Homemade Pesticides to Get Rid of Ants, Home Guides, SF Gate

Homemade Pesticides to Get Rid of Ants

Homemade Pesticides to Get Rid of Ants

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An infestation of ants can make spending time in and around your garden a less-than-pleasant experience. These pests can also damage your plants by disturbing their roots and protecting other insect pests like aphids, which feed on the plants. Instead of spraying your plants with potentially toxic insecticides, use natural remedies to rid your garden of them. Most of these natural pesticides contain ingredients you probably already have in your home.

Citrus Oil

Citrus oil, including orange and lemon oil, is toxic to ants and won’t harm your garden plants. Many natural insecticides contain orange oil, but you can make your own using 3/4 cup of orange essential oil, 1 tablespoon of molasses, 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 gallon of water, recommends the Urban Harvest website. Spray the mixture on and around garden plants to get rid of the ants in your garden and in your home. If you don’t have orange oil, simply boil the rinds of five or six oranges in water for 15 minutes until soft. Place the rinds in a food processor along with the liquid used to boil them, to create a slurry that you can pour around your garden plants.

While you can purchase insecticidal soaps to kill ants in your garden, make your own instead, using simple dish soap. Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 1 pint of warm water and stir. Spray the soapy water directly on plants and around your garden to eliminate ants. Because ants don’t like peppermint oil, you can also use a liquid soap, such as castile soap, containing peppermint oil and mix it with water in the same ratio to rid the garden of ants. If ants persist, you can increase the amount of detergent in your mixture, but too much detergent may harm your plants because it is phytotoxic in large amounts.

Borax Bait

Create homemade ant bait using borax, which is toxic to ants. Combine 1/2 teaspoon of borax with equal parts honey and a sugar substitute, recommends the Sonora Environmental Research Institute. Spoon the mixture into open bottles or jars and place the containers on their sides around your garden plants. The ants will crawl into the containers, carrying the toxic bait back to their queen, and the colony will die. You can also mix 3 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of borax. Dip bread in the mixture and cover it with peanut butter. Leave several of the bread pieces out in the garden, which work the same way as the honey bait containers, recommends McGill University Urban Nature Information Service.

Other Options

While you can make a nontoxic solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, along with a squirt of dish soap, to kill ants on your plants, vinegar can harm vegetation because it’s very acidic. Instead, use such a mixture away from your plants and soil. Instead, sprinkle spices like cinnamon and cloves or other dry ingredients such as mint tea leaves, chili powder and used coffee grounds around your plants to rid your garden of ants. Concentrate such ingredients directly over any ant mounds that you find. These dry ingredients help kill and repel ants without harming your plants and soil; you can even combine them together for further ant protection.


Ants in the garden — how to get rid of folk remedies and drugs forever

If ants are taken into the pet food, the animal may refuse to eat. Find out how you can solve this problem and what precautions you need to take.

The word «pets» means all the animals that you keep at home: birds, cats, dogs, exotic animals.

Your goal is to create a barrier for ants that can spoil the food, as a result of which your pets will refuse to eat.

Insect description

Ants are insects belonging to the family Formicidae. They can be found almost all over the world, some are protected, for example, meadow ant (Formica pratensis) is listed in the Red Book, found in forests, is a useful insect. Other species can cause real damage to our gardens. The following species are found in the immediate environment of a person:

  1. black garden ant (Lasius niger),
  2. yellow earth (garden) (Lasius flavus),
  3. turf (Tetramorium caespitum),
  4. red or red myrmica (Myrmica rubra).

What harm does an insect do?

  1. Ants can damage young growths of ornamental plants and flower buds that contain nectar.
  2. Some fruits (e.g. apricots) are damaged.
  3. Some species nest in the trunks or bark of trees, which negatively affects trees, weakens them.
  4. They can destroy decorative flower beds, gardens and lawns — when digging underground corridors, damaging the roots, rhizomes, tubers of plants. Corridors, tunnels additionally dry the soil.
  5. Insects, protecting the anthill, become very aggressive — their bites hurt, cause erythema on the skin, sometimes allergic reactions. When insects bite, they inject into the body a poison containing formic acid.
  6. The ants really like the sweet taste, and the remaining food left on the veranda or terrace is a real treat for them. Sometimes, in search of food, insects move to houses, apartments.
  7. Ants feed on sweet aphid secretions, which can cause real damage to plants. They protect aphids from natural enemies (ladybugs). Some species create their own aphid colonies — aphid larvae are transported deep into the anthill for the winter, and in the spring, adult insects are again taken outside, where they can feed on plants and supply the ants with the dew they need.
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How are ants useful?

