House ants appear to be harmless and can have beneficial effects on vegetation. However, if an ant invasion occurs, the consequences can be disastrous. You may have observed ant fleets traveling back and forth in your yard, especially during summers. Ants will go about their business, troubling no one. However, if they become trouble, you must get them out or get rid of them!
You may get rid of ants in your garden in various ways, both homemade and professional. Most of these solutions, such as spraying a borax solution, are simple to implement. And if you don’t have a huge ant problem in your garden, these methods can be highly effective.
Can Ants Invade My Garden?
Yes, ants can invade both outdoor and indoor spaces. During the warm months, especially if you reside in a rich vegetation area with a yard, you can expect to be met by ant convoys. In terms of soil aeration, ants are necessary. These tiny creatures also aid in the breakdown of organic materials, such as insects, fallen leaves, and so on.
Additionally, ants can be a natural guest if your kitchen contains anything sweet. The issues might begin when these fascinating small creatures bring in larger fleets. An ant infestation can be a nightmare for your plants and yard.
You can identify if ants have invaded your garden by searching for ant colonies. Ant colonies are ant societies with thousands of ants living under the control of a queen ant. If you come across little mounds or piles of fine dirt with smaller holes, you may look at a prospective ant colony.
If you notice anything like this in your yard, take action right away to prevent an ant infestation!
Types of Ants to be Found in Gardens
There are around 1000 ant species known in the country. And since ants are social insects, you will find them in large convoys. So, to get rid of ants, it is essential to recognize the different ants that can be found in gardens.
Below are a few of the most common ants you’re likely to see in your house and your garden.
#1. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants come in various shapes and sizes, and they can be found all over the United States. Red, black, brown, or a combination of these colors can be found on these ants. Carpenter ants are notorious for destroying wood, but they can also be found in sheds, tree trunks, gutters, and other places. Carpenter ants do not eat wood but dig in to build nests inside woods.
#2. Fire Ants
Fire ants are another type of outdoor ant to watch out for. In South America, these ants are most widespread. To establish their colonies, fire ants prefer to build mounds outside. Although these ants have a small body, their stings are quite painful, as their name implies. Also, keep in mind that fire ants are an invasive species. Even though these ants prefer to build their nests outside, it won’t take them long to go inside.
#3. Little Black Ants
You will find swarms of little black ants moving back and forth on your property during the summer months. Places where you can find these ants frequently include rock creeks, behind the walls, piles of logs, and so on.
Bonus Read: How to Get Rid of Aphids in Your Garden
#4. Leaf-cutter Ants
Leaf-cutter ants are native to the United States and can be seen in large numbers in eastern and south-central Texas. These ants can be identified by their hue, which ranges from orange to reddish black. A leaf-cutter ant infestation is undesirable for your garden because they destroy plants by cutting the foliage and transporting them to their colonies. In fact, they can clear a tree of all twigs and foliage in a single night.
#5. Mound-Building Ants
Mound-building ants, as the name implies, construct mounds in outdoor areas such as gardens, yards, patios, walks, and lawns. These ants, which are common in the Atlantic region of North America, inject formic acid to kill trees and shrubs within 45 to 50 feet of their mounds.
Steps to Getting Rid of Ants in My Garden
After you have successfully identified the types of ants invading your garden, it is now time to focus on the steps to get rid of them.
There are several methods to eradicate an ant invasion. These methods can be categorized under broad headings, like natural or homemade, and artificial or professional. In the following sub-sections, we will discuss some of these proven methods that will bid adieu to ants from your garden for a long time, if not forever.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants in Garden
If you are not suffering from a massive ant invasion, the following natural DIY methods can help to repel ants and their nests from your property. These DIYs are easy to make, and you can find most of the raw materials in your kitchen.
- Boric Mix
Boric acid can be lethal for ants. So if you are looking to repel ants completely, you can mix boric acid with sugar into a paste and place a small amount near or around the entrance of the ant nests. Since the mixture has sugar, ants will get drawn towards the paste, eat it, and carry the rest to the queen. But they all will die shortly after consuming the pest because of the presence of boric acid in it.
- Boiling Water
It may sound inhuman, but it is an effective way to get rid of ants, especially those with fiery stings and venom. To implement this method, you need to locate the entrance points of the ant nests and pour boiling water inside. You may need to repeat the method to ensure that all ants are dead. Dig up their homes to expose as many ants as you can to make sure you are targeting the entire colony.
- Citrus Peeling
Citrus peelings are another simple approach to get rid of ants in your garden. Collect the peelings from citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, etc. Ground them with water. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray it around and on the vegetation, as well as over anthills. This citrus peel concoction, in particular, is an effective DIY for getting rid of carpenter ants.
- White Vinegar
Another excellent agent that can be found in our kitchen is white vinegar. We can use white vinegar directly to repel ants. You would need to pour the raw white vinegar straight into the anthill and watch the magic happen! White vinegar is not harmful to plants, but it will kill ants if they come in touch with it.
