Dre Campbell Farm
23 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Garden

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23 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Garden

Although ants serve a useful purpose in some cases, they can quickly become a nuisance. They can protect aphids in your vegetable garden and disturb the soil around plant roots.

Moreover, some even sting or bite, make nests on your lawn, and enter your house.

Here’s how to get rid of ants naturally.

1. Lemon juice

The smell of lemon juice will mask their scent trails, which makes it hard for other groups to follow their paths.

Therefore, spray lemon juice around your garden beds. You can also leave cotton balls soaked in lemon juice in spots where they frequent.

2. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon essential oil is an easy and effective home remedy to deter red ants. They can’t stand the smell and will avoid coming near it.

Mix a few drops of the oil in water and spray on ants trails, around garden beds, or on cracks in your home.

3. Peppermint Oil

Like other strong smells, peppermint oil repels the critters, discouraging them from sticking around. It also masks their scent trails, preventing other ants from following.

Mix 15 drops of peppermint oil in 2 cups of water. Spray this natural ant repellent around plants and crop areas.

4. Borax and Sugar

This is a highly sought-after remedy for those seeking how to kill ants in garden soil. Borax is safe to use around plants and inside your house; however, it is toxic to many insect pests.

To make a homemade ant killer, combine 1.5 tablespoons of borax and half a cup of sugar in a container. Mix well and sprinkle it around areas they frequent.

The sugary scent will attract them and the borax acts as a poison that they will carry back to their colony.

5. Boiling Water

This is one of the simplest home remedies for ants outdoors.

Destroy fire ants’ colonies by pouring boiling water directly onto the mound. It will kill them instantly!

Boiling water will also kill the surrounding grass and plants. Therefore, try to avoid spilling it on your crops.

6. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is great for killing crawling insects organically.

Sprinkle it directly onto the nests or wherever there is a trail. However, be careful not to apply it to flower petals, where bees might land.

Moreover, the food-grade version is a great home remedy for ants inside and in the kitchen.

7. Cucumber Peel

A cool method to remove the critters from your veggie garden is with the use of cucumber peels. Ants naturally dislike the scent of cucumber peel. As a result, they will stay away from it.

Place a few slices around your orchard to keep them away.

8. Baking Soda and Sugar

Baking soda and sugar are among many effective home remedies for harmful insects outside and indoors.

Combine equal parts of each and sprinkle it in the backyard in areas where they congregate or onto their nests.

Powdered sugar will attract them, while baking soda will interfere with their digestive systems, eventually killing them.

Baking soda paste also works great for ant bite.

9. Cornmeal

This remedy is popular among the natural ways to kill ants.

The critters will happily eat cornmeal, even though their bodies cannot digest it. They will eventually die as a result.

Sprinkle refined cornmeal in the nests if your garden is overrun with ants.

Another DIY method is to use cornmeal as bait, combining it with baking soda or borax.

10. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds also act as a protective barrier for plants or flower beds, as it repels some destructive crawling insects.

The next time you make coffee, sprinkle the remaining grounds around your plant beds to get rid of ants outside. These tiny insects are susceptible to caffeine.

11. Cream of Wheat

Cream of wheat has a similar effect as cornmeal does. Their bodies cannot digest it, so it will expand in their stomachs, later killing them.

Place small pieces of the cereal onto their mound or around areas they’ll likely show up.

12. Vinegar

This is not only a simple and effective natural pest control remedy for everyday nuisances, but vinegar is also an effective method for repelling garden ants.

Spray white vinegar directly on the hills or areas outdoors where they hang out. The critters (tiny and large) detest the smell of vinegar and will avoid anything that is sprayed with it. It also kills them.

13. Cayenne Pepper

Sprinkle cayenne pepper in the areas where you see leaf cutter ants on your plants. The pepper will suffocate and kill them.

14. Citrus Peels

The critters are naturally repelled by citrus peels.

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 repellent powder around plants to act as a protective barrier.

15. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another effective home remedy to fix an ant problem.

Simply place a few drops on the trails leading to your farm, and they will avoid that area.

16. Clove Oil

Clove oil is one of the most effective ant control remedies as it kills ants on contact.

Make your own natural insecticide by mixing 30 drops of clove oil in a quart of water. Spray the solution on nests or on areas where they will have contact.

17. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves will keep ants out of the garden, but it will not kill them. The strong smell is what keeps the critters away.

Crush and sprinkle a few leaves around and they will not come near.

18. Garlic

Use garlic to repel or drive away all kinds of insects and bugs, but particularly plant ants. They do not like the smell and will not go near it.

Just place a couple of raw garlic cloves wherever they are most active.

You can also make a homemade ant spray by blending one head of garlic in 4 cups of water. Next, add 2 tablespoons of liquid soap and let the mixture steep overnight.

Strain and coat your plants with the solution.

19. Red Chili Powder

This organic powder will burn and suffocate them. Sprinkle chili powder around your plants or directly onto the hill.

20. Flour

Sprinkle flour around your vegetable beds or plants in a line and they will not cross it.

21. Soap and Water

Soap and water mix is one of the most effective control methods, as it suffocates them.

Make a simple solution of equal parts organic liquid soap and water and spray it over areas where they frequent.

22. Salt

Sprinkle salt on areas frequented by the pests in your yard or on the hills directly. You can also dissolve it in hot water and use it as a spray.

Consuming salt will cause them to lose water and eventually die of dehydration.

23. Molasses

Fire ants hate molasses. Sprinkling horticultural molasses on their nest will cause them to migrate elsewhere.

Commercial Products

Available for purchase are also organic commercial ant control products. Here are a few:

  • Monterey – A natural pesticide that contains spinosad and other insect-repellent ingredients.
  • Garlic Barrier AG+ – Strong garlic oil spray that clogs their breathing holes.
  • Essentria IC-3 – Essential oil blend that forms a potent insecticide.
  • BonideMulti-purpose pest control spray that contains neem oil.


These common insects are a real concern for many gardeners. Utilizing the above deterrents and home remedies will help to control ants indoors and outdoors.

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Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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