixture is ready, pour some into a spray bottle to take care of ants outside the nest and then pour the rest directly into the nest.
  • Boric acid and sugar. This is possibly the most effective home remedy for getting rid of ants. Mix boric acid with sugar until it turns into a paste and then place small amounts of the paste around the entrances to the ant nest. Ants love sweet things and so they will be drawn to the paste, they will eat some and carry the rest back to the nest for the queen. Shortly after eating the sweet paste, the queen and other ants will begin to die due to the boric acid.
  • White vinegar. Pouring around 1 litre of white vinegar directly into the nest can work wonders. It is not harmful to the ground or your plants, but it will kill the ants on contact.
  • Nematodes. These microscopic worms are the natural nemesis of ants. The tiny worms will hunt and devour the ants whereas the ants will most likely search for a new nest as they cannot tolerate having their natural predator nearby.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE). Diatomaceous earth (food-grade, mind that!) is effective against a variety of critters, both at home and in the garden. You’d better sprinkle the ants’ path or around the plants, you don’t want the ants to get to. DE works well if the soil is dry. The wetter the surface is, the more time it will take to do its magic.
  • Insect-repelling plants. Various plants, especially the ones that contain essential oils, give off a certain smell that puts off lots of unwanted insects, including plants.

Most natural methods don’t work immediately. It’s because of what they are – natural, meaning, the active ingredients in them are not as lethal for ants as what professional poisons will be. Therefore, if you feel the times are direr, you can turn to the below commercial ant treatments.

Professional methods

  • Ant killer gel. Most garden centres sell an ant poison which comes in gel form. This works in the same way as boric acid and sugar. The ants are drawn to the sweet gel which is then carried into the nest for the queen to feast upon. Despite being a form of poison, the gel poses no threat to your garden or plants.
  • Ant killer poison. Powder poisons are best used against ants found indoors or near your home as they can affect plants and alter the soil due to their toxicity. If you choose to use powder poison, make sure to take some precautions beforehand, such as blocking off the poisoned area to keep pets and small children away. Spread it on a calm day as the wind may carry the poison to neighbouring gardens. Another point to keep in mind is that ants can slowly build up a resistance to the poison.
  • Professional extermination. If none of the above methods has worked and the ants have invaded your home, it may be time to consider hiring a professional to take care of the invasion.

So there we have it, your guide on how to get rid of ants in the garden. As you can see, there are many ways of killing the ants and decimating their nest, but we would urge you to seriously consider whether or not the ants are truly pests or just a mild nuisance before taking action. Otherwise, happy ant hunting!

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Did we miss anything? Do you have any tips for getting rid of ants in the garden? Let us know in the comments below or give us a shout on social media!

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Controlling Fire Ants in the Vegetable Garden

Fire ants can be a nuisance in the vegetable garden. In addition to being a stinging insect, they can damage some vegetable crops, such as okra and Irish potatoes. Occasionally they may feed on tender seedlings of corn, cucumber and watermelon.

Fire ant mound in mulched area of vegetable garden.
Joey Williamson ©2010 HGIC, Clemson Extension

A vegetable garden that is frequently tilled may have fewer fire ant mounds because tilling disturbs the fire ants and causes them to move. However, some mounds will persist, such as those that are too close to the individual vegetable plants to adequately be disturbed by tilling, or in gardens that are heavily mulched for weed control. In these cases fire ant baits or mound treatments may be necessary.

If fire ant baits are applied during the spring and fall to the lawn area surrounding the garden, this may significantly control fire ants within the garden site (see HGIC 2501, Fire Ant Management in the Home Lawn). Besides treating for fire ants in the surrounding lawn, some fire ant baits and products for mound treatments also are labeled for use within the vegetable garden for additional control. Always read the product label for where and how it can be safely used. The label must state it is for use around the specific vegetables being grown, and state it is for fire ant control as a bait or drench application.

