30 Easy DIY Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Home and Garden Fast, Dengarden

30 Easy DIY Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Home and Garden Fast


Why Depend on Chemicals When You Have All These Natural Remedies!

Ants begin their arrival in the mid to late spring when the weather starts to warm up. You must be prepared for them. Many commercial ant killing products are effective, but only because they contain toxic substances. This poison kills the ants, but may also have an effect on you or your pets. You may not notice it instantly but in the long run, insecticides are indeed harmful. Safe alternatives are available, including the use of products that you already have in your home. These can be used to get rid of ants safely.

Tips for a Clean, Ant-Free Kitchen

  • Never leave dirty dishes in the sink.Wash them up after each meal.
  • Keep trash cans and bins far from your house.
  • Take the trash out every day.

How to Keep Ants Away From Your Home?

1) Clean the house: Ants leave trails for other ants to follow. Wipe the scent trails and you get rid of them. A safe way to do this is using a spray of water and cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Cleaning your home by removing all food smell attractants for ants is also an option, such as cleaning up crumbs or other small dishes on counters and floors. Find out what causes the ants to make your home their camp and get rid of it.

2) Block their path: Try to find out how the ants come into your kitchen. Search ants on the windowsill, you’ll probably come across the window in the kitchen. Glue mosquito screens on the windows, so that their path is blocked.

3) Keep your food jars clean and closed: Foods should be stored in airtight plastic containers. Make sure you close the lid after the use.

4) Nothing sugary on the floor: Spilled sugar and other food residues should be wiped off immediately.

5) Do not eat outside the dining room: Avoid eating anywhere but in the dining room, this prevents the spreading of food crumbs to other parts of the house and makes cleaning easier for everyone.

6) Silicon sealant: Any holes or cracks should be sealed with something like a silicon caulk immediately. Using silicone sealant around each window and door is your best bet.

7) Black Pepper: One thing that works great to keep ants away is black pepper. Sprinkle it on places where you see ants. Do the same in the ant holes. This will not kill, but keeps them away.

8) Stop ants in their trail by sprinkling peppermint, paprika, red pepper or borax in their paths.

9) Copper: Ants will not cross copper. So surround the area which you want to be ant free with copper.

10) Detergent can be helpful: Pour a little pure detergent, preferably lemon, on the route taken by the ants from your garden to your home.

Some people cannot bear to kill ants and if you’re one of them, you can still keep them out of your home. Take a jar of honey and place it in a remote area. The ants will be happy to stay out of your kitchen.

How to Keep Ants Away From Your Garden

11) Remove old tree stumps and rotting wood from your garden.

12) Ants hate these plants, these plants in your garden will significantly reduce the chance of ants:

13) Get rid of other insects: Your garden might have some other insects that can entice the ants. Aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies are only a few species of insects that secrete honeydew, which ants love. Eradicate the insects and you are a step forward towards getting rid of ants.

14) Keep it clean: Remove the trash immediately: Letting trash build up only adds to your problem.

15) Avoid standing water: Remove any standing water from flower beds, hoses, or downspouts. Ants need water, too.

DIY Ant Trap

How to Kill Ants Immediately

16) Hot Water: Pour hot water into their hillside holes. This is a perfectly safe way to eliminate and prevent them.

17) Cereal: Just prepare a small dish of the grain and leave it out for the ants. The cereal grains will expand in the stomach of the ants and kill them.

18) Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda in the ant’s way. The ants will eat it and die in it.

19) Vinegar: Pour some vinegar mixed with water on the anthills. Ants hate the smell of vinegar. So just put some vinegar around the house where your ants roaming around the most. This will kill most of them and prevent more ants from coming into your home.

20) Baby Powder: Baby powder can be used for killing ants. It can also be used in order to keep them away. Just put some baby powder on the ants. Funny but true!

21) Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper can be sprinkled around the anthill and any place where they can enter your home.

