Although ants are not dangerous insects, these pests can cause significant cosmetic damage and ruin the health of your lawn. Lawn dwelling ants do not usually sting, but some ant species can undermine the grass roots, causing large bald patches in your lawn.
It is definitely a good idea to get rid of ants in your lawn before they become a problem and its always better to use natural methods.
Ants are colony insects that build complex labyrinths in the grass root system. Also, their hill building often results in ugly dirt mounds all over your lawn. Moreover, the anthills hid in tall grass are dangerous for mower blades, and people who like to walk around with bare feet.
How to get rid of ants in lawn naturally? Ants prefer settling in a dry undisturbed area. Therefore, regular watering and raking of your lawn is the best way to remove them naturally before they get a chance to establish themselves.
Several other ant control methods may help you to get rid of these insects. Read on to find out more about why you have ants and how to get rid of them.
Why Do You Have Ants In Your Lawn?
There are many reasons you may have ended up with an infestation of ants on your lawn and luckily that means there are many different options you can use to get rid of them naturally.
Ants are predators
Ants are actually a predator in your yard so if they have taken over your lawn and are building ant mounds this may be a signal you have another problem. Ants need to eat food so you may have other bugs in your lawn and that could be what has attracted the ants in the first place.
Ants prefer dry soil
Ants will spend most of their time in tunnels they dig underground, so the little ants you see running around the surface are only the tip of the iceberg or ant mount so to speak. It is a whole lot easier for ants to dig tunnels in soil that is dry so ants could be an indication that your lawn either isn’t holding water very well or maybe it is not getting enough water. Check out my sprinkler system article.
Ants eat grass seed not grass
If you have recently applied fresh grass seed to your lawn this could be a reason for a sudden infestation of ants as you have just supplied them with some of their favorite food. This is kind of tricky because if your lawn needs fresh seed there is really no other option than to spread them, if you’re worried about ants maybe be a bit more conservative in your seed application.
Practice Good Lawn Maintenance
It may sound too simple to be effective, but raking out the ant mounds is the first and most helpful step toward removing the ants from your lawn. As was mentioned above, ants like dry, loose soil. So if you do not remove the ant mound on time, it will start to harden, making it harder to remove.
You need to continually disturb the colony and its tunnel network, making your lawn not safe for them to stay. It will be enough to rake out the ant mounds and spread the dirt around a few times a month. And the pests will have to seek a new place for their settlement.
You should also keep your lawn free of any debris like sticks or leaves as these may if they don’t actually attract ants directly attract other bugs that ants like to feast on.
Soapy water is the most common natural way to kill the ants in your lawn. You may find various recipes to make soapy water solutions. Some of them require the use of peppermint oil, vinegar, apple cider, or baking soda.
Still, the two main components remain the same – soap and water. It will be best to use eco-friendly soap, as it is less harmful to the grass. You need to add a tablespoon of the liquid soap to one quart of water to make an effective insecticide spray.
Next, pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Spray your solution on visible ant trails and around their mounds. By touching the soap, ants lose their natural resistance to water.
Moreover, this insecticide spray destroys the chemical trails the insects use for communication. You can also pour this liquid inside the ant mound if you want to stop them from building the anthills.
Chili Or Cayenne Pepper
Both chili and cayenne peppers are a potent tool against ants, and they do not harm the lawn. To get rid of these pests, you will need:
- a whisk and a bowl
- 3 tablespoons of chili or cayenne pepper sauce
- 0.5 teaspoon of liquid dish soap
- 1 quart of water
- a spray bottle
Put the above ingredients to the bowl and mix them using a whisk. When the mixture is uniform, pour it into the spray bottle.
Next, spray the liquid on the anthill and around it. For better results, pour some of it into the ant mound. The soap components and the capsicum element in the pepper are deadly to these insects.
Pepper And Peppermint
Peppermint and black pepper are also effective insecticides. Ants hate those smells, so these plants are excellent natural remedies to get rid of them.
Plant Peppermint in your yard to repel ants and make your garden smell minty fresh. Placing a few peppermint cotton balls near the anthill will also be a great idea. However, it will be better to keep them out of reach of children and pets.
When it comes to getting rid of ants, you cannot do without cinnamon. The ants suffocate to death when they inhale this scent. You have two options to choose from:
- Ground cinnamon – Just sprinkle the powder around anthill openings or on the ants’ path.
- Cinnamon oil – Add one teaspoon of cinnamon oil to the water and mix it thoroughly. Next, spray it on the ants’ trails, nests, and everywhere around your backyard.
The fine particles of baby powder clog the pores in the ants’ exoskeletons called spiracles, depriving them of oxygen. So you can sprinkle it in your garden to get rid of these small pests. You can also use baking soda, as it works well too.
How to use baby powder:
- Step 1 – Find the ants’ trails and where do they go.