Fire Ant Baits

Some fire ant baits can be used both within the garden and on the lawn. These include baits containing the active ingredients spinosad and pyriproxyfen. Spinosad is a natural metabolite product produced by a soil microorganism (Saccharopolyspora spinosa) and affects the ant nervous system. Many of the spinosad products are even approved for organic vegetable production. Baits containing spinosad are relatively fast-acting, and this makes them a good choice for controlling individual mounds that occur in the garden itself.

Pyriproxyfen is an insect growth regulator that mimics the effects of the insect’s own juvenile hormone, reducing the production of viable eggs. Although pyriproxyfen prevents the development of more worker ants, it does not kill existing adults. Because of this, ant colonies may persist up to several months after treatment, until worker ants present at the time of treatment die naturally.

For the quickest control, gardeners should not wait until fire ant mounds become large, but should apply one of these baits as soon as fire ants are observed in the garden. Be sure to treat the lawn area around the outside of the garden with fire ant bait as well. Worker ants from mounds located in the garden will readily forage for food many feet into the nearby lawn area.

For individual mound treatments with baits, do not put the bait directly on top of the mound, but sprinkle it around each mound. Baits are best applied in the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate (70 to 75 ºF). Apply baits in late afternoon or early morning when the ants are actively foraging. To determine if fire ants are foraging, crumble a few potato chips and place them on the ground beside a mound. Check for ant activity in about 30 minutes. If the colony is actively foraging, ants should be noticed carrying small pieces of the chips back to the mound. For best control, always use fresh bait.

If baits are to be applied to larger areas, use a handheld seed spreader for even distribution. Apply baits when there is no threat of rainfall within 24 hours, as rain will dissolve the bait granules. Likewise, do not apply the bait onto wet grass. In the garden, the use of a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses will reduce the amount of soil that becomes wet, and therefore will be less apt to dissolve the granular baits applied.

Examples of granular fire ant bait products containing spinosad with labels for use within the vegetable garden:

  • Ferti-lome Come and Get It! Fire Ant Bait
  • Southern Ag Pay Back Fire Ant Killer Bait

Example of fire ant bait product containing pyriproxyfen with a label for use within the vegetable garden:

  • Valent Esteem Ant Bait

Liquid Mound Drenches

You can use a liquid drench to eliminate large mounds that need to be controlled quickly, but be sure to use an insecticide labeled for use in home vegetable gardens. Some insecticide products commonly used in home vegetables include label directions for mixing and applying the product as a mound drench. Products containing the active ingredient spinosad are quite effective as mound drenches, and insect sprays with this active ingredient may be used to control many other pests in the home vegetable garden. Mound drenches are relatively quick-killing. Check product labels for specific directions. Spinosad can be applied near most vegetable crops for fire ant control.

Examples of liquid insecticide products containing spinosad with labels for use within the vegetable garden:

  • Bonide Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew Concentrate; & RTS
  • Bonide Colorado Potato Beetle Killer Concentrate
  • Monterey Garden Insect Spray Concentrate (OMRI)
  • Natural Guard Spinosad Bagworm, Tent Caterpillar, & Chewing Insect Control Concentrate (OMRI)
  • Southern Ag Conserve Naturalyte Insect Control Concentrate (OMRI)
  • Dow Conserve SC Insect Control

Use a watering can, sprinkler can, or bucket to mix and apply the drench. Read the label, mix the specified amount of insecticide in water, and pour over the mound. To be successful using an insecticidal drench, enough water must be applied to thoroughly soak the mound. Depending on the size of the mound, this ranges from one to two gallons of pesticide solution. First apply about ¼ of the total volume in a circle about 12 inches from the outside of the mound. This may prevent the queen or workers from escaping through their underground network of tunnels. Then apply the rest of the drench directly onto the mound. When applied properly, mound drenches will eliminate a mound within a few hours.

Granular Insecticides

If fire ants are a significant problem in the vegetable garden, one the following granular products (see list below) can be uniformly applied just prior to planting, or after the plants emerge, and worked into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. Use 5 cups (1.2 pounds) for a 500 square foot area. However, plan the garden so that the specific vegetables planted in that area are listed on the label of the product.