22) Tree Tanglefoot Insect Barrier: Tree Tanglefoot Insect Barrier is a product that can be placed around the stems of plants and trees, killing ants.

23) Adding vinegar to the water you use to clean your house helps to kill ants.

24) Cinnamon: Sprinkling cinnamon around your house is known to work.

25) Diatomaceous Earth: DE, or diatomaceous earth, when sprinkled on their path, will cause them to dry out.

26) Citrus peels: Citrus peels can be used to get rid of ants fast. Blend water and citrus peel in a blender and use it as a spray against ants.

See also:  Problems With Honeysuckle Plants, Home Guides, SF Gate

27) Perfumes: Use perfumes to get rid of ants. Expensive but works.

28) Cream of tartar and tea tree oil can kill ants.

If you do not own any pets or do not have children, you can use these products to get rid of ants immediately:

29) Ant traps: In your home, you can place ant bait traps. If you want to get rid of ants in the house, these traps are the best under sinks and trash cans.

30) Ant Sprays: For your home, there is also the basic ant spray. This kills on contact and leaves a residue to kill and repel any ants for a certain time, usually three months.

Outside your home, there are concentrated liquids that you can mix and spray around window seals and door sides.

Kill Ants Using Borax

Additional Tips

Salt water: Boil water and pour some salt. Spray this salty water to get rid of ants.

Cucumber: Place cucumber pieces where you find ants the most. They cannot stand the smell of it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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7 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants: How to Repel Ants Humanely Without Killing Them

by Jorge Vamos 6

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by Cool Rare Animals 0

Using Windex or a Natural, Non-Toxic Solution to Kill Ants Indoors

by A Freeman 15

How Do You Manage to Get Rid of Ants? Any Ideas Are Welcome!

Michael Fio

Tested most of these and none work for the sugar ants. I used a clean uninterrupted test site.

Akhil Dev

5 years ago from India

Thank you elayne. I m glad that u found this useful..


5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Great info for my home and garden. Thank you for the tips.

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How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Potted Plants

Craig is a self-sufficiency gardener who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. He has six vegetable gardens, a 7-meter glass house, and 35-tree orchard that provide food for his family. All spray-free. He is a prepper who likes strange plants and experiment with heritage plants to save seeds.

It’s an aggravation every gardener faces. You check out your potted plant and, upon investigation, you discover ants and thousands of eggs in the pot.

Sometimes you see the critters coming and going, and other times you might only see evidence of their presence.

Either way, discovering an ant nest in your potted plants is frustrating, so it’s important to figure out why this happens and what to do to avoid it.

Why Are Ants Attracted to Potted Plants?

The simple answer is that they’re just trying to survive. Potted plants provide ants with food, shelter, and warmth. But of course, there’s more to it than that.

Ants aren’t usually after your plants. Often an ant infestation coincides with other insect pests attacking the plant above soil level, or they’re looking for somewhere hospitable to hang out. But an infestation can indicate that your plant isn’t as healthy as it should be.

Also, ants probably aren’t making a potted plant their home base. The likely have a main nest somewhere else, so your job is to encourage them to go there instead.

Let’s look at some of the reasons ants might decide to visit your potted plants.

Pest Insects

Aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies and soft scale insects all produce honeydew. This is a sticky sweet excretion that ants find appealing. If you have an ant infestation in your potted plants, it may be because pests are feeding them.

Inconsistent Watering/Dry Soil

I returned home from a holiday in summer to find a massive ant infestation in one of my potted plants. The pot had dried so much that the soil shrunk due to dehydration, making it the perfect environment for an ant colony.

You don’t even have to be away from home for this to happen. If you’re watering is inconsistent and the soil gets dehydrated, ants will come knocking.

Dry potting mix can also happen when some of the soil has escaped through the bottom of the pot and air has gotten in, drying things out.