- Step 2 – Sprinkle some baby powder in those places.
- Step 3 – Sprinkle the powder directly on the anthills you found in your lawn.
This household product is another natural remedy that helps to eliminate pests. Salt dehydrates the exoskeleton of the ant, making it die from dehydration. You can either sprinkle some salt on the anthill or prepare a strong salt solution.
However, it will be better to avoid spraying too much salty solution over your lawn. Excessive salt can kill your grass and other vegetation, resulting in soil oversalting.
Orange peels are natural, citrus-smelling insecticide. Because of the limonene substance found in orange peels, ants try to avoid this smell, as they cannot stand it. And most people like this scent, which makes this remedy even better.
How to use orange peels as an ant deterrent:
- Step 1 – First, you need to grate some orange peels and sprinkle the grated zest in the affected places.
- Step 2 – Next, you need to make an orange purée by placing three orange peels into a blender and puréeing them with a cup of water. After that, pour the resulting solution over the anthills in your backyard.
Diatomaceous earth is the ground fossilized skeletons of microscopic algae called diatoms.
Diatomaceous earth is a food-grade material and does not harm people but can kill ants when they walk across it.
Moreover, you will not only eliminate these annoying pests but also fertilize your plants, as diatomaceous earth is rich in minerals and nutrients. It contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many other elements.
Diatomaceous earth will be an efficient, affordable solution safe for your pets and kids that allows you to get rid of ants naturally. You will need to sprinkle this substance around anthills and on their trails. Also, pour some diatomaceous earth inside the ant mound.
After penetrating the ant’s waxy layer, the tiny DE particles adsorb the pest’s body moisture. Although the dehydration process is not as fast as it is with salt, the diatomaceous earth will kill the insect. Many homeowners also use it to fight with other pests like fleas, bedbugs, or cockroaches.
However, be careful when choosing the diatomaceous earth. There are two types of this substance. Food-grade DE is safe to use around pets and kids, but you need to avoid the industrial-grade DE, which was designed to be used in pool filters.
The ants’ bodies can’t withstand the acidity of white vinegar, making this household item an indispensable remedy in the fight with these pests. Make a spray by mixing the equal parts of water and white vinegar and spray it on ants’ trails.
You can also pour this mixture inside the ant mound. However, be careful not to kill the grass. The vinegar’s acidity can be harmful to the topsoil of your lawn.
Sugar And Boric Acid
Mix the equal parts of Boric Acid and sugar to form a paste. Next, put this paste near the ant nest and in other areas of your lawn.
The sugar sweetness attracts the insects to it. They take this mixture back to their nests as food for other members of the colony, and the Boric Acid in the paste kills them all.
Nevertheless, you need to carefully prepare the paste. If you add too much Boric Acid, you will not achieve the needed result as it will kill the first ant before getting to the nest. On the other hand, if the Boric Acid concentration is too small, you will not kill any ants.
Olive Oil And Dishwashing Liquid
Mixing dishwashing liquid with olive oil and spraying the pests with it may also give good results. The mixture penetrates the insect’s exoskeleton suffocating it to death.
Still, this method has some disadvantages. It takes a while to work, and if you use too concentrated detergent, you may end up bleaching your lawn or making it faded.
Pouring boiling water into the anthill is not the most efficient way to get rid of ants in your lawn. But still, it is worth trying it.
Locate all the entrances to the anthill and pour boiling water into them. The high temperature immediately kills most ants inside it. Still, even though many anthills seem to be small, most of them are home to several colonies.
This method also has some disadvantages.
- Hot water can burn the grass, turning it to brown.
- Using boiling water may result in wet swampy areas in your backyard.
- It usually takes numerous attempts to notice success.
- Hot water will not kill off all the ants in the colony because of the significant depth of the anthills.
The easiest way to get rid of ants from your yard is to carry out a good lawn maintenance routine in the first place.
The simple steps you can take before your lawn becomes an attractive place for ants to make their home is the most natural way to get rid of the ants before they arrive or if they have arrived to get rid of them before they become a problem.
You should keep your lawn in a nice clean and fresh condition, this means simply keeping it clear of any debris or excessive organic matter that can attract ants and also cutting it when needed and making sure it doesn’t get too dry underneath.
As simple as the solutions on this page may make it sound to get rid of ants it can actually be a bit of a nightmare especially if you don’t act quickly and that’s why I say it’s better to deter them than have to figure out how to get rid of these determined little insects.
As you see, there are plenty of ways to get rid of ants in your lawn naturally. Some of them are more effective, others less. All of them have their advantages and drawbacks.
So, choose the most suitable method for you and remove these annoying pests from your backyard!
I hope you have found some useful information in this How to Get Rid of Ants in Lawn Naturally article and it helps you solve your ant problem, please do have a browse of some other articles.