For individual fire ant mounds, apply 1 tablespoon of one of the granular products containing bifenthrin over the surface of each mound. For best results apply in cool weather (65 – 85 ºF), or early in the morning or late evening hours, avoid disturbing the ants, and thoroughly water the treated area immediately after an application. These products can only be used near the vegetables listed on their labels (see list below).

Examples of granular fire ant killing insecticides containing bifenthrin with labels for use within the vegetable garden near certain vegetables:

Other Insecticides

Never use products containing acephate for mound treatments in the vegetable garden (such as Hi-Yield Acephate Fire Ant Killer, Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer, or Surrender Fire Ant Killer). Acephate can be used to treat fire ant mounds in home lawns, but it is not for use around vegetable plants. It is a systemic insecticide that is readily absorbed by plant roots and will move up into leaves and fruit of vegetables. Permethrin is listed for use as a spray insecticide on some vegetables, and the labels of some products will mention fire ant control as a drench. However, the labels do not specify that the products can be used as a drench within the vegetable garden.

Caution: Pollinating insects, such as honey bees and bumblebees, can be adversely affected by the use of pesticides. Avoid the use of spray pesticides (both insecticides and fungicides), as well as soil-applied, systemic insecticides unless absolutely necessary. If spraying is required, always spray late in the evening to reduce the direct impact on pollinating insects. Always try less toxic alternative sprays first for the control of insect pests and diseases. For example, sprays with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, neem oil extract, spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.), or botanical oils can help control many small insect pests and mites that affect garden and landscape plants. Neem oil extract or botanical oil sprays may also reduce plant damage by repelling many insect pests. Practice cultural techniques to prevent or reduce the incidence of plant diseases, including pre-plant soil improvement, proper plant spacing, crop rotation, applying mulch, applying lime and fertilizer based on soil test results, and avoiding over-head irrigation and frequent watering of established plants. Additionally, there are less toxic spray fungicides that contain sulfur or copper soap, and biological control sprays for plant diseases that contain Bacillus subtilis. However, it is very important to always read and follow the label directions on each product. For more information, contact the Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center.

Get Rid of House Ants and Carpenter Ants Naturally

We know how to get rid of ants naturally because we’ve done it for years! We’ll show you how to make and use homemade ant bait, diatomaceous earth, & more.

I take pride in my advanced detective skills, and I apply them to almost everything! For example, figuring out who ate a sticky snack on the couch, who wore muddy shoes in the house, and most importantly, where is the entry point of the army of ants invading our house?

When the ants invaded, I figured out how to get rid of ants naturally. And here’s how we did it!

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

Having ants everywhere outdoors doesn’t bother me. But when I see them treading upon the kitchen countertops I spring into action. Therefore, the past two spring/summer seasons we have successfully rid our house of two different types of ants. Also, we decided it was time to show you how to get rid of ants naturally!

Identifying Ants

When learning how to get rid of ants naturally, detective work is an integral part of eradicating them. Furthermore, finding the most effective treatment for ants depends on the specific type you have invading your house. To explain, each species has different behaviors, preferences in food, and eradication solutions.

Some ants are specific to the region, so we only have experience dealing with certain types. So in this article, we’ll cover remedies for odorous house ants and carpenter ants. In addition, read the end of the article for tips that may work on other species.

Finally, for help identifying these ants, see the images here or here.

Odorous House Ants

You will find these ants anywhere you have sweets laying around.

Odorous house ants will leave a chemical pheromone trail wherever they travel. If you kill them, other ants will simply follow the trail and show up in the same places. For this reason, kill the entire colony.

When you see the first few ants, you can sponge them (and the surrounding area) with soapy water to eliminate the pheromone trail. Immediately work to figure out where they’re getting into your house, and begin placing homemade ant bait at the entry points.

How to Get Rid of House Ants

Homemade Ant Bait

Borax will kill odorous house ants, and powdered sugar will attract them.

Make a homemade ant bait by thoroughly mixing one part borax with 3 parts powdered sugar.

Fill tiny containers (such as bottle caps) with this homemade ant bait and place them as close to the place where you suspect ants are entering your house. If you see trails of ants, place small containers of the mixture directly in their path. This prevents most of them from traveling all-around your house if they have easy access to this sugary treat.

