There are several hundred species of ants in the United States alone. While each type of ant is different, they are also the same in terms of unification and organization. Learning how to get rid of ants outside is similar to learning how to get rid of them inside.
In both cases, you will quickly discover just how hard these pests are to get rid of permanently. Although you might not realize it, ants do serve a purpose, but they can also ruin your beautifully landscaped yard. Ants are unsightly to look at, and the tunnels made by their colonies destroy plant life.
Learning how to get rid of ant colonies in yards without ruining the landscape requires you to look into organic and natural solutions. The best home remedies for ants outside use non-toxic ingredients that are safe for pets, children, and most importantly your lawn and gardens.
Types of Ants that Become Problems
While all ants can become a problem, there are certain types of ants that you want to watch out for. Fire ants are one of the worst as they bite and sting. Their bites and stings are quite painful and can cause severe allergic reactions.
Pavement, crazy, carpenter, and odorous house ants are other types you want to watch out for in your yard as they are more trouble than they are worth. Pavement ants are often found nesting near a concrete source. While not a direct threat, they can contaminate food with their waste.
Crazy ants are usually found on the Gulf Coast and nest under loose bark, mulch, and lumber. Carpenter ants build their homes in wood and can cause a lot of damage if they infest your home. Odorous ants usually build nests in homes but can be found outside as well. When crushed they emit a rotten coconut smell.
Why You Need to Get Rid of Ants Outdoors
Getting rid of ants outdoors is necessary if you don’t want them to invade your home. Ants like carpenter and odorous ants will make nests within your house, while others will only come inside to take food back to the nest. Ant species that create nests inside the walls of your home can cause all sorts of hidden damage.
The biggest issue with ants coming into your home is the pheromone trail they leave behind that other ants will follow. What starts as one or two ants quickly becomes a huge problem that takes weeks to eliminate.
24+ Easy Ways to Get Rid of Ants Outside
1. Diatomaceous Earth is a Natural Ant Killer for Garden
Food grade diatomaceous earth makes the best natural ant killer for garden beds as it’s safe to use with all plant life, including vegetables. Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth around the garden beds, paying close attention to the areas with high ant traffic.
The powder should be poured directly into the nests. Always wear a mask when applying.
2. Homemade Ant Spray Remedy
Soap suds and oil enter the ants’ exoskeleton making them unable to move. The soap suds and oil suffocate the ants.
Add all three ingredients to a spray bottle and shake to mix. Spray liberally on ant trails and pour directly into their nests.
3. Vinegar Kills Outside Ants
Using vinegar with a 5% concentration is the best way to kill ants outside. Pour one quart of the concentrated vinegar into the nests to kill the ants on contact.
4. Cayenne Pepper Sauce Ant Killer
Using a combination of soap and cayenne pepper kills ants on contact. The soap incapacitates and smothers the ants, while the capsicum burns them.
Add the three ingredients to a bowl and whisk. Pour the solution into a spray bottle using a funnel. Spray ants as you see them. Pour the solution into the ant’s nests directly to kill the entire colony.
5. Natural Ant Deterrents
How to keep ants away from home and gardens involves using natural deterrents to force the ants away. Dehydrated peppermint or crushed red pepper flakes sprinkled around the perimeters repels ants as they are irritants.
Peppermint oil sprayed along their trails also works to relocate them. Other natural deterrents include powdered cloves, cayenne pepper, and powdered garlic.
6. Non-Repellent Pesticide Spray
How to get rid of ant colonies in the yard requires you to attack the nest. Use a non-repellent spray in a pump sprayer to treat each anthill in your yard. The non-repellent spray forms a barrier the worker ants must pass through to reach the nest.
As they pass through the barrier, the poison attaches to their bodies and is carried back to the nest. How to keep ants away from home requires applying the spray to the perimeter of your house.
7. Granular Pesticide
Granular pesticide kills the whole colony as the ants view the granules as a food source. They carry the pellets back to the nest where the rest of the colony ingests it.
If using granular pesticides apply with a garden spreader and keep children and pets away for at least one hour. For best results mow the lawn before spreading the granules.
8. Boric Acid Ant Killer
Never use boric acid in areas near food as it is toxic if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed. Wash away excess with water.
Pour all three ingredients in a spray bottle and shake gently before using. Spray ant nests and ant trails throughout your yard. Results are apparent within a couple of days.
9. Orange Ant Repellent Spray
How to repel ants outside permanently requires the use of a proven repellent spray. While most repellent sprays only repel ants, some can be made stronger, so they kill ants immediately.
Pour water and white vinegar into a saucepan and add orange peels. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then turn off the heat. Allow orange peels to steep in the solution overnight.
Strain out peels and pour orange water into a spray bottle and shake to mix. Spray around the outside of your home and around ant nests to keep ants out.
To turn the repellent spray into an ant killing spray, blend the orange peels with the water and vinegar with a hand blender. Spray or pour directly on ants to kill on contact.
10. Baby Powder Ant Repellent
Baby powder sprinkled around ant nests, and the outside of your house keeps ants away. The stronger the scent of the baby powder the better, as ants shy away from strongly scented talc powder. Use a funnel to pour the powder directly into the nests to reach the entire colony.