Old Potting Mix

Commercial potting mix often becomes a water repellent. Over time, it dries out and water can’t soak in. This is what’s called becoming hydrophobic. Water should seep around the edges of your plants and out the bottom.

Instead, the water runs straight through without soaking in, which creates a hospitable environment for ants in the soil.

Transferred by You

Ants often take up residence in compost because there’s food in there for them or it’s dry and warm. Then, you transfer the compost to your pot as mulch or fertilizer and you introduce them to their new home in your pot.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

For each problem above there are chemical solutions and natural solutions. Both can work equally well, so it depends on what your needs and goals are.

Eliminate Pests

First, get rid of the insects providing the ants with honeydew to eat. Use an insecticidal soap or pyrethrum spray.

If you have honeydew, you need to wash the plants or ants will keep returning. You need to remove the honeydew to prevent mold.

For a small plant, spray and wipe the leaves down with a soft cloth. For bigger plants or bad infestations, tilt the plants and pour soapy water on them and then rinse.

Soak the Soil

If dry soil is the problem, give your plants a good soak. If the plant is indoors, first take it outside or put it inside of a large plastic container.

Then, mix a solution of 3 tablespoons of insecticidal soap with one quart of water. Make enough to fill the container. Pour the solution onto the soil until it overflows out of the original pot. Leave everything to soak for 30 minutes. Pour out any excess.

Replace the Soil

Sometimes all you can do is replace the soil. Remove the plant from the pot and set aside, but be careful as you will have an entire ant colony running in all directions. Move the pot to a location where this won’t cause a problem.

Gently remove as much of the soil around the roots of the plant as possible using your hands, a brush, and a gentle spray of water.

Empty the pot of all soil and scrub clean if necessary.

Replant back into the pot with new potting mix and water with the insecticidal soap mixture.

From this point on, keep the plant healthy and well-watered.

Natural Deterrents

Ants don’t like citrus. Boil the skin of six oranges in water for half an hour, then blend everything together to make a paste. Pour this around the plant in the pot.

You can also make a peppermint deterrent. Add a tablespoon of dish soap to a pint of water and several drops of peppermint oil. Pour this solution around the base of the plant. You may need to do this several times before all ants are gone completely.

Other things ants don’t like are:

Make a mixture using any of these and place around the soil to ensure the plant pot becomes inhospitable.

Diatomaceous Earth

In my opinion, diatomaceous earth (DE) is the most effective remedy and preventative measure you can use.

See also:  What Animals Eat Termites, Animals

Spread a thin layer of DE over the surface of dry soil. Both the soil and the DE need to be dry to be effective, as you want the DE to dehydrate the ants.

This isn’t my favorite solution. However, it may be necessary to get control over a large infestation.

Place bait around the potted plant and leave for the ants to consume. Ants usually eat the bait and die either in the nest or nearby. Then, they’ll be eaten by other ants who will also die.

Be aware not to let children and pets get into the bait as it’s toxic.

White Vinegar

I poured a liter bottle of vinegar into a particularly stubborn ants nest in one of my large pots. They left straight away. Be wary of this method though. Some plants can die from the acidity of the vinegar.

Preventative Measures

Prevention is much better than finding a cure, so remember the causes of infestations.

  • Don’t let your potting mix be consistently dry.
  • Replace the mix in the pot every couple of years
  • Soak the mix if you think it has become a water repellant
  • Watch for and eliminate pest insects, especially those that excrete honeydew.

Ants are beneficial to your garden and plants. They prey on destructive insects, so don’t make your goal to kill all ants. You want them out of your potted plants for the sake of the plant itself.

Often ants get into neglected plants, so take care of your plants to avoid infestations and ensure you remove any unwanted plants swiftly, rather than letting them die off in a pot.

Use Pot Feet

The worst infestations of ants I’ve had have been when the pot sits directly on the ground or deck. Use feet to lift the pot above the surface. This ensures good airflow to the bottom of the pot.