(Have pets or kids who might get into this powdery mixture? Try this instead: mix one cup warm water with ½ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons borax. Soak it up with cotton balls and place them in shallow dishes near ant trails.)

Resist the urge to kill all the ants you see. They will carry the bait back to the nest, unable to differentiate between the borax and sugar, and the borax particles will eventually kill the entire colony. The more homemade ant bait carried back to the colony, the fewer ants you will have.

More Tips for House Ants

Spray vinegar near baseboards, in any cracks, and on countertops where they may be traveling. You can allow the vinegar to dry on surfaces or wipe with a clean cloth – this eliminates their chemical trail and will deter some of the stragglers. Repeat several times a day. (find white vinegar here)

Practicing good sanitation practices is one of the best ways to make your home less attractive to ants. Keep spills, crumbs, and garbage cleaned up in the kitchen. Be sure to store all food – especially sweets – in tightly sealed containers or zip-top bags. They will get into things like jars of honey that have drips on the side or around the lid, so sealing the jar in a zip-top bag will protect it.

The ants will choose more desirable bait (like spilled soda or cookie crumbs) over this natural bait, so learning how to get rid of ants naturally means keeping your place clean!

Carpenter Ants

You will find Carpenter ants around homes in wooded areas. They don’t carry the homemade ant bait back to their nests, so you have to kill them at the source. This means you have to do a little detective work to find the nest(s). Don’t bother using the borax/sugar bait – they’ll just feed on it like little piggies at a trough.

They will typically live outdoors very close to the house, and eventually, enter your house in search of food and water.

How to Find the Carpenter Ants Nest

Carpenter ants live in wood and tunnel through it. The best clue to look for is small piles of very fine sawdust – the remains of the wood they have chewed through. You will typically find carpenter ant nests in moist wood in foundations, decks, woodpiles near your house, trees, gaps between boards, etc.

If you take some time to figure out where ants are entering the house, you can usually track them back to a nest. It’s easiest if you kill all the ants in sight, then watch for new ants to appear to determine their general entry point. This may give clues to holes that need to be sealed up, rotting foundation where they’re living, or cracks under doors they’re traveling under.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants Naturally

Diatomaceous Earth

The best natural remedy we have found for eradicating carpenter ants is Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is completely natural and organic. It is made from tiny skeletal remains of algae-like plants.

DE is lethal dust for insects. Its microscopic razor-sharp edges will cut through the body of insects, drying them out and killing them. If ingested by carpenter ants, it will shred their insides. There are different types of DE, so keep in mind you must get food grade DE for pest control. (You do not want the DE that is sold for swimming pools – it has a different make-up.)

Food grade DE is completely safe to be used around kids and pets and can be sprinkled around the home and yard without posing a threat. Find food grade Diatomaceous Earth here.

How to Apply the DE

In order to get rid of a colony of carpenter ants, DE must be injected directly into the nest. We used a medicine dropper to squirt dry DE into cracks where we found them nesting. You can also use a bulb duster gadget to spray it into cracks or holes. And remember, DE must be reapplied after it rains.

You can also mix the Diatomaceous Earth powder with water and apply using a spray bottle (either a small bottle or the pump-action yard sprayers). Simply mix 2 Tbsp of powder per quart of water and spray wherever you have ant problems.

The best advice I can give to get the most out of your DE treatments is to stay on top of it! This pesky ant species may relocate their nests and find new ways into your house. If you see a resurgence, put your detective hat back on and find that nest.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally: Other Tips

Here are some remedies DIY Natural readers (thanks Y’all!) have used to treat ant problems:

  • Some ants like protein and grease. Mix a spoonful of peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of borax. Using a plastic straw, tap the end into the mixture repeatedly until the straw is full of the mixture. Cut the straw into ½ inch pieces and place them next to ant trails.
  • Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in areas ants are crawling around. (find 100% pure essential oils here)
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (being careful not to get it on things that will stain) near entry points.
  • Some ants dislike baby powder. Sprinkle around the perimeter of the house or indoors where ants are entering your house.
  • Rub a little Vaseline near the areas they are entering the house.

