With springtime just around the corner, now is the ideal time to familiarize yourself with how to deter ants from nesting in your yard. When ants invade your yard, they are tempted to find their way inside your home too. In this article, we’ll talk about how to kill ants in your yard so they don’t have the opportunity to spoil your warm weather fun. Plus, we’ll offer methods you can use to kill ants in your yard using common ingredients you likely already have in your home. If home remedies aren’t working well, you can count on affordable pest control services that offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
How Does an Ant Colony Live?
In order to effectively irradicate ants, it’s important to understand how they survive. You can think of the top of the anthill as the tip of an iceberg – the ants that live beneath it are about 2-3 inches below the surface and live in a 2-4 inch circumference around the hill. The ants you see above the surface are called worker ants. Below the anthill is a queen ant who is the heart of the ant colony. If you only kill some of the worker ants, the remaining worker ants can form a new colony in your yard and continue their quest. So, the goal is to kill the queen ant because worker ants cannot survive without the queen and vice versa. We’ll talk about effective ways to kill an ant colony in a couple of paragraphs.
What Attracts Ants?
Ants are like many other insects in the fact that they’re attracted to food and water sources. If you live in a damp area such as near a stream, river, or spring, ants are more likely to invade your yard than they would a dry yard. If your yard gets little sunlight, you may have noticed that it stays damp for more days than you’d like. Damp yards are attractive to ants because they don’t have to travel far to find water – their water source is right within reach.
If you have a garbage can in which dispose of trash, this can attract ants, especially in the warm months when they’re most active. When ants eat, they reproduce, and their colony grows. As the ant colony grows, they are bound to find more food sources, including inside your home. When possible, secure your trash in tightly bound bags and reduce the amount of smelly food you put outside for extended periods of time.
More likely than not, you’re aware you have an ant problem. But if you’re unsure, there are a few common signs to look for and identify an ant problem.
Practices You Can Implement to Prevent an Ant Invasion
In an effort to reduce the moisture in your yard, you can plant trees, shrubs, and other plants that are bound to soak up excess water. If you live in an area that is prone to being perpetually damp, planting plants may be the best option since it’s rather affordable and not necessarily permanent. If you’re a homeowner who wants to invest in a permanent solution to keep your yard dry, you can have a drainage system installed.
Additional ways to eliminate ants in your yard include:
- Maintain a healthy, fertilized yard. (Ants are more likely to take up space in an unhealthy yard)
- Keep composite bins and garbage cans as far away from your lawn as possible
- Remove dead limbs and decaying matter from your yard. (Dead and decaying limbs will rot and become damp in no time. This is an open invitation for ants to form an ant colony).
- Clean up spills immediately. Since ants are attracted to food (especially sugary food and drinks), you can discourage ants from living in your yard by cleaning up spilled food or drinks on the spot.
How to Kill Ants in Your Yard With Common Household Ingredients
Learn how to kill ants in your yard by using the following solutions. With common ingredients you likely have in your house right now, you can attempt to kill ants in the yard. There are eco-friendly ways to kill ants and keep your yard in prime condition. Additionally, there are chemicals, such as ant spray, that will kill worker ants on the spot but pose a risk to your grass. First, we’ll discuss eco-friendly methods, then dive into potent chemical-based methods.
Eco-Friendly Ways to Kill Ants
If you want to keep your yard in tip-top shape, here are some eco-friendly ways you can kill ant colonies without reaching for harsh chemicals. Most of these solutions can be used to get rid of ants inside your home as well.
- Essential oils, such as peppermint oil have been used by many environmentally-conscious people to kill ants. The downside is that oils are not inexpensive and it will take quite a lot to kill an entire colony of ants.
- Another eco-friendly want to kill ants is by sprinkling black pepper or cayenne pepper on an ant trail and down an anthill. When ants ingest the pepper, they lose the ability to breathe and therefore die.
- Baking powder can kill ants as it enters pores on their exoskeleton and prevents air from entering their airways. Much like the pepper method, when ants inhale or absorb baking powder, they will die.
- You can pour boiling water on an ant trail and down an anthill in hopes of immediately killing the worker ants and the queen ant. However, the ants that are lucky enough to survive will move on and create a new colony. That could mean that they start over and build another nest in your yard.
- One final eco-friendly way to eliminate ants is by pouring vinegar or lemon juice over them. The acid burns their exoskeleton and can kill them on the spot. However, as we mentioned, it’s vital to make sure the queen ant dies as well.
Chemical Pesticides that Will Kill Ants
If natural remedies aren’t doing the job, chemical pesticides, including ant spray may be your next go-to. Chemical pesticides can come in the form of dust, spray/liquid, and bait traps that trick the ant into believing the bait is a food source. Bait traps are attractive to worker ants that carry the poison back to the ant nest and kill the queen. Spray and dust work by killing ants on the spot as they ingest the chemicals. However, no matter the chemical you choose, you must kill the queen ant to successfully eradicate the ant colony and trail of ants in your yard.
When Home Remedies Aren’t Getting Rid of Ants
If you’ve tried home remedies but still have an ant invasion, it’s time to call a professional pest control company that is equipped to handle large-scale ant problems. A locally-owned and operated pest control company is sure to prioritize your needs and correct your ant problem. Since killing an ant colony isn’t as easy as it seems, contact our Raleigh pest control company today at (919) 231-3292 or fill out the contact form below.