How to Destroy Ant Hills: The Best Ways to Remove Ant Hills from Your Lawn and Garden
While the underground tunnels that ants build aerate the soil and promote moisture penetration, the piles of earth that the ants shift onto the surface can be a nuisance. Besides detracting from your lawn’s aesthetic appeal, these hills inhibit the growth of plants, interfere with mowing, and can result in indoor ant infestations.
So how do you eliminate them? This article will equip you with all the information you need on how to get rid of ant hills: a variety of both chemical and natural solutions. Read on to learn more and then choose what will work best for your home.
Why Do I Have Ant Hills in My Yard?
When looking for a way to destroy ant hills, it’s good to have some basic understanding of the makeup of the hills themselves. Contrary to popular belief, the ants don’t usually live in the mounds you see in your yard.
Ants build a network of tunnels and chambers deep into the ground to shelter their colonies and store food. As they dig, they carry the displaced soil particles out of the burrows. The mound of dirt you see above the ground is the entrance and exit to an underground ant colony.
Flattening out an ant mound usually results in another one popping up after a few days. That’s because the ants will start rebuilding shortly afterward.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills
The best way to kill ant hills is by wiping out the whole colony. For this to happen, you’ll need to kill the queen ants, who usually reside two to three feet below the ground.
Ant nests can last for many years, with worker ants excavating it, fighting off any predators, and feeding their queen and larvae. Don’t allow the nests to give you endless grief by using one of the solutions below.
1. How to remove ant hills in your garden
If you have a garden, it’s important that you know how to get rid of ant hills without harming your vegetables. Many products that are available for killing ants outdoors are not suitable for garden use.
So what’s the best way to remove ant mounds in your garden?
- Use boric acid and sugar
Add a tablespoon of boric acid to a cup of sugar and mix them into a paste. Drop some of this paste near the ant hills, and anywhere else you see ants. The ants will take the poisoned sugar back to their queen, which will eliminate the entire colony.
- Use diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth can be safely used in food crop gardens. Sprinkle it on ant hills and around plants. This chalk-like powder will bind to the exoskeleton and spiracles of the ants, fatally dehydrating them in a couple of hours.
Are you looking for an ant repellent? Read this article to find out how to repel these unwanted visitors.
2. How to eliminate ant hills in your grass and lawn
Ant hills can mar your lawn, regardless of how well manicured it is. Apart from being an eyesore, they can negatively affect your lawn in several other ways:
- They may cause grass roots to be exposed. Some individual grass plants can die as a result.
- They can suffocate the surrounding grass plants.
- They can make your lawn look uneven.
You can use baits or outdoor pesticides to get rid of ant hills in your lawn:
- Ant baits
A sure way to destroy ant hills without killing grass is using store-bought ant baits. They’ll kill the ants without bombing the whole lawn with harmful chemicals.
How to use: Station the bait near the ant hill. The ants will chow down on it and take it back to their shelter for storage or unknowingly because it has stuck to their bodies. The slow-acting poison will spread throughout the colony. Once ant activity ceases, you can remove the dormant hill.
Downside: You’ll need to keep replacing the baits as well as a lot of patience before seeing the expected results.
- Outdoor insecticides
One of the most effective ways of eliminating ant hills is spot treating them with insecticides such as drench or dust containing deltamethrin or bendiocarb. If you have a large-scale ant problem, use a lawn insect killer that has bifenthrin as its active ingredient.
How to use: Start by raking the ant hill out and even to the ground level then applying the insecticide on the area. If you’re using ant dust, be sure to use enough water to hold it in place. Too much water will wash the dust away.
What are the Best Ways
The best ant killers don’t necessarily have to be chemical based. Organic killers are also efficient at eradicating ant colonies, and they do so without harming humans, animals, and the environment.
With the many rumors floating online, you can easily waste your time on an ant hill solution that doesn’t work. For instance, some sources describe coffee grounds as an excellent organic ant hill killer. Nothing could be further from the truth. While they block the entryways to the nests, they don’t kill the ants on contact.
Separate fact from fiction by learning about the best ant killer for your home here.
Is there a natural way to destroy ant hills?
There are several natural substances and deterrents that you can use to deal with your outdoor ant problem. They offer the least expensive method of destroying ant hills.
Let’s find out what these natural solutions are:
- Carbonated water
The carbon dioxide in carbonated water displaces the oxygen in the ant nest. This suffocates the lower levels of the nest, killing the queen.
Depending on how deep the nest runs, you may have to pour a liter of the water or more over the hill.
