How To Get Rid Of Ants In The Yard

Ants are a curse and a blessing. If you don’t know how to get rid of ants in the yard, you need to learn. There are many outdoor DIY homemade ant-killers and chemical options available.

When you have ants in your yard, do not wait to get rid of them. Will show you how to remove ants from your outdoor area.

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Ants like to eat grubs, fleas, ticks, and other insects. In many ways, they’re the first line of outdoor defense for your home. Ants fertilize yards and preserve eco-environments.

On the bad side, ants protect aphids and mealybugs that suck the sap out of your plants. Ants also eat sweet food like fruit and vegetables. If you have a garden, it will attract ants.

If you have an indoor ant problem,  check out this guide. You’ll find the answers you need.

The Importance Of Ants

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Active ant colony.

Nobody likes ants, but they serve a purpose. The insects are important to the eco-system. Ants dig tunnels below the soil, allowing oxygen to enter. Without this, plants would die.

Ants carry seeds which help grass and plants grow. These are the plants we need. Without ants, plant-life would perish, and we know how that ends.

Other insects like wasps will avoid ants. Different ant species do not live together. When you find ants in your yard, you’ll notice how they’re the same.

When using a DIY ant yard spray on your lawn, don’t use anything that could harm your children or pets. A child-proof DIY ant-killer would be a three-percent solution of dish soap and water.

Before wishing that ants were wiped off the planet, remember how they benefit the ecosystem. You can get rid of ants in your yard, but don’t go further.

Types Of Ants

Some ants are more harmful than others. Learn which ants you have before you start killing them. Some ants are harmless while others aren’t.

Note: Ants live all over the world. The following are in North America

Argentine Ant

Size: 1.6mm

Lifespan: One year

Color: Light to dark brown

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: Spring To Autumn

Swarm: No

Habitat: Moist soil and under buildings

The Argentine ant is popular in California. The species will push other ants out of your yard. If you do have them, you won’t have to worry about other ant species.

They are born hunters. If they don’t bother you, leave them alone and they will protect your yard.  

Velvety Tree Ant

Often confused with carpenter ants, the velvety tree ant thrives in California and Nevada. As an ant species, they are the fastest and most aggressive. If they are bothered, they will attack.

The ant is named due to its body parts covered in fine hair.

Size: 2.5 – 6 mm.

Lifespan: Males die a few weeks after mating. Worker ants can live up to seven years.

Color: Brown head, red body.

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: Spring

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Trees.

Carpenter Ant

Size: 1/4 to 1/2 in.

Lifespan: 3 to 6 years

Color: Black, sometimes red.

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: Spring

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Moist wood

Carpenter ants thrive at night. They also hunt for food during daylight hours. If they’re not bothering you, then don’t bother them.

Fire Ant

Size: 1/8 to 5/8 in.

Lifespan: Workers live less than six months while queens live up to six years.

Color: Copper brown

Bite or Sting: Sting

Season: Spring To Summer.

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: All soil conditions.

Fire ants are found in the US southern regions. The ant species is the most feared nationwide.

The ants are known to destroy crops and have a mean bite. Fire ants should be removed once they are found.

Leafcutter Ant

Leafcutter ants are big. The ants build large mounds at the colony’s center known as a “towns.” A town has many entry points and covers a large area.

A leafcutter ant can carry 20 times their body weight. The species eats leaves, flowers, and grass. They are the smartest and most complex of all ant types.  

The ants are mainly found in Texas and Louisiana.

Size: 2mm – 10 mm on average. Queens grow up to 30 to 40 mm in length.

Lifespan: Six to ten weeks.

Color: Copper brown.

Bite or Sting: Bite, but not harmful.

Season: Spring to summer.

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Humid conditions.

Pharaoh’s Ant

Size: 2 – 6 mm.

Lifespan: Less than a year.

Color: Yellow-brown, black, or red.

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: All seasons.

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Warm, humid places.

Pharaoh ants can form new colonies when disturbed. So ask an exterminator before trying to get rid of them yourself or you’ll only help them spread. 

Pharaoh’s Ant

Size: 2-6mm

Lifespan: Less than a year

Color: Yellow-brown, black, or red

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: All Seasons

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Warm, humid places

Pharaoh ants form new colonies when bothered. Ask an exterminator before trying to get rid of them or they will spread. 

Sugar Ant

Size: Under 3mm

Lifespan: Up to 15 years.

Color: Orange or black.

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: Spring

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Moist areas where they can find sweet things to eat, which is where they got their name.

Sugar ants separate working classes. Smaller ants work together while the larger, stronger ants work together. Smaller ants bite, but larger ones have a stronger bite.  

Thief Ant

Size: Workers are less than 1mm while queens can be 5mm.

Lifespan: One year

Color: Yellow or brown

Bite or Sting: Sting, used due to their small size.

Season: Summer and Fall

Swarm: No

Habitat: Small cavities or fields.

Thief ants find homes rather than build them, which explains their name. The ants live in small holes in wood, furniture, or underground.

Harvester Ant

Size: Less than half an inch

Lifespan: Up to 20 years, but males die after mating.

Color: Red or orange

Bite or Sting: Both

Season: Summer and Fall

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Holes in grass up to 15 feet deep and 35 feet wide underground.

Harvester ants have small beards. Their facial hair works like feelers on their antennae. 

Black House Ant

Size: 3mm

Lifespan: Up to 30 years.

Color: Black

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: All seasons

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: In walls or standard anthills where food is nearby.

