Ants are essential in our ecosystem. They aerate the air, pollinate seed, and target termites and ticks. They are also helpful in creating compost rich soil. However, they can be a pest when ants enter the house in large numbers or if they come inside, or when they start digging up your lawn and running around your patio as you try and relax in the summer.
Here are some quick and easy suggestions to rid ants from your garden. Note, some aim to just stop the ants from coming back while others seek to kill the ants as a prevention method, so choose whichever best fits your morals.
1) Pinch-out nests by hand
Nests can be found sometimes around windows near the ground or down towards where there is a tree. When you see an ant nest, the best thing to do is manually kill all the ants so they don’t keep coming back. If you have kids, this is an easy job for them! Also, it’s eco-friendly since you are not using any products that will harm animals or pollute our earth. It would help if you only used your fingers to crush the entire nest by pressing it into the dirt.
Make sure to get all of them! This process may need to be done weekly to remove new ones from entering your yard. It is common to buy sprays that say they will stop ants.
I can’t stress this enough, but PLEASE don’t use sprays or products with chemicals! Ants are highly adaptive and pesticide-resistant. What happens is the ants bring the poison back to their nest, and it’s shared amongst all of them for protection against other bugs who want to get in on their goods. This means you are poisoning all of your pets by having the ants around, not just yourself (if you care about them).
2) Use soapy water to kill ants on sidewalks
If you don’t feel like doing the above method, try using soap and water instead. This is more manageable around your home if you just see one or two ants that are invading your space. First, use a spray bottle to wet the ants’ area with some soapy water. Then, they will slowly die off until there is none left! This solution isn’t anything harmful since it’s made up of simple household products like dish soap and water.
3) Apply ant bait
Another option would be to buy an ant trap or ant bait. You can find these at hardware stores near the pesticide section; they should sell them side by side.
Ants are attracted to the color yellow, so you can attach a long strip of yellow paper around the trap and secure it in place. Then, ants will be easily lured to enter and eat your bait! The name brands in the market today generally use boric acid as their active ingredient.
However, keep in mind that these ant baits and traps should not be placed near children or pets since they may play with them when curious enough. That’s why you need to put these away from any walkways or roads where people could be walking by. Also, do not spray water onto them or let them get wet because then they would become ineffective. After one week, change out the ant trap if there aren’t any ants coming out of it. Usually, there should be some dead ants in or around the trap because that means that they ate the bait and died inside.
4) Use diatomaceous earth or baby powder
Another alternative to get rid of ants is to scatter diatomaceous earth over the path where they are walking. This is because the sharp edges will poke their exoskeleton and make it hard for them to move around without hurting themselves. But, again, remember not to wet the area with water because it won’t stick well onto your grass or sidewalks! Also, be careful about using this product since you do not want kids or pets eating this either because it’s made up of little tiny rocks that could hurt them internally if they ingested it!
You can also opt to use baby powder instead. This is because the ants will not want to walk over this layer of power, so they won’t be able to cross it without leaving a trail or taking it back with them! It’s like marking your territory like an alpha dog would do by urinating on something. So, the ants essentially mark each other and bring it back into their colony; therefore, making them come out in huge numbers all at once!
5) Secure your land
If your house doesn’t already have a good perimeter system, I would recommend getting one. Since there may be holes under your foundation or cracks in your walls where ants can enter your house, you need to take precautions to make these areas inaccessible to them! You can use products like steel wool or caulk to seal off any entrances that the ants can climb through. The problem is if they find a way in, there is probably an entire trail of them leading up to your house; thus, making it easy for them to gain access at their own free will!
6) Use a jam jar
Yes, seriously, you can use a jam jar to keep ants out of your house. First, you’ll need the following items:
– 3 small jars (must fit into each other)
– sugar (an entire bag or box; depending on how big your house is)
– water (enough to fill up all of the jars at least 1/3 of their height)
Then what you do is put one jar filled with sugar and water inside the other two. You need to make sure that there are no air bubbles trapped in between the jars, or they’ll float instead of sinking down towards the bottom
This next step will take time so just be patient with it! Ants won’t be able to find their way out once they’re in the first jar, so you don’t need to worry about them escaping.
When ants do actually start making their way through the outside of the jars and reaching your sugar-water mixture on the inside, drown as many as you can by overfilling the jars. Only put a thin layer of water at the bottom, though! We don’t want to touch their nest with our hands or anything that isn’t food that will attract them back into our solution again.
It may take some time, but eventually, there shouldn’t be any more ants finding their way into your house anymore if you do it correctly! Simply live your life normally and keep checking upon progress every few days. Don’t forget to keep your sugar-water solution filled up!
Apart from the main methods outlined above, there are many other ways you can prevent the ants from ever getting into your house in the first place. Make sure there is no standing water near your foundation where they can drink or drown themselves.
Please don’t leave any crumbs on the floor and regularly clean so there isn’t any food for them to get a hold of. Also, put all food away immediately after eating, so nothing else has access to it!
Don’t forget that if you have pets, don’t let them eat or lick anything off the outside ledge or ground where an ant nest might be present.