Essential Oil

Place the pot in a saucer or larger container and pour water into the base container. Add a good amount of essential oil like peppermint. You can also use citrus or cinnamon oil as well.

You’re effectively creating a water barrier between the entrance to the pot and the ant.

The Bottom Line

Ants can be an irritating problem in your potted plants, so keep an eye out for their presence. Don’t wait to deal with an infestation because their numbers grow exponentially rapidly.

That said, it’s not impossible to get rid of ants in your potted plants once you know what to look for and how to deal with the underlying issue.


12 Homemade Natural Remedies for The Vegetable Garden

Posted on June 7, 2009 by Admin in Vegetable Gardening Tips // 27 Comments

Whether it is some pesky bug or fungus, there are always issues to tend to in the garden. It seems that gardeners have always been on the cutting edge of natural solutions for common problems in the vegetable garden and the home. There are several reasons for using natural remedies in the vegetable garden:

  • The ingredients are readily available
  • The ingredients are usually very inexpensive
  • These rememdies are very environment-friendly
  • The remedies are very simple to make
  • The remedies will not harm your vegetables

Here are twelve recipes for dealing with common problems in the garden:

Soap Spray Insecticide

  • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
  • 1 gallon of water

Mix ingedients in a sprayer and apply to both sides of plant leaves to get rid of aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Reapply after rain or as needed.

Garlic Spray Insecticide

For aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 gallon of water

Combine in blender the entire garlic bulb and two cups water, and blend on high speed until garlic is finely pureed. Put in storage container and set aside for a day. Strain out pulp, and then mix liquid with one gallon water in sprayer. Spray tops and bottoms of leaves thoroughly. Apply about once a week, and after a rain.

Baking Soda Spray

Treats powdery mildew and other fungus

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid

Mix all the ingredients in a sprayer and apply to leaves of affected. It is best to remove leaves that are seriously infested if possible. Treat every one or two weeks.

Milk Spray

Treats powdery mildew and other fungus

  • 1 quart of milk
  • 1 quart of water

Mix milk and water in a sprayer and treat infected plants. Three separate treatments a week apart should control the disease.

Garlic & Pepper Spray

Gets rid of cabbageworms, catepillars, hornworms, aphids, flea beetles, and other insects

  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried hot pepper
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 tsp liquid soap
  • 1 gallon of hot water

Blend all ingredients and let sit for one to two days. Strain and use as spray. Ground cayenne or red hot pepper can also be sprinkled on the leaves of plants (apply when leaves are slightly damp) to repel chewing insects or added to the planting hole with bone meal or fertilizer to keep squirrels, chipmunks, dogs and other mammals away from your gardens. Be sure to reapply after rain.

Snail & Slug Trap

Place a small, shallow saucer full of stale beer to get rid of snails and slugs. The snails and slugs are drawn to the beer, but then drown once they climb in the saucer.

Sowbug (Pillbug) Traps

  • 1 small plastic container (tupperware bowl)
  • 2 tbsp of cornmeal

Cut a small hole at the base of the container, large enough and close enough to the bottom to allow sowbugs to climb in. Place cornmeal in container. Place container into area infested with sowbugs. The sowbugs will feed on cornmeal which will cause ingestion issues and kill the sowbugs. Replace cornmeal frequently.

Another natural remedy for sowbugs and other crawling insects is using Diatomaceous Earth

Sticky Traps

For whiteflies and fungus gnats

  • 1-2 Tbsp. Vaseline or preferably, non-petroleum Jelly
  • 4”x8” plastic cards or cardboard
  • Waterproof yellow paint

Apply paint onto both sides of the card and let it dry. Once the paint is dry, apply
non-petroleum jelly liberally over both sides of the card. Place the card just above the plant canopy.

Ant Traps

For unwanted ants in the vegetable garden

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of borax

Mix the sugar and borax, then sprinkle around any hills and travel paths. The ant will think it is all sugar and take the borax back to the nest. The borax is poisonous to ants.

