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How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Garden: 7 Methods That Work

ants

Having a few ants in your garden is a great way to keep it lively and healthy. That being said, there’s nothing worse than having ants in your plants if you have a full-blown infestation. It’s important to know how to get rid of ants in the garden soil when these pesky creatures are wreaking havoc on your garden or home.

Because of how small ants are, it can be difficult to get rid of these pesky creatures without professional intervention. Using these seven methods below, you can get rid of ants in your garden before it becomes a serious issue.

garden flower divider

7 Methods That Work

1. Use Spices in Your Garden

cinnamon powder
Image Credit: 5389939, Pixabay

Many spices within your cupboard naturally deter ants. The most common spice to use is cinnamon, but many other spices similar to cinnamon, such as clove, have a pungent odor that ants naturally stay away from.

To use cinnamon in your garden, sprinkle the cinnamon around the plants and ant hill. The cinnamon won’t kill the ants or plants, but it will help to encourage the ants to go elsewhere. The good news is that this method is affordable and safe to use around pets and children.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Likely have everything you need
  • Safe for pets and kids
Cons
  • Does not kill ants

2. Use Artificial Sweetener

A similar method is to use artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweetener is tasty to us, and it is tasty to ants. However, it is fatal to ants after it has been ingested. By sprinkling artificial sweetener around the ants, you will kill off most of them.

Apply the artificial sweetener around the anthill and around the affected areas. The scavenger ants will bring the artificial sweetener back to the colony so that most of the colony will die off. Although this method is dangerous for ants, it is safe for pets and children.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Likely have everything you need
  • Safe for pets and kids
Cons
  • Can get messy

3. Make a DIY Citrus Spray

woman spraying on leaf
Image Credit: Lyashenko Egor, Shutterstock

Cinnamon isn’t the only smell that ants don’t like. Ants do not like citrusy smells. Not to mention, citrus contains ingredients that strip away the ant’s wax coating, which causes them to suffocate.

In order to make a DIY citrus spray, you will need citrus peels, white vinegar, witch Hazel, essential oils, a strainer, a mason jar, and a spray bottle. Once completed, this spray will kill off the ants, but it is safe around your plants, children, and pets.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Likely have everything you need
  • Safe for pets and kids
Cons
  • Can only kill ants directly affected by the spray

4. Make a DIY Dish Soap Spray

spraying on air plants
Image Credit: Memories Over Mocha, Shutterstock

Another spray to consider is a DIY dish soap spray. All you need to do is mix dawn dish soap and water inside a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on all affected plants.

This spray works great because it kills off ants that make it to the plant, but it also destroys the pheromone trails, which discourages other ants from coming back. You need to be careful when using this spray because it can damage and burn your plants.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Likely have everything you need
  • Safe for pets and kids
Cons
  • Can burn plants

5. Try Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth includes algae that are ground down into a powder consistency. Although this powder is fine to us, the earth penetrates the ant’s body, which causes dehydration over two weeks.

It’s important to select food-grade diatomaceous earth. These products are completely safe to use around pets, humans, and plants.

Pros
  • Great for the soil
  • Safe for pets and kids
Cons
  • Takes time to kill ants

6. Encourage Birds Around Your Garden

garden with landscape edging
Image Credit: rawmn, Shutterstock

Birds are the planet’s way of controlling ant and insect populations. You can use this information to your advantage. Encourage birds to come to your garden by setting up bird feeders and bird baths. The birds will do their job and eat off some of the ants.

Of course, other pests may come into your garden whenever you do this. Roaches, mice, and rats, for instance, may follow the birds in search of the bird feeder..

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Great for bird watching
  • Allows nature to take care of the ants
Cons
  • Bird seed may attract other pests

7. Consider Borax

Image Credit: JK Sulit, Shutterstock

The last idea to consider is Borax. Borax is effective for killing ants, but this method comes with a lot of controversy. It is considered slightly toxic to humans and pets, making it more dangerous than the other methods we have looked at thus far.

If you want to use Borax, mix it with equal parts sugar. The sugar will camouflage the flavor so that ants bring the mixture back to the colony. This mixture will knock out the entire colony within a period of two to three days.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Highly effective for killing off ants
Cons
  • Potentially harmful to plants, pets, and kids

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Are Ants Bad for My Garden?

If you see ants in your garden, don’t immediately fret. They’re both advantages and disadvantages to these pests being present.

On the one hand, ants control other pest species, improve pollination, and support a healthy ecosystem in your garden. On the other hand, ants can increase certain pest populations and cause property damage.

With this in mind, having some ants in your garden is likely a good thing, but you definitely do not want a full-blown infestation.

herb gardening
Image Credit: JillWellington, Pixabay

Should I Hire a Professional to Kill Ants in My Garden?

If you have tried the methods above and ants are still coming to your property, you likely have an infestation somewhere. Sometimes, multiple colonies can be on one property if the conditions are right.

In the case that you cannot get rid of the ants, it’s important to talk to a professional. The professional will be able to locate the colonies and exterminate them properly.

garden flower dividerConclusion

Instead of allowing ants to eat up your garden, tackle the problem once and for all with one of the seven methods above. These methods will largely eradicate most garden ants, but you may need to contact a professional if a full-blown infestation has taken root.

Featured Image Credit: cp17, Pixabay

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