If there’s an infestation of ants in your yard, garden, or home, there are many natural ways to get rid of the problem using home remedies and store-bought products.
Ants can be bad for your vegetable garden because they care for and protect some plant pests such as aphids . Moreover, some sting and bite, make nests on your lawn, or become a nuisance in your kitchen.
Here’s how to get rid of ants naturally.
1. Lemon juice
The smell of lemon juice will mask ants’ scent trails, which makes it hard for other groups from their family 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 deters red ants. They can’t stand the smell and will avoid going 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 ants, discouraging them from sticking around. It also masks their scent trails, preventing others from following.
To use peppermint essential oil for ants, mix 15 drops 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 the house; however, it is toxic to many insect pests.
For this natural ant killer recipe, combine 1.5 tablespoons of borax and half a cup of sugar in a container. Mix well and sprinkle it around areas the critters frequent.
The sugary scent will attract them and the borax acts as a poison that they will carry back to their colony. Alternatively, purchase this borax liquid ant killer from Harrris.
5. Boiling Water
One of the cheapest home remedies for ants outdoors is boiling water. Destroy fire ants’ colonies in seconds by pouring hot water directly onto the mounds. 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. However, use food-grade to get rid of ants in the kitchen, bedroom, and other areas in the house.
Sprinkle this organic ant killer directly onto the nests or wherever there is a trail. However, be careful not to apply it to flower petals where bees might land.
7. Cucumber Peel
A cool remedy to get rid of ants in your vegetable garden without killing plants is the cucumber peel barrier.
Ants naturally dislike the scent of cucumber peel. As a result, they will stay away from it. Moreover, this method is humane — it will not kill them.
To keep ants away using cucumber peel, place a few slices at hot spots or areas where you see them often.
8. Baking Soda and Sugar
Combine equal parts of baking soda and sugar and sprinkle it in ant colonies in your yard.
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 bites.
This remedy is popular among the natural ways to kill ants. The critters will happily eat cornmeal, even though their bodies cannot digest it. As a result, they will eventually die.
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.
Therefore, sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plant beds and other areas to get rid of ants outside. These tiny insects can’t stand the acidity and scent of it.
11. Cream of Wheat
Cream of wheat has a similar effect as cornmeal does. It will expand in their stomachs, later killing them.
Place small pieces of the cereal on ant hills in the grass or around areas they’ll likely show up.
Spray white vinegar directly on ant hills or use it to wipe down kitchen counter-tops and cupboards.
The critters (tiny and large) detest the smell of vinegar and will avoid anything that is sprayed with it.
13. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is another item in your pantry you can use to naturally get rid of ants.
Sprinkle it in the areas where you see leaf cutter ants on your plants. The pepper will suffocate and kill them.
14. Citrus Peels
This is one of the best ways to get rid of ants without chemicals. These little insects are naturally repelled by citrus peels.
To make a homemade ant repellent using citrus peels, allow the peels of oranges, grapefruits, or lemons to dry out for a couple of days. Next, grind them into a powder and sprinkle it around plants to act as a protective barrier.
This remedy will keep them away but will not harm them.
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 kills ants on contact. Therefore, make your own natural insecticide by mixing 30 drops of clove oil in a quart of water.
Spray the solution on large ant hills in your yard or on areas where they will have contact.
17. Bay Leaves
The strong smell of bay leaves will keep plant ants out of the garden, but it will not kill them.
Therefore, crush and sprinkle a few leaves around and they will not come near.
Use garlic to repel or drive away all kinds of insects and bugs. Most insects do not like the smell and will not go near it.
As a result, place a couple of raw garlic cloves wherever the pests 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. Chili Powder
Another product that works great for getting rid of ants in your house and garden is chili powder.
This organic powder will burn and suffocate them. Sprinkle some directly onto their nest. Alternatively, make a spray out of it by combining 1½ teaspoons of chili powder in a quart of water.
Shake well and use it to spray the critters.
Use flour to control ants indoors and outdoors. Sprinkle it in a line around your vegetable beds, plants, or indoor trails and they will not cross it.
21. Soap and Water
Make a homemade ant killer for your yard or garden with one part liquid soap and two parts water.
Shake well and spray it over mounds and areas where the pests frequent. Soapy water suffocates and kills them.
Another DIY ant removal strategy, sprinkle salt on areas frequented by the pests in your yard or on the colony directly. You can also dissolve some in hot water and use it as a spray.
Consuming salt will cause them to lose water and eventually die of dehydration.
Fire ants hate molasses. Sprinkling horticultural molasses on their nest will cause them to leave quickly.
Available for purchase are also organic commercial ant control products. Here are a few:
- Monterey Ant Control – A natural ant spray that contains Spinosad. Use it to eliminate your ants problems overnight.
- Garlic Barrier AG+ – Another product you can use to repel ants, Garlic Barrier is a strong garlic oil spray that clogs their breathing holes.
- Essentria IC-3 – An essential oil blend that forms a potent insecticide.
- Bonide Insecticidal Soap – Multi-purpose non-toxic pest control spray that also contains Spinosad. It works great as a natural ant deterrent.
These common insects are a real concern for many gardeners. However, utilizing a combination of the above deterrents and home remedies can get rid of ants permanently.