Critter Spray

For getting rid of rabbits, deer, dogs and other four-legged critters

  • 4 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 tsp cayanne pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 quarts of warm water

Mix all the ingredients in a sprayer and apply around the border of your garden. Those pesky deer or rabbits won’t dare enter your garden.

Deter Earworms

To get rid of earworms in corn, apply one drop of mineral oil to the tip of each ear of corn when silks begin to brown. Reapply every 5 to 6 days for 3 applications per season.


How to Kill Ants in Your Lawn, Remove the Ant Hills and Prevent Them Returning

By Tim Stephens

Ants in your lawn can be a nuisance.

They can cause significant cosmetic damage to your lawn as they create mounds of excavated soil on the surface of your lawn (known as ant hills).

But ants can create other problems too, not only in your lawn but in other areas of your garden.

So in this article, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about ants.

Table of Contents

How Ants Live and the Affect They Have on Your Garden

Ants are social insects that form large, organised colonies. They build complex nests that often contain thousands of individuals.

Ant nests contain one or sometimes several fertile females called Queen Ants. They lay eggs in specific areas of the nest called Brood Chambers.

Most of the other ants in the colony are smaller females called Worker Ants whose job it is to protect, maintain and grow the nest.

There are other ants called Soldiers and Drones whose job it is to find and bring back food.


Ant nests are very complex structures. They contain nursery rooms where larvae are fed and looked after, food storages rooms and farming rooms. They even create tunnels just to help with airflow.

How Ants Affect Your Lawn

Many ants build their nests in or under lawns. They prefer well-drained soil in lawns that don’t suffer from compaction. This means even the best cared for lawns can fall victim to ant infestations.

They’re not all bad though. They hunt other insects in your lawn and their nests can help with lawn aeration .

However, as they excavate the soil they leave it on the surface of your lawn. These ant hills can affect your lawn in a few ways;

  • They can make your lawn uneven
  • Make mowing the grass difficult as the lawn mower blades get stuck on lumps of soil
  • Kill the grass under the mounds of earth, especially if the grass is short

They also eat through the root zone of the grass as they build their colonies. This can result in patches of dead grass appearing.

They Also Indirectly Affect Your Garden as a Whole

Ants like to feed off Honeydew which is secreted by Aphids (sap-sucking insects) as they feed on plant sap.

To keep a constant supply of Honeydew, ants protect aphids from predators like Ladybirds and tend to their ongoing needs. This protection often causes an increase in aphid activity all over your garden. This, in turn, leads to plants being damaged as they’re used as a source of food.

Home Made Ant Killers Vs. Professional Products

If you want to completely get rid of the ants in your lawn you need to target the source. In other words, the nest.

There are a few ways to kill ants nests which include home remedies and specific ant killers. Home remedies have their drawbacks and I’d recommend you use a proper ant killer but in the interest of being thorough, I’ll cover both.

Home Made Ant Killers

When it comes to killing off a nest, there are numerous home remedies that get recommended on the web. The problem is, they often don’t work immediately, don’t work at all, or have other side effects.

Pour Boiling Water into an Ants Nest

This is the most widely known way to kill a nest. Simply find as many entrances as you can and pour boiling water into them.

The issue is that this;

  1. Often takes several attempts
  2. This can result in wet, boggy areas in your lawn, and
  3. It can scald your grass causing it to turn brown

Use Dishwasher Liquid and Olive Oil

Another common method is to mix washing up liquid with olive oil and water. This penetrates the ants’ exoskeleton and suffocates it.

Again though, it can take a while to work and the detergent can bleach the grass, making it paler than the rest of the lawn.

Put Boric Acid and Sugar on Your Lawn

The idea behind using Boric Acid and sugar is that you mix it into a paste and put it on certain areas o of your lawn near the nest. The sweet sugar attracts the ants and they take it back to the nest for the colony to feed on. Then the Boric Acid kills the ants.