These insects do not only harm, but also benefit:

  1. Thanks to them, it is easy to find aphid colonies that feed on plants. Near ants roaming the plants you can see small, often green aphids, hidden among the leaves. Aphids are a real pest, and the sooner you begin to fight it, the better for the garden.
  2. These are our allies in the fight against pests that destroy plants in gardens — ants feed on larvae (for example, flies).
  3. These insects act as reducing agents: they feed on carrion, dead insects, small rodents or amphibians, eat organic and plant debris, due to which they cleanse their immediate environment, which we also use.
  4. To some extent, ants can contribute to improving the soil structure in gardens. When they build anthills and drill corridors in the ground, the soil is aerated.
  5. Insect litter contains fertilizing elements (nitrogen, phosphorus) that improve soil quality.

Folk ways

Before resorting to toxic chemicals, it is worth trying to scare off or find out how you can get rid of folk remedies, in natural ways. The easiest way is mechanical removal of the pest, for this the anthills are dug up and carried off the site. However, this will not help get rid of all the pests, it will only reduce their numbers.

Dough baking powder or baking soda

This is the easiest and most affordable way to get rid of ants, because there is soda in every house. Baking powder or quick baking soda scatters in places visited by pests. Soda is safe for humans and pets, so it is most often used for these purposes.

Salt and baking soda can be used to spray paths, but these substances can have an adverse effect on plants (especially salt).

Mustard, Cinnamon, Tobacco

Tobacco, which can be bought at a tobacco shop or obtained from cigarettes, will help in the fight against pest. A similar effect has a dry powder of mustard, cinnamon. Tobacco, cinnamon or mustard is sprinkled with places of accumulation of pests, the ground around the trunks of apricot and other trees and shrubs, loved by the pest.

Ant repellent plants

To pests left the garden, it is worth planting plants that can not tolerate these insects around the anthill and on the path of their migration. Ants do not like the following plants:

Also, these insects do not like the smell of tomato leaves. You can rub a little in your hand the tomato leaves obtained during pinching before distributing them in the places of the most frequent walks of unwanted guests so that the aroma is stronger. These pests also do not like the smell of lemon peel, walnut, elderberry, pepper.


Sometimes you have to use chemicals, but only when natural methods fail. To combat insects, they use funds in different forms: granules, aerosol or food poison.

Spray drugs primarily affect working insects, this procedure will not destroy the entire nest, but only reduce the number of pests. It is better to use spraying when there are few pests. Aerosol preparations are used to control insects that are in motion. This is the fastest way, acting directly on moving ants.

Another element of pest control is the use of food poison, which is characterized by slow insecticidal activity. These agents contain poisons for contact and the stomach, but have an attractive smell and taste for ants. Working insects spread it inside the nest, feed the larvae and the «queen» laying eggs, this will destroy the nest.

Poisons penetrating insect nests. Recommended preparations — Muratox, Anteater.

Other drugs contain hormones (methoprene, pyriproxyphene) that cause infertility in ants. Such agents (Farorid, Bioprene, Lafarex) act more slowly than contact drugs, but after a while they cause the death of the colonies.

To get rid of ants, you need to destroy aphids by applying a chemical spray with a suitable preparation. The aphid gives the ants sweet honey dew, and when we deprive them of a source of food, the ants may themselves leave the garden.

Below are considered in detail the most effective chemicals from ants in the garden and greenhouse.

Contact insecticide. Causes paralysis in insects, and then death. Available in the form of a liquid packaged in 1 ml ampoule. Anteater can be used to get rid of red garden ants and blacks. The period of protective action lasts for 3 weeks.

An effective remedy for garden ants of various types. The main active ingredient is diazonin. Available in the form of bait completely ready for use. It can be used on all types of vegetable and ornamental crops. Subject to the conditions of use, Muravyin is completely safe for humans and warm-blooded animals.

Organophosphorus insecticide. It can be used to kill a range of pests, including all types of ants. Karbofos is available in powder form. Before use, it must be diluted with water. The exact dosage is indicated on the back of the package.

Available in the form of an insecticidal gel packaged in syringes. The drug can be used to process greenhouses. The main advantages of Taracide:

  1. high efficiency,
  2. easy application in hard to reach places.

After use, insects begin to die within 3 hours, the period of protective action lasts for a month.

Clean house

Under this brand, various insecticides are released.

A potent insecticide in powder form. Used to destroy:

The period of protective action lasts for a month. Subject to the conditions of use, Clean House is not harmful to humans and pets. To destroy ants, the powder is applied to the places of their accumulation and movement. The average consumption rate is about 5 grams per 1 square meter.

