Did you love sitting in your garden and watching the beautiful sunset with your kids?
Has it become a thing of the past with the arrival of garden ants?
Well, garden ants can get on your nerves by damaging your beloved plants. And by turning your oh-so-beautiful garden into an unpleasant place.
This is where getting rid of the ants becomes essential.
It can become a strenuous activity if the ants keep coming back to your garden even after removing them.
Do you know what’s more difficult than that?
Getting rid of the ants without doing any harm to your plants.
Because not all ant extermination process is suitable for your plants.
Here we have described how you can get rid of the troublesome ants in your garden without harming your plants.
Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of it, let’s get you familiar with the different types of ants that are most commonly found in gardens.
Different Types of Garden Ants
When you want to get rid of an enemy, you first need to know all about your enemy. This way, you can hurt them right where it hurts.
The same goes for ants as well! They are the enemy to the plants in your garden.
So, let’s start by knowing them.
In the whole world, there are more than ten thousand species of ants. Many of them don’t do any harm to plants or have gone extinct.
Here we have listed down some of the most common ants that you can find in your garden.
1. Black garden Ant or Lasius Niger
The black garden ants are found in huge numbers in gardens. Per colony, there are about five thousand ants.
They use their jaws and formic acid for their protection.
You can find this anthill at the edge of your garden area or patio.
2. Acrobat Ant or Crematogaster
This species of garden ants are aggressive. They have vibrant workers.
They attack by raising their abdomen – thus, the name!
You can find them in colors such as reddish-black and yellowish-brown.
Look for them in moist wood in your yard.
3. Yellow Meadow Ant or Lasius Flavia
This species of ant is very common in gardens. However, they are not that harmful.
Now, how will you understand if you have this ant in your garden?
Look for small molds around your garden.
4. Fire Ant
There are more than two hundred different species of ants under the fire ant family. Which fire ant is there in your garden depends on where you live.
The most common fire ants are European fire ant and red imported fire ant.
They have a reddish-brown color. And when they sting, it pains a lot!
4. Carpenter Ants
These ants are mainly found in attics, walls, and rotting or water-damaged wood. However, in your garden, it can nest in tree trunks.
Wood is not their food, but they live on it, leading to decay in woods.
Don’t try to pick them up; they’ll bite. However, their bites are less painful compared to the sting of the fire ants.
Bonus Read: How to Get Rid of Ground Bees? 9 Best Ways
How Can Ants Benefit Your Garden?
Here’s why it’s good to have ants in your garden:
Increases the Rate of Pollination
If the population of pollinators decreases, you might have to struggle to get hearty, consistent harvests from fruiting crops.
Don’t worry. Ants can help!
In order to search for food, they march from one flower to another.
This way, unintentionally, they act as pollinators.
Just as green lacewings, lady beetles, and other beneficial bugs, ants help control pests.
Well, at least sometimes.
Ants eat the pests’ eggs.
Did we tell you that some gardeners actually introduce ants in their garden on purpose?
Supports Healthy Ecosystem
Are you into traditional gardening?
Then you might know how ants help in aerating the soil. They dig tunnels that carry oxygen, water, and essential nutrients to the roots of the plants.
Also, they speed up the process of decomposition of organic materials, including dead insects and leaves. This, in a way, fertilizes the plants.
Do you have a tower garden?
In that case, too, ants can help the growing environment.
They eat pests and become dinner for larger organisms, including frogs, birds, and lizards. As a result, these animals help in preventing pest problems too.
BUT, ants do worse than good!
So, it’s better to get rid of them from your garden.
But, is There a Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your Garden without Killing Plants?
Well, YES, there are many ways to do it!
And you don’t have to worry about destroying your garden in the process.
These methods of killing ants are harmless to your beautiful garden.
Soap and Water
You have soap in your home, right?
To kill the ants in your garden, soap is enough.
All you have to do is mix the soap with water. And Ta-da, you’re done!
Make sure to use biodegradable soap so that it doesn’t harm your garden.
Now, how to use it?
