How to Get Rid of Ants Outside Permanently: Proven Methods and Prevention Tips

How to Get Rid of Ants Outside Permanently?

To get rid of ants outside permanently, it’s important to first locate the source of the ant nests.

Check for damaged or wet wood, tree stumps, wood piles, damaged trees, old patio furniture, and outdoor structures as potential nesting sites.

Once found, you can pour boiling water over the ant hill or use an outdoor insecticide to spot treat the nest.

Maintaining a well-kept yard by trimming branches, bushes, or shrubs that touch your house and cleaning up food crumbs is also crucial.

Additionally, seal cracks and crevices in doors and windows using caulk, store food in airtight containers, and regularly clean countertops, floors, cabinets, and pantries to eliminate ant attractants.

If the infestation persists, it’s recommended to call in an expert to identify the ant species and properly exterminate them, as ant colonies can be extensive and contain hundreds or thousands of members.

Key Points:

  • Locate the source of ant nests by checking for potential nesting sites
  • Use boiling water or outdoor insecticide to treat the ant nests found
  • Maintain a well-kept yard by trimming branches and cleaning up food crumbs
  • Seal cracks and crevices, store food in airtight containers, and regularly clean to eliminate ant attractants
  • Call in an expert if the infestation persists
  • Ant colonies can be extensive, containing hundreds or thousands of members


Did You Know?

1. Fire ants, a common type of ant found outside, were accidentally introduced to the United States in the 1930s from South America via the port of Mobile, Alabama.

2. The males of some ant species are born without wings and are often referred to as “drones.” Their primary purpose is to mate with the queen and they typically die shortly after fulfilling their reproductive role.

3. Ants are capable of carrying objects many times their own body weight, with some species able to lift objects up to 50 times heavier than themselves. This strength is primarily due to their muscular legs and an adhesive substance produced by their feet.

4. Certain species of ants engage in “farming” by cultivating fungus as a food source. They collect leaves, bring them back to their nests, and then use their waste to fertilize the growing fungus, creating a symbiotic relationship.

5. Ants communicate through the use of chemical signals called pheromones. They leave these chemical trails as they move, allowing other ants to follow and locate food sources, create organized foraging patterns, and even navigate back to their nests.

Locating And Identifying Ant Nests

To effectively eliminate ants outside, it is essential to first locate and identify their nests. Ant nests can be found in various areas around your yard or along your home’s foundation. Here are some common places where ant nests may be located:

  • Damaged or Wet Wood: Ants are attracted to damaged or wet wood, such as decaying tree stumps, wood piles, or damaged trees. Inspect these areas for signs of ant activity.

  • Old Patio Furniture and Outdoor Structures: Ants may also establish nests in old patio furniture or outdoor structures that provide shelter and protection.

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Once you have identified the source of ant nests, you can proceed with the eradication process.

Effective Techniques For Treating Ant Nests

To permanently get rid of ants outside, it is important to target the nest directly. Here are some effective techniques for treating ant nests:

  • Boiling Water: One simple and cost-effective method is to pour boiling water over the ant hill. This can help kill the ants and disrupt their nest. However, be cautious when using boiling water, as it can harm vegetation.

  • Outdoor Insecticides: Another option is to use an outdoor insecticide to spot treat the ant nest. Follow the instructions on the product carefully, as different insecticides have varying application methods.

Remember, it is best to eliminate the ant nest rather than repelling the ants. Ant colonies can extend 2′ to 3′ beneath the surface and another 2′ to 4′ around it, so targeting the source is crucial for long-term success.

  • Target the nest directly
  • Use boiling water or outdoor insecticides
  • Follow instructions carefully

Preventing Ant Infestations Through Yard Maintenance

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping ants out of your yard. By maintaining a well-kept yard, you can deter ants from establishing nests. Here are some yard maintenance tips to prevent ant infestations:

  • Trim Branches, Bushes, or Shrubs: Trim any branches, bushes, or shrubs that touch your house, as they can serve as a bridge for ants to enter your home. Creating a gap between plants and your home’s foundation can discourage ants from entering.

  • Clean Up Food Crumbs: Ants are attracted to food sources, so it is essential to clean up food crumbs promptly. Regularly sweep or vacuum your outdoor areas, especially near eating areas or patio furniture.

  • Store Food Properly: Ants are particularly drawn to sweet substances like honey, maple syrup, and sugar. Store these items in airtight containers or wrap them tightly with foil or plastic wrap to prevent ant invasions.

Taking these steps can significantly reduce the likelihood of ant infestations in your yard.

  • Regularly inspect your yard for signs of ant activity.
  • Seal any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation to prevent ants from entering.
  • Keep outdoor garbage cans sealed tightly to avoid attracting ants.

