How to Get Rid of Ant Hills Naturally: 9 Ways
Though the critters are mostly harmless, ants and their colonies in and near your home can be a real nuisance. Due to the nature of how they live, there can be hundreds, or even thousands, per colony. There are a variety of methods to attack the nest and get rid of the ants. In this blog post, we will discuss 9 different natural ways that you can use to get rid of ant hills for good!
So, how do you get rid of ant hills? Here are 9 natural ways to get rid of ant hills are:
- Pour Water On the Ant Hills
- Vinegar and Water Solution
- Essentials Oils
- Baking Soda
- Use Diatomaceous Earth
- Use Borax
- Lemon Juice
- Cayenne Pepper or Cinnamon
The most important thing to understand about ants is that they live in a nest, also called a colony. Due to this, the only way to get rid of them is to destroy the nest completely. There are a variety of ways to destroy the nest, but even if you do so ants might still come back. Also, if you’re not careful with some of the more effective treatment options, they can damage the grass and plants around your home if they are not used properly. So, to find out the best natural ways to get rid of ant hills for good, all while keeping your lawn looking beautiful, keep on reading!
9 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ant Hills
The first thing you will want to do, no matter your chosen method of attack, is to rake open the nest. This is an important step, as ant colonies can go deep into the ground. You will need to ensure that you get the treatment to penetrate the entire colony. After you’ve opened the nest, it’s time to treat the area with one of these natural ways to get rid of ant hills!
1. Pour Water On the Ant Hills
If you prefer an ant treatment that will be the least invasive to your yard, you can just drown the ants by using water from your outdoor water source. This option is essentially just pouring cold or lukewarm water into the ant hill nest until it is completely saturated or full and then you will have to go to the ant nest a few times over the next day or so and keep pouring water into it in order to make sure that you have killed them all, as ants can live in water for up to 24 hours.
If you are looking for a more effective solution than just pouring water on the ant hill, and you are willing to take some risk with your yard, you can try pouring boiling water into the colony. The boiling water will sear the ants, and you can even add dish soap for extra potency!
This is not too different than just pouring the water on the ant hill, as you will just boil a pot of water and pour it over the ant hill and this will kill the ants and their eggs. However, this option does have some risks, as it can burn the grass and vegetation nearby, so you will want to ensure that you understand the risks and use caution beforehand with this option.
2. Vinegar and Water Solution
Another highly effective method to kill the ants is to make a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water and pour this mixture over the ant hill, essentially applying it in the same manner as the boiling water. This solution is very effective, as the acetic acid in the vinegar will kill the ants. However, it can also damage your lawn, so be careful, and don’t forget to add the soap for extra potency! The ants will not be able to stand the vinegary smell and will leave.
Another great and similar way to get rid of an ant hill is by making a salt and water solution. All you have to do is make a paste of salt and water and spread it over the ant hill and this will kill the ants and discourage others from coming to that area.
3. Essential Oils
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of ant hills, essential oils may be the answer. While there are many commercially-available ant killers on the market, essential oils can be just as effective and are far less toxic. Plus, they’re easy to find and usually inexpensive.
There are several essential oils that can be used to kill ants and deter them from returning. Some of the most effective include eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil. To use any of these oils, simply add a few drops to a cotton ball or piece of cloth and wipe it over the ant hill. You can also add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it directly onto the ant hill.
If you’re concerned about the safety of using essential oils around your home, don’t be. When used properly, they pose no threat to humans or pets. In fact, many people use essential oils for their own health and wellbeing. Just be sure to avoid getting any in your eyes, nose, or mouth. And if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to do a patch test before applying essential oils directly to your skin.
Cornstarch is a powdery substance made from corn. It is used as a thickening agent in many recipes and can also be used to kill ants. To use it, simply sprinkle the cornstarch generously over and around the ant hills. The ants will eat the cornstarch and die. The cornstarch works by causing the ants to dehydrate and eventually die. The powder absorbs all of the moisture from their bodies, as well as cuts off the ants’ food supply, thus leaving them unable to survive. Another great part about cornstarch is that it is safe to use around children and pets. It is a natural substance that will not harm your yard or home. However, if you find that the cornstarch isn’t working, you can try another method. One option is to use a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and baking soda. This mixture will also kill the ants.
5. Baking Soda
Another natural way to kill ants is by using baking soda. A great thing about baking soda is that we all probably have some at home and if not it is easy to get. Also, baking soda is a safe and easy thing to use in order to kill ants. As all you have to do is simply sprinkle baking soda over the ant hill and wait for the ants to die.