Take a spray bottle and pour the mixture into it. Spay it focusing on the ants’ nest. Use some on the trails too. If you want to drown out the entire ant colony, pour a moderate amount of mixture into the ant nest.
You can use dawn to kill ants without doing any harm to your garden.
Now, what is dawn?
Well, it’s a dishwashing agent.
What exactly do you need to do?
Mix four tablespoons of baking soda and two teaspoons of dawn with a gallon of water.
This mixture is deadly to the ants.
Don’t worry. It won’t harm the plants in your garden.
Find the ants’ nest and pour the mixture into it. Then, destroy the whole ants’ colony and hose the mixture into their nest. If you have fire ants in your garden, this exterminator will work well against them.
Use cayenne pepper to get rid of ants from your garden.
Mix half a teaspoon of liquid dishwasher soap and one quart of water with three tablespoons of cayenne pepper sauce. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and use this against the ants.
Now, go where the ants are and pour the mixture into their nest. The cayenne sauce has capsicum in it. Combined with dishwashing soap, it can be deadly to ants.
Do you have canola oil in your kitchen?
To exterminate ants, use this oil.
Take a bowl and mix half a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap, one and a half teaspoons of canola oil, and one quart of water. Now take a spray bottle and pour the mixture into it.
Go to your garden and spray this mixture where there are high concentrations of ants.
Want to drown the entire ant colony?
Pour a generous amount of mixture into their nest. This will suffocate the ants and eventually kill them.
Have oranges in your breakfast?
Now don’t throw away the orange peels. You’ll need them to get rid of ants from your garden.
These peels have organic compounds. They are toxic to certain fungi. Now, ants love to eat those fungi.
So, what you can do is spread the orange peels in your garden. Concentrate on areas where there are more ants.
Found an ant nest?
Use orange peels to cover it.
Is there white vinegar in your kitchen?
If so, well and good.
Otherwise, go and buy some, as it has the power to kill ants.
Buy the one with a five percent concentration.
Pour it in a spray bottle and spray it on the ants.
The ants can’t tolerate the low-pH acidic components in the white vinegar. Hence, they’ll get killed.
Peppermint and Pepper
Crush some red pepper flakes and mix them with peppermint oil. You can use dehydrated peppermint too.
Now go to your garden and find the ant trails. Spray the mixture on them.
Is there an anthill?
Pour a generous amount of mixture on it.
This will make the ants find another place to stay.
Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth
Produced from hard-shelled algae in the form of fossil, diatomaceous earth is a dehydration powder. Unfortunately, this method of killing the ants in your garden is slow.
But trust us, it’s effective.
This will take several weeks to dehydrate the ants in their nest.
Don’t want to kill the ants? Just want them to go from your garden?
Cinnamon can be the solution!
Get some cinnamon sticks and place them around the plants you want to protect.
Doing so will make the ants avoid the plants altogether.
Cinnamon doesn’t kill ants. It only repels them.
Using nematodes is an easy way to get rid of ants from your garden.
Pour it in a spray bottle and use it on the ants.
The ants will die, as the nematodes will enter their bodies and deposit bacteria harmful to them.
The best part?
It’ll not harm your garden in any way.
Combination of Sugar and Borax
Use this in your garden and get your garden clear of ants just within a week.
How to make this?
Get some sugar and borax. Now mix them into a gel.
Drop this gel close to the ants’ trail and nest in tiny pieces.
Ants love sugar. So, the worker ants will have some and take the remaining sugar to their nest for the others. And that’s where all the action happens.
After some time, the natural boric acid will start working its wonders, and the ants will get killed.
You can use this borax solution around plants. However, don’t use it where your pets and kids can reach.
Well, it’s somewhat toxic to animals and humans.
Use Hot or Cold Water
If you want to get rid of ants from your garden, go and find their nest first. And, of course, their colonies too.
Want to kill the ants quickly?
Pour hot water inside their nest.
BUT you don’t want any harm to your garden plants, right?
So DON’T use hot water.
Use cold water instead.
This will not kill the ants but will chase them away for a time.
So, which method are you going to try to get rid of ants from your garden?
Let us know in the comments below!
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