Note: we also have a great article on how to get rid of aphids naturally.

(photo credit to Diane Jabs)

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If you’ve spotted a steady stream of ants marching across your kitchen counter or loitering along a windowsill, don’t panic. Insects of all kinds are especially active in the spring and summer. You can get rid of those ants—and send them packing for the (ant) hills—with these easy steps.

How to Get Rid of Indoor Ants

Play detective. Instead of sweeping away ants immediately, you need to get to the bottom of what’s attracting them. Whether it’s a drip of honey down the side of a jar or a stray spoon in your sink, there’s always a source. Clean up whatever has attracted your new tenants (although there are probably more than ten!), and they just might move out on their own.

Shut down the scouting. Teams of scout ants look for food using pheromones that leave behind a trail for other ants to follow, and simply sweeping them away won’t cut it. Destroy their tiny trail with a mix of one part vinegar to three parts water and spray it anywhere you’ve spotted ants.

Use peppermint or lavender spray to repel those pesky ants. Getty

Ready, set, repel. Mix peppermint or lavender oil (two scents ants hate) with water and spray it on entry points like windowsills or door frames. If you decide to take the chemical route, look for a product with boric acid, and make sure to carefully read the instructions. (Some can be harmful to pets and small children.)

Count to three. Once you set out the repellents, avoid the temptations to kill any ants—they’re going to do all the hard work of bringing the poisonous bait back to the nest.

How to Get Rid of Outdoor Ants

Send out a search party. Look for ant beds in your yard or along your home’s foundation. Carpenter ants tend to hide in damaged or wet wood, so inspect tree stumps, wood piles, damaged trees, and old patio furniture.

Make a splash. Once you’ve found the nest, pour boiling water over the ant hill or spot treat with an outdoor insecticide.

Get to (yard) work. A well-kept property is the easiest way to keep ants at bay. Keep a watchful eye for branches, bushes, or shrubs that touch your house and provide easy access for ants to make their way inside.

How to Keep Ants Out of Your Home For Good

Seal those entry points. Caulk and seal any cracks or exposed crevices in doors and windows.

Don’t let crumbs sit out too long. Getty

Hide the sweets. Black garden ants (fun fact: they’re actually dark brown!) are the most likely invaders. Keep food—especially honey, maple syrup, and sugar—in airtight containers or tightly wrapped with foil or plastic wrap.

Do your chores. Regularly clean countertops and floors where crumbs are most likely to hide. And keep that pet food stored between feedings and regularly clean those pet bowls.

Take out the trash. Make sure trash cans (especially in the kitchen!) are covered, and after you take out the garbage, inspect the can for any residue that might be lingering.

When to Call the Pros

If your marching orders are being ignored and a handful of ants turns into an army, you might just have an infestation on your hands. Call an expert to come inspect your home so they can identify the ant species and properly exterminate them.

Argentine and Odorous house ants are common in many Las Vegas and Henderson homes. There’s nothing like walking into your kitchen first thing in the morning, bleary eyed and ready for your morning cup of coffee only to find that your home has been invaded. Below are some of the best natural remedies you can try to get rid of the ants infesting your space.

1. Mint

Plant mint around perimeter of your home to repel insects.

Peppermint is a natural insect repellant. You can plant mint around your home or use the essential oil of peppermint as a natural remedy for control of ants. Ants hate the smell, and your home will smell minty fresh! Plant mint around entryways and the perimeter of your home. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and use it to wipe suspected areas. You can also place a peppermint oil cotton ball in areas such as cabinets where the ants frequent.

2. Vinegar

Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray it directly on the ants to kill them, then wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them. You can also use vinegar and water as a deterrent; spray it around your windowsills, doorways and other places where you see ants coming inside.

