They’re marching one by one, and they’re eating up your favorite plants—they’re ants! Ants are one of the most common pests found in homes and gardens, and they just never quite want to give up once they’ve made a home somewhere.
Luckily, there are plenty of natural ant killers and repellents out there. So if you want to get rid of ants in your yard or home be sure to consider some of the methods below.
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Talcum Powder / Baby Powder / Cornstarch
- Used Coffee Grounds
- Soapy Water
- Clean Up Organic Matter
- Lemon Juice
- Ant Repelling Plants
- Neem Oil
1. Diatomaceous Earth
The best natural ant repeller is diatomaceous earth, not to mention that it's of the most effective pest killers in the world, bar none. This powder cuts into the insect exoskeletons and clogs spiracles, the appendages ants use to breathe. It also happens to be great for nourishing lawns.
All you need to do to use this is to regularly sprinkle it on your lawn (or in your home). Within days, ants will be going away for good—much like most other pests. If you have more than just ants walking around on your lawn, this might be the best choice for you. It’s a universal insect killer.
2. Talcum Powder / Baby Powder / Cornstarch
Are you worried about the drying tendency of DE, or just don’t have any on hand right now? That’s not a problem. Another way to repel and kill ants through spiracle-clogging endeavors is to use other types of fine powders.
You can use these the same way you would DE. Just sprinkle the powder of your choice around the lawn. The powder will do the rest of the work. If you are working with a lawn that’s prone to lots of watering, you may need to sprinkle the powder of your choice on a weekly or even biweekly basis.
3. Used Coffee Grounds
Another great natural ant repellent is coffee grounds. If the best part of waking up for you is Folger’s in your cup, then you’re going to like that cup even more. Once you’ve used the coffee grounds for your morning brew, sprinkle the grounds in areas where ants frequent. Once you’ve used the coffee grounds for your morning brew, sprinkle the grounds in areas where ants frequent.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the smell of the coffee tends to deter ants and also fertilize flowers. If you want to make the most of your coffee, make sure to replace the grounds several times a month.
4. Soapy Water
Soapy water is an easy way to kill ants and also prevent them from coming back. If you’re using it on your lawn, you just need to spray a mixture of a tablespoon of dish soap with a quart of water. If you have ants around your home, this may be one remedy you need to skip.
5. Clean Up Organic Matter
Ants are simple creatures. They like living in logs, broken bits of lumber, and in large piles of leaves. If you have leaves in your yard, rake them up and dispose of them. If you have a batch of firewood in your home, keep it wrapped in plastic and vacuum the surrounding area.
On a similar note, if you have a compost heap, food garden, or trash bin that ants like to frequent, cut ants off from that food supply. Less food means fewer ants. By keeping things binned up, you will make it harder for ants to enjoy life around your home.
6. Lemon Juice
Citrus is a panacea when it comes to cleaning your home. Lemon, lime, and orange juice all disinfects and can help clean up nasty stains. That’s why people adore using it around the home. As it turns out, lemon juice (and virtually anything citrus) also is an effective ant killer and repellent.
To use this, wipe down surfaces with lemon juice or spray a mixture of water and lemon oil in areas where ants tend to populate. If ants plague your compost, then add some orange peels to your heap. You’ll see things clear up sooner rather than later.
7. And Repelling Plants
Did you ever notice how certain scents can make you want to stay away from an area? The same thing can be said for ants. Like most other living creatures, certain smells drive ants away. You can make this happen by planting the right plants in and around your home.
Some of the more common plants known to repel ants include spearmint, mint, citrus trees, garlic, and tansy. If your green thumb doesn’t really exist, then you have another similar option that you can try out. You can also spray diluted peppermint oil or cinnamon oil throughout the area.
8. Neem Oil
Neem oil has gained a solid following as an insect repellent for natural bed bug removal, but it does so much more than just control indoor pests. This oil obtained from the neem tree has a strong odor and a biting acidity that gets rid of most pests almost immediately.
To use neem oil, you will need to load it up into a spray bottle. Then, spray it liberally around your lawn. It will reek for a bit, but it will eventually deter ants and other pests. If you spot anthills near you, you should also pour some down them. Ants will not survive.
It’s worth noting that some animals, particularly dogs, will not do well if they eat grass that’s been coated with neem oil. Do not use this if you have pets in your yard.
Repelling ants is a lot like repelling any other major pest your lawn could face. It’s going to take a little strategy, and it’s also going to take a little research to determine what solution would work best for you. Every lawn (and situation) is going to be a little different.
It can be hard to find a natural ant killer that works, and the same can be said for substances that just dissuade ants from hanging out. Thankfully, there’s never a reason to feel like you need to give up on natural ant repellent use. There are tons to choose from, so if one doesn’t work, use another.