Getting Rid Of Ants In Garden Without Killing Plants

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Growing to only around 2.5″ inches long or less, ants are practically the mighty ancient Roman warriors of the insect world. However, these tiny and lungless creatures have been around way longer, and their empire actually spans across the entire globe.

And their favorite region to rule the world from? Our very own backyard.

ants in a garden on a plantPin

Are There Any Ways To Rid Ants In Gardens Without Killing Plants?

Like in anything else, when there is a will, there is a way! So, yes, there are several ways to eliminate ants in your garden, some of which effectively remove the entire colony while leaving your plants unharmed. 

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Gardens Without Killing Plants?

It can be a hit or miss with ants. They can help to eliminate other insects that also like to set up camp on our lawns and cultivate the earth by pollinating while foraging. 

However, ant colonies consist of thousands upon thousands of these tiny soldiers, and if allowed to grow around your home, they can eventually harm your plant life. 

For instance, they usually construct their nests around the base of plants. In turn, this can stunt the plant’s growth and risk the plant contracting new diseases. Also, ants enjoy feeding on plants, resulting in a gradual deterioration of your garden bed.

Yet, have no fear! Homeowners can consider either natural solutions or commercial solutions to rid the overgrown or massive ant mounds that are damaging their land. 

Natural Solutions For Ant Control

When it comes to finding natural methods that can eliminate an entire ant village, through and through, you’d be surprised that most of the answers lie within your kitchen cabinets. Some successful methods include:

  • White Vinegar: With about one liter of white vinegar, you can directly pour it onto the ants’ nest. Upon immediate contact, the ants will be harm and killed. At the same time, the surrounding plants or grass are not affected.
  • Sugar And Boric Acid: As one of the most effective home solutions (while possibly seeming very cruel), you can consider mixing sugar with boric acid. In turn, a paste-like substance will form.

    Then, using a spoon, spread the paste around the ant colony. In less than no time, the little buggers will all crawl out as they are drawn to the sugar’s sweet scent. While the ants consume the paste, they will also carry it back into their nest to feed their queen. One by one, each ant will tragically die to the poisonous boric acid. Place the mixture on or around potted plants.

More Tips on Using Borax in the Garden

  • Cooking Oil And Dishwasher Liquid Soap Mixture: Another easy-to-make home remedy and successful method are mixing dish soap with cooking oil, such as canola and olive oils. Simply prepare a quart of water first. Then, take half a teaspoon of the soap and mix it in with half a teaspoon of either oil. After stirring it well, take any old empty spray bottle lying around and pour the mixture inside it. Finally, spray away onto the ant colonies. You can even pour half of the rest into their nest.
  • Boiling water: The most popular and easiest method is using the very appliance we like to make our tea with. With a water kettle, boil the water at high heat. Then, approach your targeted ant nests and pour away. The key trick here is to roam around a bit and squint to see precisely where the ant nests’ entrances are. Try to pour hot water (not warm water) near their front doors (note: this method may take relatively longer to kill off all the ants).
  • Other options include getting rid of ants with Diatomaceous Earth, and Neem Oil Drenches, coffee grounds, peppermint oil, liquid dish soap with insecticidal soap.

Commercial Ant Control Solutions

Alternatively, commercial or professional methods to kill off outdoor ant piles can be equally effective and get the job done quickly and easily.

They include:

  • Gel Poison: Store-bought ant-elimination products usually contain toxic chemicals, which likely harms your plants if used outside on any nests. However, anti-ant gel products can be the safest method for your plants. They are the commercial version of the sugar and boric acid trick because they work in the same way. The gel contains a sweet taste that attracts the ants to feast on it while also transferring the poison to her highness. 
  •  Exterminators: If all fails at home, or you instead hand the murderess deed to the real experts, you can request a local exterminator. Depending on who you find and their price offerings, these mastermind pest-killers have special tools and equipment to eliminate common insects that can damage home properties. Also, professional exterminators would know how to work around your garden beds to ensure your plants are not harmed.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are several ant-genocide methods to DIY or to buy in stores. We also ensured they all miraculously work without harming your plants. 

Depending on the way you choose, though, we beg the question of whether exterminating these tiny inhabitants are worth the pursuit? So, take a good look at your lawn and treat it wisely!

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