Black house ants live indoors but have outdoor nests. They build their nests next to homes so they can sneak inside. The ants are common, so don’t be alarmed by them.

Odorous House Ant

Size: Less than 1/8 inch.

Lifespan: Less than a year.

Color: Black or brown.

Bite or Sting: Bite

Season: Spring and summer.

Swarm: Yes

Habitat: Indoors or near houses.

Odorous ants get their name from the foul coconut or butter smell they omit when crushed. When you get rid of them, you will need to prevent their odor from spreading.

Getting Rid Of Anthills

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Getting rid of anthills may be all you need to do. You don’t want to get rid of the ants in your yard if they’re not hurting anything.

Raking

One of the easiest and safest ways to wipe out an anthill is with a rake. This will destroy their home and leave the ants without an entry point.

If you do this once a week when the weather permits, it may take care of your ant problem. 

Flooding

Queen ants lay thousands of eggs daily. Ant mounds are rebuilt faster than you can rake them down. A safe method is to get rid of an anthill is with boiling water.

This may seem cruel, but it’s a faster. After pouring the water down the anthill, rake it so the ants can’t escape. 

One of the easiest, safest, and most effective ways to get rid of anthills is to rake them. This will destroy their home and leave them without a valid entry point. If you do this about once a week when the weather permits, it may take care of the problem altogether. 

Getting Rid Of Widespread Ants

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If flooding anthills doesn’t work, you may need to spray the entire mound. Any of these mixtures can be poured down anthills. When that fails, spray your entire yard.

Safer mixtures can be used. Others will need to be sprayed on ant trails and mounds. Allow the mix to dry before you let your pets or kids play in your yard.

Soapy Water

Soapy water is a safe ant-killer. Mix liquid soap with water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it along trails and in the general area that ants are found.

The DIY remedy works best when sprayed on ants. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is the most common over-the-counter ant killer. All you do is sprinkle it over an ant path. When the powder reaches them, they will dry out and dehydrate.

It’s also harmless to kids and pets. You won’t have to worry if they’re exposed to it.

Vinegar

Mix equal parts water with vinegar and spray like you would any insecticide. Be careful, too much vinegar can kill nearby plants and grass. It works best when poured over anthills or sprayed on the ants. 

Red Pepper

Red pepper powder is a common DIY ant-killer. Sprinkle pepper on your anthills and watch them dry out. The pepper works faster than most powders due its strong nature.

Cinnamon, Preferably Oil

Cinnamon is a quick an ant-killer. Add a few dashes of it in a water bottle. Spray your yard ant trails with the water mix. Do not get carried away and spray your garden or lawn.

Baby Powder

Baby powder works like diatomaceous earth. For safety, talcum-free baby powder is your best option.  

Saltwater

If you’re in a hurry, a simple saltwater solution may do the trick. Don’t use too much on your plants as it will dry them out. Use it in the areas where needed.

Olive Or Canola Oil

Olive or canola oil are effective DIY homemade ant-killers. The oil clogs the airways in an ant’s exoskeleton until they can’t breathe.

Mix a tablespoon of oil and liquid soap with a quart of water. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and fire away.

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When To Call A Professional

If you can’t get rid of your ants with a DIY method, call a pro. An exterminator can wipe out yard ants better than anyone. They use pesticides and natural remedies.  

A pro will know which chemicals are safe and can teach you about them. Before they leave, you will know how to tackle a yard ant problem should the ants return. Speak with a professional first regardless of how big or small your ant problem is.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What are some homemade DIY remedies to get rid of ant colonies in a yard? 

A popular homemade ant-killer is soapy water. All you need is liquid dishwasher soap and boiling water. The mix ratio should be 1:4. Pour the hot soapy water down the ant’s nest hole. Repeat three times daily.

Apple cider vinegar is a cheap DIY ant-killer solution. All you do is pour vinegar in the ant’s nest hole and surrounding area. Repeat daily for five days.

Lemon eucalyptus tree oil is another natural ant repellent.

Nematodes are super tiny worms that devour ants. The micro-worms only eat ants and ignore other insects. They will not hurt ladybugs or dragonflies.

What are some pet-safe outdoor ant killer pesticides?

You want to make sure your pets remain safe when fighting yard ants. Biodegradable ant-killers will not harm dogs or cats. It’s also best to use an all-purpose active ingredient spray.

Some pesticides are harmful when wet but are safer when dry. If you use diatomaceous earth, check to see if “food grade” is on the label. This will also protect your pets.

Indoxacarb is a low-toxin pesticide. It is the chemical ingredient used for ant-bait stations. the house. Also, with outdoor pesticides, make sure they say “barrier treatment” on their labels.

When is the best time of the day to kill ants?

The best time to kill ants is in the morning or before sundown. Calm weather conditions are ideal because you want to prevent drift. If you use outdoor insecticides, they will last for six weeks.

Can humans eat ants?

Ants are rich in protein. It would need to kill thousands of ants to enjoy their health benefits. Health experts have said that 100 grams of red ants would have 14 grams of protein.

Red ants are higher in protein than eggs, low in carbs, and have iron.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In The Yard Conclusion

The goal is not to kill every ant in your hard. You want to get rid of the ant mounds. Ants like dry soil in quiet, low traffic areas.

If you keep your lawn cut and your garden soil soft, you won’t have to worry about giant ant mounds. For yard ant problems, use a DIY homemade remedy. If that doesn’t work, call a pro.

When you remove ants from your yard, don’t overdo it. You may not like ants, but you can’t live without them.