How to get rid of ants in garden? These insects can serve a useful purpose in some cases. In forests and parks, they can keep all kinds of harmful insects under control.
The use of traditional insecticides might kill them, but they can pose serious health risks and kill other bugs or plants.
Luckily, there is no need to rely on harmful chemicals when trying to figure out how to get rid of ants in garden.
Read on to learn about 25 different ways to get rid of garden ants naturally.
Types of Ants
Although there are over 12,000 ant species, there are three main types in the garden that you should know about.
1. Carpenter Ants
Image via Ryan Hodnett | commons.wikimedia.org
Carpenter ants are a common garden ant. One nest can contain thousands of them.
Carpenter ants are beneficial to your garden as they contribute to the composting of rotten wood.
They can feature different colors — red, black, brown, orange, yellow, or black and red coloration.
2. Leaf-Cutting Ants
Image via Geoff Gallice/commons.wikimedia.org
Leaf-cutting ants are large ants that live in crescent-shaped mounds above ground or large underground colonies.
These are bad ants as they attack shrubs, trees, and plants. They range in color from brown to red to black.
3. Fire Ants
Image via aepma.com.au
You’ll likely find these ants in your vegetable garden bed more often than others.
Fire ants (biting ants) are quite large and can inflict painful bites. In some cases, they can cause severe allergic reactions in humans.
They too will attack your crops. Their color range from reddish-brown to reddish-black.
Here’s How to Get Rid of Ants in Garden Naturally
The following solutions will help you get rid of garden ants quickly and effectively using natural and organic ingredients.
Most of these remedies use substances you likely have in your home already!
1. Lemon juice
The acidic qualities in lemon juice will mask the natural odors ants love, which makes it hard for them to navigate their surroundings.
Spray lemon juice on around your garden beds to throw them off track or leave cotton balls soaked in lemon juice in ant-infested spots.
Cinnamon powder is an easy and effective way to deter these critters from coming into your garden. They despise the smell and will avoid coming near it.
Sprinkle cinnamon around garden beds and nursery area or place cinnamon sticks around your plants.
3. Peppermint Oil
Like other strong smells, peppermint interferes with an ant’s ability to communicate.
If it cannot communicate, it loses track of its surroundings and cannot find its way back to the ant colony and will die.
Spray a peppermint oil solution around plants or plant a few peppermint trees nearby.
4. Borax and Sugar
The is a highly sought-after remedy for those seeking how to get rid of ants permanently. Borax is safe for use in your home and garden but toxic to ants.
Mix some borax with a bit of sugar or honey.
The sugary scent will attract them and the solution acts as a poison that they will carry back to the colony, wiping it out entirely.
5. Boiling water
For remedies on how to get rid of ants in garden, one of the simplest ways to destroy their colony is to pour boiling water directly onto the mound.
Boiling water will also kill the surrounding grass and plants, so try to avoid spilling the water on your crops.
6. Diatomaceous earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth acts as a natural abrasive to crawling insects.
Pour it directly onto nests or wherever there is an ant trail.
Just be careful not to apply it to flower petals (flower beds are fine), especially where bees might land.
7. Cucumber Peels
Another cool method of how to get rid of ants in garden is with the use of cucumber peels.
Ants are naturally averse to the taste of cucumber, especially bitter ones.
Sprinkle a few peels around your garden, replacing them every couple of days until the army disappears.
8. Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar
This is an effective and harmless solution that you can also sprinkle on ant nests around your garden.
The powdered sugar will lure them, while the baking soda will interfere with their digestive systems.
Ants will happily eat cornmeal, even though their bodies cannot digest it.
Their bodies will swell and they will eventually die as a result.
Sprinkle it in nests or around garden beds if you see them around.
10. Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds also act as a protective barrier for plants or flower beds, as the scent of coffee prevents ants from following their own scent trail.
Next time you make coffee, sprinkle the remaining grounds around your garden beds.
11. Cream of Wheat
Cream of wheat has a similar effect on ants that cornmeal does. Their bodies cannot digest it and they will die after ingesting it.
Place small pieces of the cereal around your garden bed to attract and kill them.
This is not only a simple and effective natural pest control remedy for everyday nuisances, but it is also an effective method for those wanting to know how to get rid of ants in garden.
Spray vinegar directly on the ant hills in your garden. They detest the smell of vinegar and will avoid anything that is sprayed with it.
13. Cayenne Pepper
Sprinkle cayenne pepper around your garden. The strong smell interferes with the ants’ ability to communicate.
This means that they will not be able to find their way home, and therefore will not survive.
14. Citrus Peels
Ants are naturally repelled by the smell of citrus.
Allow the peels of oranges, grapefruits or lemons to dry out for a couple of days, then grind them into a fine powder in your food processor.
Sprinkle the powder around plants to act as a protective barrier.
15. Tea Tree Oil
This is another effective remedy on how to get rid of ants in garden.
Simply place a few drops of oil on the ant trails leading to your garden, and they will avoid that area.
16. Clove Oil
Clove oil is one of the most effective ant control remedies. It kills them on contact.
Make your own natural insecticide by mixing a few drops of clove oil with a quart of water.
Spray the solution on nests or on areas where they will have contact.
17. Bay Leaves
The strong smell of bay leaves also repels ants.
Crush and sprinkle a few leaves around your garden and they will not come near them.
Use garlic to drive away all kinds of pests and insects, but particularly ants.
They do not like the smell and will not go near it.
Just place a couple of raw garlic cloves wherever the ants are most active.
19. Red Chili Powder
This spicy powder acts as a toxin that will burn or suffocate them.
Sprinkle chili powder around plants or directly onto the ant hill.
Ants do not like anything that is dry and powdery.
Sprinkle flour around your garden beds or plants and they will keep away from that area.
21. Liquid Soap
Liquid soap is one of the most effective ant killers, as it suffocates them.
Make a simple solution of equal parts organic liquid soap and baking soda and spread it over any areas where ants are getting in.
A sprinkle of table salt on areas frequented by ants, or on the ant hills directly, is another effective remedy.
Consuming salt will cause the ant to lose water and eventually die of dehydration.
23. Molasses and Orange Oil
This is another of the popular natural remedies for ants. While molasses does not kill them directly, it masks the insecticidal properties of other substances like borax.
The orange oil also kills them quickly by softening their bodies. Place spoonfuls of this mixture directly onto ant hills or ant trails.