3. Lemon Juice

Just like vinegar, lemon juice also seems to destroy the scent trails that ants follow. Try mixing up a solution of 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts water and use as an all-purpose spray. Spray the lemon solution around entryways and the perimeter of your home, or any areas where you see ants.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a great option for killing ants. When an ant inhales cinnamon, it suffocates and dies. You can use ground cinnamon and sprinkle on the ants’ path or around an anthill opening. Cinnamon essential oil also works well to repel ants. Mix a few drops of cinnamon oil with water and spray on ant trails, around doors, windows and cracks.

5. Cayenne Pepper or Black Pepper

Both cayenne and black pepper repel ants.

Ants hate cayenne pepper. Black pepper will work just as well too. Locate the source of the ant infestation problem, sprinkle some pepper around that area and if possible, create a wall that will stop the ants from accessing your household. An alternative solution is to mix some pepper with water and spray the resulting solution at the ants. The pepper won’t kill the ants but it sure will deter them from returning.

6. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth breaks down the exoskeleton of insects.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) also works well as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ants’ exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out.

  1. Gently sprinkle a thin layer of DE on windowsills, beneath the fridge, under cabinets, in and around garbage cans and any other places where you see ants.
  2. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.

If you apply these methods and still experience ant issues, Western Exterminator has compiled an Ant Resource Center to help you not only identify what types of ants you’re dealing with, but help you get your problem under control. We also provide expert solutions to help our customers keep their homes and businesses ant free. Give us a call if you decide you need help combating these invaders.

6 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants in Las Vegas – Henderson Nevada

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How to Get Rid of Ants: 8 Home Remedies That Do the Trick

Let’s face it, ants in your house can be a big nuisance. It’s not only frustrating to have ants running around, but a colony of ants can actually cause a lot of damage as well. It is pretty unhygienic to have ants inside your home. Some ant varieties like Fire and Harvester can even bite humans. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, are known to damage building materials. Ants inside the house certainly contaminate the food. They carry bacteria which they can transfer to food or an open wound. Ants have a diverse family; they are around 12,000 different varieties of ants. We all hate how ants enter our houses, especially in summers. They live in our house like they own it; well there are some ways that may help to get rid of the ants; one of them is to keep your house absolutely clean. We suggest some amazing home remedies that you’d need right now to ensure there are no ants in your house. Here’s how to get rid of ants.

Here’s how to get rid of ants at home:

This is how to get rid of ants permanently.

1. Chalk

One of the home remedies to get rid of ants is to use chalk. Chalk contains calcium carbonate, which helps in keeping ants away. Spray some powdered chalk in the areas that are the entry points of ants or draw a line of chalk at the entrance. In order to keep ants of your house, draw chalk lines so that these bugs don’t enter. While it not clear as to why this line stops the ants from coming inside, but it is surely effective. Make sure you make the line in a way that is out of reach of any child in the house.

2. Lemons

Squeeze a lemon or place lemon peels in places from where the ants enter. You can also wash your floors with water that has a little lemon juice added to it. Ants apparently don’t like the smell of lemon juice so they will keep away. Anything sour and bitter may keep the ants away, but any sugar is ants’ best friend. So ensure you do not keep anything sweet that may attract the ants in some way or the other. Keep your kitchen slab absolutely clean and place the peels right there.

(Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Sinus To Get Relief)How to get rid of ants: Squeeze a lemon or place lemon peels in places from where the ants enter

3. Oranges

Oranges are same as lemons; they keep the ants away from visiting your house. Make a paste of one cup warm water and a few orange peel, which will help in getting rid of ants. Spread this paste around entry points of ants and wipe it afterwards. You can also place orange peels on the kitchen slab or wherever you think these ants may enter from. It acts as natural deterrent for ants that may not only keep them but also keep them away. So, bring the orange rinds to some use and ensure no ants visit your house anymore.

(Also Read: 5 Effective Remedies for Swollen Feet)How to get rid of ants: Oranges are same as lemons; they keep the ants away from visiting your house

4. Pepper

Ants are pretty fond of sugar but they hate pepper. Sprinkle pepper at the areas from where ants enter your house. This is will help getting rid of ants. Cayenne pepper or black pepper are hated by ants. You can also make a solution of pepper and water and spray it near the entrant areas. The pepper wouldn’t kill the ants but definitely deter them from returning to your house. Make sure you clean the area where you want to spray the pepper solution.

