ants on the tree
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How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Garden Without Killing Plants

Ants can be a real nuisance in gardens, not only because they destroy crops and harm plants but also because they possess the capacity for biting. If you have children or pets, ants may even attack them, causing intense pain and suffering as well as ultimately leading to their death.

Natural methods to get rid of ants in your garden without harming plants. Unlike commercial poisons which may be toxic to people and pets, these solutions are safe for everyone in the household.

The initial step in solving any pest issue is recognizing the source. If you observe a large number of ants in your garden, they are likely there because they are actively searching for sap-sucking insects such as aphids, mites, scales, whiteflies or mealybugs to feed off of.

In most cases, this is not a major issue. However, if you find that ants are nesting in your soil and near plant roots, then it is time to take action.

Use a mixture of boric acid and sugar to effectively eliminate ants in your garden. This is one of the safest and most efficient methods for eliminating them from your yard.

ant on the green plant
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Create a paste by mixing boric acid and sugar together, then spread the mixture around ant entrances.

This humane solution to eliminating ants in your yard works on many species, including carpenter ants. The ants will consume the sugar and take it back to their nest.

Another method is to use a bait made of borax. According to the Sonoran Environmental Research Institute, mix 1/2 teaspoon of borax with equal parts honey and sugar before placing in open bottles or jars and placing them around your garden plants for protection.

Ants eating boric acid and sugar will carry the toxic bait back to their nests, eventually killing off the entire colony.

Some ant populations can be resistant to poison, so you may need to repeat this method several times before it becomes fully effective. You could also create your own ant bait by mixing some borax and sugar into bread dough for added effect.

a lot of ants
Photo by Salmen Bejaoui on Unsplash

You could also add some borax and sugar to water before pouring it on your plants, though this could potentially kill the soil. While this is a safer solution than spraying ants directly with poison, it won’t be nearly as fast or efficient a solution.

Add nematodes to the soil as an organic way to control ants in your yard. These microscopic worms hunt and consume ants as well as other pests.

Nematodes introduced into your soil will search for and consume the ants, while they in turn search out another nest to live in.

Eliminate ants from your yard using natural methods if possible. Start with these options, and if none of them work, consider professional pesticides that are safe for people and pets.