11. Clove Oil Natural Ant Killer
Clove oil, peppermint oil, or tea tree oil used at various entry points keeps ants out of homes and yards. Saturate a cotton ball in the essential oil and place at all entry points. Repeat this process every three days until there are no signs of ants.
For ant infestations and killing ants, you need more direct contact. One of the best home remedies for carpenter ants is to mix a ½ cup of water with 15 drops of clove oil in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture directly on ant hills and trails. All three of these oils, when mixed with water, and sprayed directly on ants, are a natural way to kill ants.
12. Outdoor Ant Baits
Outdoor ants are also known as lawn ants, and the best way to get rid of ants in yard and lawns is by killing the colony. Before using outdoor ant bait, identify foraging trails, which is a line of ants heading from one location to their nest. Place Terro Liquid Ant Bait Stakes along the more substantially traveled sections of trails.
Ants are drawn to liquid bait over gel bait because they cannot digest solid foods. Terro outdoor ant baits contain Borax as an active ingredient and are designed to work slowly to give ants time to take the bait back to the nest.
13. Natural and Simple Ant Killer
The simplest way to get rid of ants in your yard is with boiling water. How much water you need depends on how severe the ant infestation is. In a large pot, bring water to a boil on the stove. Pour boiling water directly down the nest. Repeat until all ants are dead.
14. Ant Eating Worms
We know worms are beneficial to our flower beds, but we didn’t know there was an ant eating worm called a nematode. Ants flee their nests when this natural predator is introduced. Purchase these worms online and add them to your flower beds and vegetable garden without worry.
15. Pipe Tobacco Ant Mound Remover
Pipe tobacco has been proven to get rid of ants outdoors quite well. The best way to eliminate ants in yard and garden is by soaking pipe tobacco in water overnight to make a tea. Strain out the tobacco, making sure to wear gloves during the process.
Pour the liquid into each ant mound until soaked. Fill holes with glue or baby powder to prevent ants from escaping. Sprinkle any trails with baby powder.
16. Sweet Ant Killer
Mix one tablespoon of boric acid with a cup of sugar to form a thick paste. Drop small pieces near every ant mound you see, as well as along any trails. Ants are drawn to the sugar and will feed on it and take it back to the nest where the poison will reach the queen to wipe out the ant colony effectively.
17. Insect-Repelling Plants for Pest Control
What you plant in your garden plays a role in either repelling ants or attracting them. Avoid planting anything that attracts aphids and other honeydew-producing insects, as the ants are attracted to the honeydew these insects produce. Plants, including garlic, mint, and geraniums, repel ants.
18. Homemade Ant Trap
Make a homemade ant trap out of some paper and Vaseline. Use the paper to make a collar that fits around the base of the plant being attacked. Smear a small amount of Vaseline along the paper and place the collar with the Vaseline side up around the plant’s base.
19. Borax Ant Killer
Using a Borax ant killer recipe works to kill ants indoors and outdoors, but results take a couple of weeks. Several different methods can be used for this recipe, but it seems that a paste or syrup works best.
Use several plastic containers with lids; old cream cheese containers work great. Poke about five holes evenly spaced apart in each top and set aside.
Mix Borax and sugar. Fill each container halfway with the powder. The powder should be at least half an inch below the holes.
Pour in enough water to make a soup. Stir in 1 teaspoon of peanut butter. Place lid on the container and set the trap in areas where there is an ant problem.
20. Sugar Ant Bait
Mix two tablespoons molasses, one tablespoon yeast, and one tablespoon sugar to a form a paste. Place in mounds on pieces of paper, small plates, or inside lidded containers. If using lidded containers, poke four to five holes in each lid. Spread out in areas where you have seen ant activity.
21. Fire Ant Mound Killer
To kill a fire ant mound without harsh chemicals use ¼ cup liquid dish soap with one gallon of boiling water. Add the dish soap to the boiling water after it has been removed from the heat source. Pour directly down the fire ant mound, but know it will kill surrounding vegetation.
22. Cider Vinegar Treatment
Pour a large amount of cider vinegar directly down the ant mounds and along the surrounding area of the hill until saturated. Cider vinegar kills surrounding vegetation. Treatment must be done daily for at least three days for the best results.
23. DIY Salt Solution Ant Killer
Boil a gallon of water. Pour in enough salt to make a strong salt solution. Remove from heat and pour down each nest you find. For maximum ant control, pour the solution down each nest and around the surrounding areas for three days straight.
24. Simple Black Ant Killer
Mix seven tablespoons of powdered sugar and three tablespoons of baking soda to form a fine-powdered ant killer. Sprinkle the powder around each nest or place in jar lids and leave in areas where you have seen black ants.
25. Peanut Butter Straw Traps
Mix one teaspoon of Borax with a spoonful of peanut butter. Push the mixture into a plastic straw until full. Cut the straw into small sections and place around the yard where the ant population is high.
Thank you for reading our post about getting rid of ants naturally. We hope you have learned how to get rid of ants outside. If you found any of our ideas on how to repel ants outside permanently helpful, please take a second to share our home remedies for ants outside with others on Facebook and Pinterest.