Under the brand name Clean House, traps are also produced. The bait in them is located inside a plastic container, which is much better than if it was available for pets. To destroy ants, a trap is placed on ant paths. Insects, getting inside, eat the bait, and then die within 2-3 days. The period of protective action of the traps is 2 months.

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Thiamethoxam based insecticide. It can be issued in the form of:

Fas is effective against all types of ants, bugs, cockroaches. To destroy pests, a thin layer of powder is applied to the places of accumulation and movement of pests.

Attention! Fas is toxic. When working with the drug, gloves and a respirator must be used.

The average consumption rate of Fas powder is about 2 grams per 1 square meter.

Insecticide used to kill the following insects:

  • all kinds of ants,
  • flea
  • basement mosquito larvae.

The main active ingredient is diazinon. Before use, a working solution is prepared on the basis of the concentrate. The exact dosage for dilution is indicated on the packaging or attached annotation. The solution sprayed the places of movement of ants, it is also used to water the anthill.

In addition to the above, based on Muratox, you can prepare bait. To do this, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of sugar are dissolved in half a glass of water. To the resulting mixture add 1-2 ml of the drug. The bait is poured into small plastic containers, which are placed in the places of movement of the ants.

Dr. Klaus

The brand produces a whole line of insecticidal agents with a wide spectrum of action in the form of:

Each remedy is effective against:

Dosages and methods of use are described in detail on the packages. When working with drugs, Dr. Klaus must observe safety measures and personal hygiene.

Active food bait in powder form. Allows you to quickly get rid of garden, house and forest ants in the country. The way you use Delica is extremely simple. Granules scatter in places of accumulation of insects. When used indoors for the convenience of subsequent cleaning, they can be placed on small substrates. When processing hard-to-reach spots on the basis of powder, a solution is prepared at the rate of 125 grams of the product per 6 liters of water. The resulting mixture is sprayed with an anthill, insect-infected structures, fruit tree trunks.

One of the cheapest and most affordable means. Available in the form of chalk or pencil. The drug has a contact effect. Running along the drawn lines, insects inhale insecticide particles and die. Part of the chalk Mashenka sticks to the paws and enters the anthill, which also contributes to the destruction.

Fipronil insecticide. Due to the good residual activity, the Raptor acts after 8 hours, retaining its properties for 5 weeks. For greater efficiency, an attractant that attracts ants is included in the composition of the drug. If necessary, the product can be used in dry and dissolved form.

Gel Brownie is used to destroy garden and domestic ants, cockroaches. For ease of use, the product is packaged in plastic syringe tubes. The main active ingredient is fipronil, which causes paralysis and death of insects. The preparation is applied easily, a small amount of the gel is squeezed out in drops in the form of dashed lines at the places of accumulation of insects.

Ultrasonic repeller

If it is impossible to use chemicals to combat ants, you can use a special ultrasonic repeller. The principle of operation of the device is to generate high-frequency ultrasonic waves. The human ear does not perceive them, and for ants they are extremely unpleasant. The repeller does not kill insects, it only repels. Therefore, pests can move to the other end of the site, where they still have to be destroyed.

Safety precautions

When using all types of drugs or folk remedies, you must always remember the safety rules:

  1. When carrying out treatments it is necessary to use protective gloves, if necessary — a respirator.
  2. During work, you can not eat food, drinks.
  3. Bait should be placed in places protected from children, pets.
  4. When preparing solutions, do not use dishes used for food purposes.
  5. All spraying and processing are carried out only in dry, calm weather.
  6. At the end of the work, hands should be washed thoroughly, clothes and shoes should be washed.
  7. You should always carefully read the labels and recommendations of the manufacturer, observe the specified waiting period, in which you should refrain from contact with the treated surface. After the use of insecticides, it is necessary to strictly observe the terms for entering manual work.

Compliance with the above rules will help to avoid poisoning and other unwanted side effects.

Attention! Any chemicals used in the garden can affect our immediate surroundings. Their use must be taken into account, especially when children and animals (dogs, cats) live in the house. Chemicals also affect crops (vegetables, fruits) and other insects (for example, beneficial pollinators — bees).

Ants are one of the most common garden pests. Without timely processing, their colonies quickly spread over the site, causing serious damage to various crops.


How to get rid of ants in a greenhouse — chemicals, physical methods, folk remedies

To all the lovely people,

Here is an article about Ants that some of you may find helpful. I seldom have ant problems except for in my worm boxes occasionally. I add moisture to them and the ants go away. This spring we have noticed ants outside around the house and at church inside the kitchen. Please write if you have any questions.