- Dishwasher Liquid Mix
This approach has a very high success rate. Mix 1 quart of water with tbsp of liquid dish soap and one and a half teaspoons of cooking oil of your choice. Fill a spray container with the mixture and shake vigorously to mix the liquid well. Now, spray the mixture outside the anthill or pour it directly into the mound or nest to get rid of ants. You may have to repeat this method depending on the invasion size.
- Borax Mixture
Borax is lethal for ants if they ingest it. To make a borax paste, combine borax, cornmeal, and honey. Place the mixture in an area where there are a lot of ants. Due to the presence of honey, the ants outside will devour it and bring it back to their nest for the queen and the rest of the ants, who will perish after consuming it.
- Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper has a strong odor that is unbearable for ants. Also, it destroys the signals ants used to communicate with each other and head towards their colonies. In the absence of the signal, ants cannot get towards their nests, failing to survive. You can sprinkle cayenne pepper near the area where there is a large concentration of ants (outside the nest), and it will drive ants away.
Much like cayenne pepper, ants cannot tolerate the smell of cinnamon. Hence, if you place a bowl or plate of cinnamon dust near the most ant-infested area, the area will remain protected for some time. Here, you should remember that cinnamon dust will not kill ants but deter them from venturing near it.
- Insect Repelling Plants
One of the best ways to keep ants at bay is by planting insect-repelling plants in your garden. These plants will make your garden rich as well as deter ants from invading the surrounding. Some of the insect-repelling plants you can think of are:
Planting insect-repelling plants can be a more humane way to stop ants from invading your garden. It will also eliminate the need to use any harmful chemicals. However, this method may not prove fruitful once the ant population gets out of control. In such a case, other methods of ant repelling become crucial to be adopted.
Artificial Ways to Get Rid of Ants in Garden
Apart from the above organic homemade methods, there are a few conventional methods as well. These methods will save you time as you do not have to make them but purchase and use them.
Below, we have mentioned some of the most popular artificial or conventional methods of getting rid of ants from gardens.
1. Ant Traps
Ant traps are one of the oldest means of preventing ant infestations. Ant traps comprise insecticide(s) and an attractant that draws worker ants looking for food. These ants then devour the insecticide-laced food and carry it to their colony, where it is ingested by the queen and other ants.
If employed correctly, ant traps can eliminate an entire ant colony.
- Can eliminate the entire ant colony
- Need to be supervised regularly
2. Ant Killing Gels
Ant killing gels are one type of ant poison that comes in a gel form. You can find these gels in most garden shops or centers. These gels work in the same way as the boric acid mixture works. All you need is to pour it near the exposed areas where there is a large concentration of ants. Ants will get lured towards the sweet gel, eat it and carry it to their nest for the rest of the ants and the queen.
Although it is a poison, ant-killing gels do not pose a threat to the surrounding plants.
- Non- poisonous for the garden
- It could be harmful if ingested by humans or pets
- It is not a permanent solution
3. Ant Spray
One of the handiest methods to repel ants is an ant spray. You can either make ant sprays from organic materials (as mentioned above) or buy them from the store. To have the best result, use the spray in and around the area of ant exposure. It is a faster way to kill ants; it won’t eliminate their colonies. Sprays act when they come in contact with ants.
- Easily available
- Does not eliminate ant colonies
- Contains toxic
4. Professional Extermination
Hiring a professional exterminator is highly essential if you are facing a serious ant infestation in your garden and none of the above methods work. The professional team works by inspecting, monitoring, and controlling the ant invasion. Professional help can ensure that ants do not invade your garden for a long time.
- Highly effective
- Long-lasting effects
- Good for severe ant infestation
When to Get Professional Help for Getting Rid of Ants?
Professionals can assist you in eliminating ants from your property. However, knowing when to contact a professional exterminator is critical.
If you have ants all over your property, this is one of the most obvious signs that you should seek professional help. Also, if you’ve tried all the homemade and conventional techniques but still can’t get rid of the ants, perhaps specialists can help.
In addition, if you have a frightening anthill in your garden, you may need to hire a pest treatment professional as soon as possible. Remember that while all the approaches will assist in keeping ants at bay, they may not be as effective in preventing them from re-invading your yard if there is a large infestation.
A skilled pest controller will assist you in determining the type of infestation you have and which ants are causing problems. This can aid in the application of the most effective ant repelling techniques.
How to Keep Away Ants From Coming Back to Garden or Yard?
It is not just enough to repel ants but also to ensure that they do not return.
In a garden, it might be tough to check all the time to see if ants are coming back. Yet, there are a few ways that you can adopt to create an unfavorable atmosphere for the ants and stop them from invading your yard or garden.
- Keep your garden free from litters
- Regular mowing is essential
- Always keep your indoors clean
- If there is any spilled soda, sugar, or food, wipe the spot immediately
- Plant insect repellant plants in the yard
- Empty the trash can regularly
- Keep checking your yard
- Keep aphids at bay, as they produce honeydew
- Use organic methods (mentioned above) from time to time
Although ants are a crucial component of our environment, their infestation may be aggravating. However, keep in mind that ants have been and will continue to be present. You’ll never be able to eliminate them because they’ll reappear now and then. This does not, however, imply that you need to suffer because of their invasion. So, if you’re dealing with a lot of ant traffic on your property, use the tips we’ve provided you.