(Also Read: How to Stop Hiccups: Natural Home Remedies)How to get rid of ants: Ants are pretty fond of sugar but they hate pepper

5. Salt

Spreading salt near nooks and corners from where ants enter the house will help keeping ants away. Table salt is one of the best and the cheapest ways to get rid of ants naturally. Use ordinary table salt not health boosting rock salt. All you need to do is to boil water and add a large amount of salt to it, stirring it until dissolves. Pour into a spray bottle and spray where you think ants tend to enter from.

How to get rid of ants: Spread salt near nooks and corners from where ants enter the house

6. White Vinegar

Ants can’t bear the smell of white vinegar. Prepare a solution of equal amounts of water and white vinegar. Add a few drops of essential oil to it and shake well. Store this solution and sprinkle it at the points from where the ants enter. Repeat this once daily. Again, this solution may not kill the ants, but definitely keep them away from entering the no-entering zone. Spray it around your windowsills, doorways and other places where you usually see ants coming.
(Also Read: 7 Foods That Do Not Spoil For Many Years)

How to get rid of ants: Ants can’t bear the smell of white vinegar.

7. Cinnamon

Put cinnamon and cloves on the entrance of the house and the areas from where you think the ants can enter. This a good method to also keep your house smelling fresh and earthy. Cinnamon is often regarded as an effective DIY ant control option. It is believed that cinnamon acts as a natural repellent as ants can’t stand strong smell. For more effective results, you can add some essential oil to the cinnamon powder, so that is busts with stronger smell, keeping the ants away.

How to get rid of ants: Put cinnamon and cloves on the entrance of the house

8. Peppermint

Peppermint is an insect repellent, which can help you get rid of ants. Ants don’t like the smell of peppermint and are likely to avoid areas that contain traces of it. Peppermint has a strong fragrant that cannot be tolerated by the ants, which keep them away from entering the home. Prepare a mixture of 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and a cup of water and sprinkle it wherever you find ants. Repeat this twice a day. You can even sprinkle dried peppermint instead of the liquid mixture.

How to get rid of ants: Peppermint is an insect repellent, which can help you get rid of ants

Try these easily available home remedies and say goodbye to ants.
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Fire ants can be an incredibly harmful nuisance to have around your home and garden. If you’ve got pets or small children, you might not be comfortable with your average over-the-counter insecticide. Here are five ways to eliminate fire ants this season, without using dangerous chemicals.

  1. Cayenne Pepper

Make your own ant-eliminating solution with boiling water, four sliced cayenne peppers and powdered cayenne pepper.

First, bring about a quart of water to a boil. Then, put two to four sliced cayenne peppers in a large glass jar and pour the boiling water over them. Let this mixture sit for 24 hours so it can steep, then, remove the hot peppers and get ready to eliminate those ants.

Ants hate walking over powdery substances, so, first sprinkle powdered cayenne pepper around the colony to prevent them from escaping. Then, pour the cayenne water into the ant hill. In addition to killing the ants in the colony, it will also make the ant hill unlivable.

You can also put your mixture into a spray bottle to spray any ants you find around the home.

  1. Lemon Water

Mix some lemon juice with an equal amount of water and spray the mixture on any high-traffic ant areas like trail or entry points. You’ll have to be diligent and spray the area consistently for this method to have any effect.

  1. Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts vinegar, baking soda and water and pour the mixture into the ant colony or spray it in high-ant-traffic areas. The strong scent of vinegar will repel the ants, but you may have to smell the vinegar for a short period of time.

This mixture will not kill the ants, but it will get them out of your home, and out of their nests so that you can destroy it.

  1. Dish Soap

Dish soap or detergent is harmful to ants because the chemicals in them can break down the layers of the ants exoskeleton. This causes the ants to dehydrate. Mix dish soap or detergent with water in a spray bottle and apply the solution at any common ant entry points.

  1. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth contains the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. Basically, this powder scrapes against the exoskeleton of the ants and causes them to dehydrate and eventually die due to loss of inner body fluid.

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