Ants. They’re amazing creatures, but they’re definitely not a pest we want crawling around our gardens this summer. So we need to think about how to get rid of ants outside. Ants form large and complex colonies, and their species span almost the entire globe. It’s a blessing they’re so small, and don’t have collective intelligence, otherwise we’d be in trouble.
Now we’re in the warmer summer months, you may be noticing more ants in the garden. Some may even have made it into your home in search of food. Like any garden pest, ants generally don’t bother with us. But they do become a nuisance when there’s a lot of them in the garden. It’s time to start getting rid of ants outside.
Ants and Your Garden
Some of you with a green thumb may be wondering if ants are beneficial to have in your garden. Or will they end up causing damage to your plants? Leading us to the question of how to get rid of ants outside.
Ants do have some use in the garden. They are classed as predators. This means they hunt other insects that live in your lawn and foliage. Ants can also aid pollination when they forage for food. However, ants love to build nests. They build these nests around the roots and stems of plants. The plant then has its growth stunted, and this also leaves your plants more prone to disease.
A lot of ant species eat honeydew. Honeydew is excreted by aphids as the eat our plants. Aphids are often protected by ants because of this from other predators such as ladybirds, because they are a reliable food source. You don’t want increased aphid activity in your garden, especially if the ants are playing bodyguard. It will be disastrous for your plant life.
How to Get Rid of Ants Outside
There are two approaches you can take when it comes to how to get rid of ants outside. One is using natural methods, and the other is to use the professional methods that pest controllers use to get the job done.
Do It Yourself Methods
When it comes to having an ant infestation, you can’t just spray ant killer around and expect results. To eradicate the full ant pest control problem in your garden, you have to go straight to the source. These methods have been proven to get rid of ants outside.
• Boiling water – The most widely used ant control method is to use boiling water. Locate as many entrances to the nest as you possibly can and pour boiling water inside. You may have to repeat this multiple times until all of the ants are dead.
• Washing up liquid or oil – This method has had a high success rate over the years. Washing up liquid and oil soak ants and suffocate them. You can mix either of these with water, and then pour this into the nest.
• Boric acid and sugar – This is a really effective method of getting rid of ants. Mixing boric acid and sugar together turns into a paste. Place this paste in small amounts around the entrances to the nest. Ants love anything sweet, so they will be drawn to the paste, eat some, and take some back to the next for the queen. Shortly after they eat this sweet paste, the queen and the other ants will begin to die because of the boric acid.
• White vinegar – Using white vinegar and pouring it directly onto a nest eradicates ants. It won’t be harmful to your lawn or plants, but still kills the ants on contact.
• Insect-repelling plants – Planting various plants that give off a certain smell will put off a lot of unwanted insects. There are several plants that repel ants.
• Ant killer gel – Some pest controllers use ant poison in a gel form. The ants are drawn to this sweet gel, which is then carried to the nest for the queen to eat. The poison then kills the queen and any other ants that eat it. Despite the gel being poison, it won’t harm your garden or your plants.
• Ant powder – Powder poisons are effective if you have a small problem with ants outdoors. However it can affect plants and alter the soils pH. If you are going to use powder, take the proper safety precautions beforehand and block off the area to keep pets and children away.
• Professional extermination – If you have tried everything and nothing works, it might be time to consider bringing in a professional. Ants can very easily infest your home if they are in your garden. This is why it’s so important to treat an ant problem sooner rather than later.
So there it is, your guide on how to get rid of ants outside. There are a lot of ways of killing ants and stopping the infestation. But you need to consider whether the ants are a serious problem before you take action to get rid of them. We hope these tips helped and that you have an ant free summer.