Black ants, red ants, fire ants--America's least favorite party crashers can be found everywhere. Knowing how to get rid of ants can be the key to a happy summer. Identifying the type of ant you're dealing with and then taking action are crucial to warding off these pests. Follow this advice to safely prevent ants from taking over your home and garden.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Caulking Guns
- Medicine Droppers
- Black Trash Bags
- Plastic Freezer Bags
- Citrus Fruits
- Tanglefoot Pest Barriers
Determine why they are entering your property and eliminate the food, water and/or housing that they need to survive.
Promptly clean after meals and take all trash out of your home. Know that learning how to get rid of ants involves creating an ant-proof abode.
Move outdoor trash and recycling bins as far from your home as possible.
Tightly wrap and store food set out on kitchen counters.
Refrigerate all perishable food, especially in the summer, when fruits and vegetables may spoil quickly.
Remove pools of standing water. Ants get thirsty too.
Seal up cracks. The least toxic method is 100 percent silicon caulk.
Sprinkle powdered red chili pepper, paprika, dried peppermint or borax on ant trails, in cracks and near entryways to deter them from moving in.
Rid your garden of aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs. These sap-feeding insects excrete "honeydew," a sugary favorite of ants.
Spray or paint sticky barriers made out of tanglefoot products on plants and trees. These barriers prevent ants from climbing up stems and trunks to feed.
Create liquid bait by mixing 1 tsp. boric acid with 2 1/2 fluid oz. corn syrup or honey. Heat until the boric acid dissolves. In an eyedropper, add equal amounts of water and solution to drop in places ants frequent for 2 weeks.
Make a natural repellent of citrus peelings and water in a blender and pour it over the anthill.
Drown out ants by pouring boiling water over the mounds and into the cracks where they dwell. Roughly 3 gallons of water per mound ought to do the trick.
Tips and warnings
- Repeat all of the above as necessary. Ants are hardy creatures, and it's difficult to get rid of them.
- Fire ants are the most notorious of these common pests. Not only do they have a painful bite, they devour gardens and build unsightly mounds that can be up to 2 feet tall. Careful removal by a professional may be the best option.