- Pipe tobacco and water
An excellent way of destroying ant colonies is using nicotine-infused water. The same pipe tobacco that can harm your health can also affect ants. It can quickly eliminate a colony.
Soak the tobacco overnight. Discard the wet tobacco in the morning and pour the liquid over the ant hills.
Effective homemade ant hill killers
Some ant hill killers consist of ingredients that are sitting in your cupboard right now. These natural remedies are not only easy to make but also non-toxic.
Are you in need of a suitable homemade ant killer? Here are a few that are worth trying out.
- Cornmeal. Sprinkle it near the ant hills. The ants will eat it though they are incapable of digesting it. As a result, they’ll start dying out.
- White vinegar. Pour a quart of white vinegar that has a 5 percent concentration on ant mounds and holes. The acid in it will disrupt the ants’ communication lines and scent lines as well as kill them on contact. You can repeat this twice or thrice to kill the entire colony.
- Black pepper. The flavor and smell of black pepper repel ants. Crush black pepper and spread it around the hills. Keep spreading it regularly for a week to eliminate the ants.
Killing ant hills with boiling water and Borax: Is it effective?
Pouring boiling water over an ant hill can kill a lot of ants. The high temperature is likely to weaken the infrastructure of the nest. Depending on the size of the kettle and ant colony, you may have to make two or three trips to the kitchen.
The problem with hot water is that it may not reach the lowest tunnels. The ants at the bottom will also have enough time to flee the nest, so you may not get rid of the whole colony.
Mix soap with boiling water then pour the mixture generously on the ant hill. Do this at least three times every day.
Borax is considered as one of the most effective ant hill killers. You can sprinkle it over an ant mound in powder form.
You can also mix it with a sugar solution and spray the mixture around the ant hill. The ants will be attracted to the sugar. They will take the mixture to their nest. The Borax will eliminate the entire ant colony.
Take extra care not to pour Borax on your lawn because it will kill the grass. You should also keep it away from children and pets because it’s harmful if ingested.
Best Selling Products to Remove Ant Hills
The many ant killers available can make it difficult for you to get one that fits your needs. We’ve gone the extra mile for you and compiled some of the most effective products available. These products don’t just target individual ants but also the queen ants and the entire hive population.
- TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits – 6 Pack
Where to buy: www.terro.com
This sweet liquid bait acts slow enough to allow the ants to take it to their nest and share with the rest of the colony. The result is death to thousands of these unwanted neighbors.
- Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth
Where to buy: on Amazon
This diatomaceous earth-based powder is both safe and effective. It kills ants by ingestion or dehydration. It can also kill other pests such as cockroaches, bedbugs, and earwigs. You can use it both indoors and outdoors.
Ant hills can be such a handful. Now that you know the natural and store-bought solutions you can use, you can deal with those mounds squarely and enjoy a new anthill-free life.
You can find further details of Ants Control here.
I Have huge ant mounds in an open area in the woods on my property in Western Maine, but not hear my house. They have been there for 20 years or longer ( I am told) getting bigger every year. There are several mounds that are giant elongated oval shaped and crawling with small red ants. It is very unsightly and nasty looking. How do I get rid of them.
The best way I have found to get rid of ant hills is this.
Get a small diameter piece of hollow metal rod or pipe that is at least 5 feet long. You want 1/2 inch or smaller, preferably 1/4 inch.. Hammer one end flat and shut and then bend a small amount of that flat part over onto itself. This forms a strong thin “point” that can be driven into the ground easily, without allowing anything in or out.
Drill small holes in the tube, but not through both sides. Just one side. Make sure the holes are an inch apart, and facing in as many different directions as possible. Start drilling them near the bottom, and drill them one per inch until you have drilled three feet up from the flattened end.
Get a funnel that is made of metal, which fits into the top of the pipe or hollow rod.
Push the rod down into the anthill until you stop feeling it go in easily. Usually this will be 2-3 feet down. If ants get on it before you can finish pushing it down, wait until they calm down again, and continue pushing until the above takes place. Make sure that at least three feet of pipe is in the ground, so you can have all the holes you drilled below ground.
Now place the funnel on the pipe and pour your choice of ant killers into it. I use a gallon of boiling water, which usually works to kill the entire mound (fire ants) in one fell swoop. Some ant nests may be too big for this to work if you only do it once; if that is the case, then repeat the procedure again in different locations until the mound is dead.
I recommend boiling water because it is being poured directly into the earth and will not act as a toxin, which could get into ground or drinking water. In a few minutes, the heat will have dissipated and it will just be wet earth.
This method works really well, and is re-usable and very inexpensive.