Get Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden

Getting rid of ants in the garden has to be one of the most popular questions that I have personally received in many emails and posts on the vegetable gardening Facebook page. I probably should have answered how to get rid of ants a while ago, but alas I have not created any blog post to date on the topic, so here are some remedies from the research I have conducted. What makes this topic tough is that not all remedies work, and with over 12,000 species of ants, not all ants are technically bad for your home vegetable garden. So here are some home remedies that you can give a try. The first idea is one of my own that I read years ago and that is to use cornmeal. The upside to this method is that you will reduce the ant population, cornmeal is safe for your plants, and it is fairly inexpensive and widely available at any supermarket. The downside to this method, is that it takes a lot of applications to start seeing results and you may not wipe out the colony, which is probably what you are shooting for here. Another example of a good ant fighting method that is safe for plants, is direct spraying with a vinegar and water mixture. Equal parts will do. I have not tried this method personally as I like the cornmeal method, but the idea here is that the low pH of the vinegar is not good for the ants and it will kill them.

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Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ants

Although there is controversy concerning the efficacy of salt in ant control, folk wisdom has it that a line of salt on the ground forms an ant barrier, and a spray made by dissolving salt in water kills the insects. These claims are supported by experience, but salt isn’t the only inexpensive, readily available substance you can use for your ant problem — and it isn’t the best. However, in a pinch, a pinch of salt — along with good cleaning practices — could eliminate your ant problem.

A Line in the Sand

If you’ve ever put salt on an open wound, you’ll know how ants probably feel when they walk on salty ground. They prefer not to do it, which means that spreading a line of salt along walls, walkways and countertops may be enough to make them turn around and go away. If the ants are hungry and food is scarce, however, they may be willing to endure a bit of pain to get the tasty treats they sense are just beyond the barrier. Making the line wider may discourage even hungry ants.

It’s worth noting that some ants are actually attracted to salt. A study sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the Amazon Conservation Association found that plant-eating ants that live more than 60 miles from the sea actually prefer salty snacks to sweet ones. This isn’t true of carnivorous ants, but it goes to show that salt isn’t always a deterrent.

A Saltwater Spray

When recommending salt as an ant control measure, many home experts suggest mixing up a strong salt solution and spraying it directly on the ants. Salt is a desiccant, and it dries out the exoskeletons of the insects, thereby killing them. The problem with this approach is that you have to use a lot it it, and salt corrodes any surface in the house on which it collects. It tarnishes wall paint, floor finishes and metal fixtures. It isn’t great for the lawn or garden either, and might kill sensitive grass and plants. For all that, you’ll probably end up killing only some www.youtube.com=»» watch?v=»-PlZxVl0U40″»> of the ants you spray, and the ants you don’t spray behind the wall and in the colony itself will be unaffected.

Know Your Ants

The key to effective ant control, according to a pest control expert, is to identify the ants invading your home so you can eliminate them with a species-specific spray, powder or bait. The ants you see could belong to any one of almost 20 species that live in North America. Most are attracted to sweets, but some, like fire, pharaoh, pyramid and thief ants, prefer oily foods and fats. Knowing the ants’ feeding behavior helps you devise strategies for attracting them so you can bait them or kill them en masse with an insecticide.

The internet has many resources and catalogues to help you identify ants. For example, you can find a useful identification guide at FMC Professional Solutions. Beside a catalogue, the only other things you need to make a positive identification are a living specimen and a magnifying glass.

Better Than Salt

If you want to create a line in the sand the ants won’t cross, you don’t need salt — you can make an effective one using garden-grade diatomaceous earth. This white powder, composed of granulated seashells, is harmless to pets, children and plants, but it lacerates the exoskeletons of ants that walk on it, and it kills them. Ants avoid DE even more than they avoid salt.

If sugar-loving ants have frustrated you to the point of a vendetta, get your revenge by mixing powdered sugar (not granulated, which is too coarse for them to eat) and baking soda in a 1-to-1 ratio; spread it in lines around trails or swarms. If the ants take the bait, the baking soda will create gas inside their bodies that they can’t eliminate. If ants can feel pain, they will die painfully.

Other Management Strategies

Ant control experts like Randy Pryor recommend baiting as the most effective long-term strategy for ant control. The lethal ingredient in many ant baits is boric acid, which has low toxicity for humans and pets. It must be mixed in a sugary or oily paste or liquid — depending on the ants — in a 5 percent or lower concentration to work properly. At that concentration, ants stay alive long enough to feed the bait to the colony and kill it. You can buy boric acid baits premixed, or you can make your own with store-bought boric acid.

For short term relief, use orange oil insect spray. This product contains d-Limonene, or orange peel extract, which suffocates the ants on contact. Moreover, the citrus odor acts as a repellent, keeping the ants away for several days. Orange oil is safe to use around food, pets and children.


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