The problem with this approach is that it needs to be mixed very precisely. If you don’t use enough Boric Acid, you won’t kill the ants. Use too much and you’ll kill the ant that takes it before it’s reached the nest. You’ll also kill the grass.

Pour White Vinegar Onto a Nest

Many people recommend pouring a litre of white vinegar onto an ants nest.

It kills ants on contact but the chances of it penetrating and killing the whole nest are slim. You’ll only kill the ants on the surface and may the ones just under.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth has been proven to be effective against a variety of bugs. The idea is that you sprinkle this powder on your lawn and it’ll cause decreased mobility in the ants and eventually they’ll die of dehydration.

There are a few flaws with this though;

As you can see, using home remedies are inconsistent, they can damage your lawn and sometimes, they just useless.

That’s why I recommend you use a professional ant killer.

Professional Ant Killing Products

For the most reliable, quickest results, choose a product that is specifically designed for killing ants.

I recommend Nippon Ant Killer from Vitax . They have a range of products, but the two I recommend are;

Ant Killer Sachets

Nippon Ant Killer Sachets are perfect if you have a lawn with several nests. Dilute a sachet into 5 litres of water and spray over the lawn with a knapsack sprayer or watering can. It penetrates the nest and kills the ants quickly. Depending on the size of the nest, you may need a second application.

Ant Bait Stations

If you don’t like the idea of spraying your lawn or putting powder down, Nippon’s bait stations are an excellent alternative.

Lay a bait station near the nest and the ants will feed on the liquid inside and take it back to their nest. The active ingredient spreads through the nest and kills the whole colony at the same time.

I personally always have one or two bait stations in and around my lawn (as well as several more all around the garden) to kill off any ants before the colony can get established. Then, if on the rare occasion a colony establishes itself, I’ll dilute a sachet in water and kill the lot.

How to Kill Ants, Remove Ant Hills From the Lawn & Prevent them Returning

This is the step-by-step process I use to kills the ants in my lawn, remove the ant hills and prevent them from returning.

Step 1: Kill the Ants With Nippon Soluble Sachets

The first step is to kill the ants.

Get some soluble ant killer sachets and mix each sachet with 5 litres of water. This is enough to cover 25 square metres. So if your lawn is 100sqm you’ll need 4 sachets mixed with 20 litres of water.

Wait for a dry spell and apply it to your lawn with either a watering can or knapsack sprayer. If the weather stays dry it should kill the ants within a few days.

Step 2: Remove the Ant Hills

As we know the ant hills are nothing more than excavated soil which has been left on the surface of your lawn.

If it’s dry you can disperse them with a brush which is easy to do as the soil is so fine. I personally hoover the soil up with a beat up old vacuum. I’ll admit, people do look at me strangely when they see me hoovering the lawn but it works a treat!

Wet soil is harder to shift, you can’t spread it because it smears and could trap the grass under it. Scooping it up with a spade could also ruin the grass. I prefer to get stuck in and pick it up with my hands.

Step 3: Prevent the Ants Re-Establishing their Nests With Bait Stations

It’s pretty much impossible to completely remove ants from your garden so it’s not worth trying.

But you can prevent them from colonising with the use of bait stations. They attract feeding ants who take this poisonous food back to their nests, killing the nest while it’s small enough to not be a problem.

Leave these bait stations in the areas where you had nests.

It’s also worth buying a few of them to put around your whole garden so they don’t go and colonise another area.

In Conclusion

Despite having shown you how to kill ants, they can be a pain and unfortunately, you’ll never completely rid your garden of them.

That said, with the right approach , controlling their numbers is very doable and you’ll see a big reduction in their numbers.

But be prepared for an ongoing battle!

If you’ve got ants in your lawn let me know in the comments. Have you got any secret hacks to get rid of them? Let me know.

And as ever, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.


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