Ants are one of the most common backyard pests. While spraying the yard with pesticides is one quick and easy way to get rid of ants in the yard, this may not be a good idea if pets or small children use the yard too. Organic home gardeners may also want to avoid pesticides, but also keep an ant-free backyard. There are many natural ways to get rid of ants and keep the yard free of the pests.

Pipe Tobacco

Pipe tobacco is one natural solution to get rid of backyard ants. Soak pipe tobacco in a small bucket of water overnight. Discard the tobacco and carefully pour the water over the ant hill.

Boiling Water

As simple as it sounds, bringing a kettle of water to a boil and immediately pouring the hot water over the ant hill will destroy the hill. This only gets rid of that one individual ant mound and may need to be repeated several times to completely rid the yard of ants. While it won’t kill all of the ants, it will usually encourage the colony to move.

Poisoned Sugar Paste

Another home remedy is to create a poisonous paste that will attract ants. Worker ants will carry it back to the colony and help to spread the poison to the ants in the ant hill. To make the paste, mix one tablespoon of boric acid with one cup of sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Dot small amounts of the paste near ant hills or clusters of ants. The poisoned sugar will soon kill the entire ant colony.

Natural Repellents

There are many common spices and foods that can be used as natural ant repellents. Sprinkling powdered red chili pepper, paprika, or dried peppermint along ant trails and around the outside of the yard is one way to naturally repel ants. Blending up citrus peels and water in the food processor and pouring the solution on the ant hill is another way to naturally repel the ants. Cutting up cloves of garlic and placing them around the yard is another way to keep ants away.

How to Prevent Ants

One way to avoid ants is to avoid planting flowers and fruits that attract aphids, white flies, and mealy bugs. These insects excrete a sugary substance that attracts ants to the yard. Other methods include keeping food waste well contained in the trash and avoid standing pools of water that may draw ants to the yard looking for water.

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