Another great way to use baking soda is to make a bait trap by mixing baking soda and powdered sugar. This bait trap will be made up of a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar and it is extremely effective. As the ants will have an acidic reaction within their stomachs due to the baking soda. Thus causing them to die when they eat the mixture. Additionally, the ants will take the mixture back to their nest to share with the other ants and this will help somewhat quell the ant nest infestation.
6. Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous Earth or DE, is an all-natural chemical powder that is made from the skeletons of tiny creatures and is very effective in killing ants. It works by puncturing the ant’s exoskeleton and causing it to dehydrate and die. The only downside to a DE treatment is that it only kills the ants that come into physical contact with it.
7. Use Borax
This is a mineral powder that is used in many ant baits and cleaning products. Borax works by causing the ant to stop eating and eventually die, thus making it very deadly to ants.
You can also use boric acid, which is essentially the same compound as borax, but in a different all-natural chemical formula and it is another common household item that can be used to kill ants. All you have to do is mix boric acid with sugar or honey to make a bait that the ants will eat and then pour it on the ant hill or alongside it, and the boric acid will kill them.
Also, we recommend is to mix borax with corn syrup (ants love the sweet liquid) as another natural bait trap. After making the mixture, place it on a paper surface, such as an index card, and the ants will eat it and die. This method will be the most useful when trying to get rid of an ant trail, however, when set up alongside DE. Unlike the baking soda mixture, the ants will not carry this back to their nest.
8. Lemon Juice
Another way to do this would be to use lemon juice. As lemons are another strong-smelling substance that ants don’t like and it is another acidic substance that can be used to kill ants. There are various ways to use lemon juice to get rid of ant hills. One way is to mix the lemon juice and water as an equal mixture and spray it on the ant hill. Other ways are to simply sprinkle lemon juice over the ant hill or soak cotton balls in lemon juice and place them on top of the ant hill.
9. Cayenne Pepper or Cinnamon
Cayenne pepper or cinnamon are other effective ways to get rid of ants. As the scent of the cayenne pepper or cinnamon will repel the ants and keep them away from your plants. This is a very easy method to use, as all you will need to do is sprinkle the cayenne pepper or cinnamon around the ant hill’s perimeter. However, for this to be effective, you will need to keep coming back to the ant hill every few days and reapply the cayenne pepper or cinnamon in order to keep the ants from coming back.
How Do I Make These Treatments More Effective?
Killing the queen is necessary to defeating the colony and eliminating your ant problem. Thousands of ants live in a colony with one or more queen ants, and the colony will continue to exist until the queen dies. Killing the queen, or queens, is the ONLY way to eliminate the colony!
This is why store-bought chemicals were not a treatment option mentioned above. While many store-bought chemicals are effective in killing ants, they are not nearly as effective at killing the queen ant. Therefore, this leads to the potential risk of finding many smaller ant nests pop up after using these chemical treatment options.
Even though you have treated the nest, and killed the queen, you may also want to treat the ant trails. It is also wise to put up a barrier around your home or business. Treating these areas can help to ensure that there are no surviving ants that may try to form another small colony elsewhere. It will also help to subdue other ant colonies that may currently be unseen or unknown.
How Do You Prevent New Ant Colonies?
Ant trails are the trails where you can see ants following each other, either to or from a nest. It is important to treat them, as ants leave a scent trail for other ants to follow. So, even if you successfully eliminate a colony of ants, more ants could find their way to the same paths. So, if you do not take care of this issue, it will begin to cause similar problems for you. There are a few steps you can take to treat those trails and prevent re-infestation.
You can start by treating the trails with diatomaceous earth, by sprinkling it along the area where you want to create the perimeter around your home. However, DE only kills the ants that come into physical contact with it. Therefore the ants that do not come into contact with it and survived the nest treatment will remain alive. So, that’s why it’s recommended to set up some bait traps along the trail as well. This is to make sure that the ants will be dealt with.
Maintaining Your Ant-Free Home & Yard
So, these were our nine natural ways to get rid of ant hills. Hopefully, one of these methods helped you to get rid of the ant hills and all of the ants. Some final tips are to change out your bait traps frequently and to continue treating the ant trails and areas around your home to help keep ant infestations from reoccurring. If all else fails, you can hire an expert to come and treat your property and share even more tips and tricks about treating and preventing ant (and other insects) infestations.