How to Kill Ants Between the Boards of a Wooden Deck

Written by melynda sorrels
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How to Kill Ants Between the Boards of a Wooden Deck
They think you can't reach them in there; won't they be surprised? (Deck de Madeira image by CarlosNeto from

A wooden deck provides you and your family with a way to enjoy your backyard, giving you a comfortable place to set your lawn chairs and barbecue grill. You can enjoy leisurely time outside, thanks to a deck, but if ants have taken up the same notion it can drastically interfere with anybody else enjoying it at all. Hiding between the cracks in the wooden boards, ants seem to almost taunt you with their inaccessible presence. Though they may think they have found the perfect hiding place, they couldn't be more wrong. Eliminating ants from your wooden deck is a very simple task.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Baby powder
  • Baking soda
  • Orange peels
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Garden hose
  • Boric acid
  • Sugar
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic container with lid

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  1. 1

    Create barriers around your doors and windows that lead into your home from the deck with baby powder, baking soda, or a purée of orange peels and water. Ants don't care for these smells and will stay away. This may encourage ants to leave your deck altogether.

  2. 2

    Add a couple of drops of dish soap into a spray bottle of water and saturate ants as you see them to kill them instantly. The spray bottle will allow you to reach them in between the boards where you couldn't otherwise reach them. Keep the spray bottle handy in case you find them trekking across your deck.

  3. 3

    Saturate your deck daily with your garden hose to flush away the ants from between the boards. This also helps to clean away any debris on the deck that they might have been considering as a food source.

  4. 4

    Locate their anthill and pour a pot of very hot water into it. This will kill many ants quickly. Do this as often as you would like, but be sure to at least do it daily until the ants get the message loud and clear to leave.

  5. 5

    Mix a teaspoon of boric acid into 2 cups of warm water and add in 6 tablespoons of salt. Dip cotton balls in the solution and place them in plastic containers with lids making sure to poke holes in the container for the ants to get in. Place these around your deck and when ants take this toxic bait home it will kill them off.

Tips and warnings

  • Mint, lavender, marigolds and tansy are all great to have planted around your deck as ants don't like the smell. Also, wedging cloves of garlic between the boards of your deck will send ants looking for a new place to hang out.
  • If you opt to use a commercial product or pesticide to exterminate the ants, read and follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully as these products aren't safe around children and pets.

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