Tips For Keeping Ants Out Of Your Home

Even with effective outdoor ant control measures, it’s essential to ensure that ants do not find their way into your home. Here are some tips for keeping ants out of your home:

  • Seal Cracks and Exposed Crevices: Inspect your doors and windows for any cracks or exposed crevices, and use caulk to seal them. This helps create a barrier and prevents ants from entering your home.

  • Clean Countertops and Floors: Regularly clean countertops, floors, cabinets, and pantries where crumbs can hide. This helps eliminate potential food sources that attract ants.

  • Properly Store Pet Food: Store pet food in airtight containers and follow proper feeding practices. Leaving pet food out for extended periods can attract ants.

  • Cover Trash Cans: Make sure to cover trash cans, especially in the kitchen. After taking out the garbage, inspect the cans for any residue that may attract ants.

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If despite your efforts, ant infestation persists in your home, consider calling in an expert to identify the ant species and properly exterminate them.

Repelling Ants With Natural Remedies

If you prefer natural remedies to repel ants, several household items can be effective deterrents. Here are some natural remedies to repel ants from entering your home:

  • Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Ground Chalk, and Cornmeal: These substances can be sprinkled around areas where ants typically enter your home. Ants dislike the strong scent and taste, and they will avoid crossing these barriers.

  • White Vinegar: Mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and spraying it along areas where ants enter your home can repel them. Ants are repelled by the strong scent of vinegar.

  • Dried Citrus Peels: Powdered dried citrus peels can be sprinkled in areas where ants enter. The scent of citrus acts as a deterrent for ants.

  • Essential Oils: Peppermint, tea tree, and citrus essential oils can be sprayed around the house or applied onto cotton balls placed in cabinets or pantry areas. These scents repel ants and discourage them from entering your home.

Extra Measures For Dealing With Specific Ant Types

It is important to note that different ant species may require specific treatments. Here are some extra measures for dealing with specific ant types:

  • Carpenter Ants: If you are dealing with large black ants that are around 1/4″ to 1/2″ long, they are likely carpenter ants. Carpenter ants can cause significant damage to homes. If you find carpenter ants indoors, it is strongly recommended to call a pest control expert for professional help. Carpenter ants nest in wood, such as tree trunks, woodpiles, or damp soffits.

  • Fire Ants: Although briefly mentioned in the article, fire ants require specific treatment methods. Fire ant mounds can be treated using granules, dust/powder, or liquid chemical ant killers designed specifically for fire ants. Follow the label instructions carefully for effective eradication.

By following these tips and methods, you can effectively get rid of ants outside permanently and create an ant-free zone for your home and yard. Remember that prevention and early intervention are key to maintaining effective ant control.

  • To deal with carpenter ants, call a pest control expert for professional help.
  • Use granules, dust/powder, or liquid chemical ant killers to treat fire ant mounds.
  • Follow label instructions carefully for effective eradication.

Prevention and early intervention are key to maintaining effective ant control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kills ants outside naturally?

One effective and natural method to kill ants outside is by using diatomaceous earth (DE). DE is a fine powder composed of fossilized remains of diatoms that can dehydrate and kill ants upon contact. Another natural option is boiling water, which can be poured over ant hills or along ant trails to eliminate the ants by thermal shock. Both of these methods are environmentally friendly and can effectively control ant populations in outdoor areas.

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What is the best homemade outdoor ant killer?

A natural and effective homemade ant killer can be made by combining equal parts of vinegar and water. The strong scent of vinegar disrupts the ant’s pheromone trail, preventing them from returning to their entry point. Simply spray this solution directly onto the ants or along their trails to eliminate them and deter future infestations. Additionally, lemon juice can also be effective in repelling ants due to its high acidity, so spraying lemon juice around windows, doors, and other entry points can act as a natural deterrent.

What kills ants forever?

To permanently eliminate ants, a mixture of borax and sugar can be highly effective. Combining equal parts borax and sugar forms an irresistible bait for ants. The sugar acts as an attractant while the borax acts as a slow-acting poison that eventually kills the ant colony. Place the mixture in areas where ants are commonly seen or along their trails, ensuring they have easy access to it. Over time, the ants will carry the bait back to their nests, leading to the eradication of the entire colony.

1. What natural methods can effectively eliminate ants from your outdoor space for good?

One natural method to effectively eliminate ants from your outdoor space for good is by using a mixture of vinegar and water. Create a solution by combining equal parts of vinegar and water, then spray it directly onto ants and their trails. This strong-smelling mixture disrupts their scent trails, making it difficult for them to find their way back and discouraging them from entering your outdoor space. Reapply the solution regularly, especially after rain or watering, to maintain its effectiveness.

Another natural method is using diatomaceous earth. This powder is made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms and acts as a desiccant. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth along ant pathways, entry points, and near their nests. The fine particles penetrate the ants’ exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate and die. Reapply the powder as needed, particularly after rainfall or when it gets wet, to ensure ants remain deterred from your outdoor area.

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