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While we support preserving nature’s balance, large ant hills in your yard can really spoil your outdoor activities. Ants play a crucial role in our ecosystem but can become a nuisance when overpopulating areas like gardens and lawns.

Whether you’re facing one or two ant nests or an entire invasion, let’s explore the most effective methods for eliminating these ant hills from your yard.

Soapy Water

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Like many small insects, ants can be killed on contact with soapy water. It also breaks down their scent trails, making it harder for them to navigate and find food. To use soapy water to get rid of ant hills, mix a few tablespoons of organic dish soap with water. Spray the solution onto the ant hill or pour it directly into the nest to reach deeper parts.

Digging

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Ants spend a lot of time and effort building their elaborate nests and will not stay in a location where they are regularly disturbed.

Take a shovel and carefully dig up the center of the ant hill, moving it to a more remote area of your yard. The advantage of this method is that the ants are not killed but simply persuaded to move to a less troublesome location. 

Orange Peels

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Orange peels contain a compound called d-limonene, which is toxic to ants. It disrupts their ability to communicate and can also kill them upon contact. The strong citrus scent of orange peels can also act as a natural repellent.

Fresh orange peels can be placed directly on the ant hill or ground into a paste and spread on the ground. Take care to remove any fleshy parts of the orange that may attract other troublesome insects and pests.

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Vinegar Solution

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Acidic vinegar will kill ants on contact and disrupt the scent trails that ants use to aid navigation. Spray equal parts white vinegar and water directly onto the ant hill and the surrounding area, repeating daily until no more ant activity is seen. Bear in mind that vinegar can also harm plants, so avoid spraying it directly onto your plants or grassy areas.

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Boiling Water

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Take a kettle full of boiling water and carefully pour it directly onto the center of the ant mound, ensuring the nest is thoroughly saturated.

The intense heat of boiling water kills ants instantly and destroys the nest’s internal structure, making it inhospitable to any ants that survive. Larger nests may need boiling water treatments for a few days to eliminate them.

Diatomaceous Earth

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Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized aquatic organisms. The sharp edges of the powder granules damage the exoskeletons of ants, causing them to dehydrate and die. 

To use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants, sprinkle a generous amount around and directly on the ant hill. The powder is less effective when moist so reapply after rain.

Boric Acid

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Boric acid is toxic to ants, poisoning their digestive system and efficiently destroying whole nests. Mix the boric acid powder with a sweetener such as honey to create a bait that can be placed around the entrance to the ant hill.

It is important to remember that boric acid is also toxic to humans and pets, so keep the sweetened bait mixture out of reach of children and animals.

Get Rid of Ants Fast Using This Simple Trick from Your Pantry

Cinnamon

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Ants are repelled and confused by the strong smell of cinnamon and will move their nest elsewhere. Sprinkle cinnamon powder over the top of ant hills and the surrounding area, reapplying regularly, especially after rain. Alternatively, spray water containing a few drops of cinnamon essential oil for a more long-lasting effect.

Lemon Juice

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Lemon juice is a natural ant repellent that disrupts their ability to follow scent trails. As lemon juice is highly acidic, it will also kill ants when in contact with it.

To use, spray a mix of lemon juice and water directly onto the ant hill and surrounding areas. Lemon peel can also be placed at strategic points, such as near doorways and windows, to deter ants.

Cornmeal

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Cornmeal is a natural way to kill ants without the use of pesticides. Ants are attracted to cornmeal and will take it back to their nests as a food source.

However, they cannot digest it properly, and it expands in their stomachs, causing them to die. For best results, sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal around the ant hill and along any visible trails.

Club Soda

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Pouring club soda onto ant hills is an effective way to kill ants and make the next uninhabitable. It works by producing excessive amounts of carbon dioxide deep within the nest, causing the ants to suffocate. This method may need to be repeated several times before it is effective.

Herbs

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Growing strongly-scented herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary, and sage can be an effective way to deter ants from setting up home in your yard. So, once you’ve used one of the natural methods listed above to get rid of existing ant colonies, get planting to prevent their return!

How to Start a Herb Garden from Scratch

Essential Oils

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Essential oils like peppermint and tea tree oil have strong scents that ants find repellent. 

Mix a few drops of essential oil with water and spray the solution around the ant hill and along any visible ant trails. Cotton balls soaked in essential oils can also be placed around the nest or near doorways and windows.

Garlic

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Ants detest the smell of garlic and will quickly move on if confronted with this pungent aroma. Place freshly peeled or crushed garlic cloves at the entrance to each ant hill and on any visible trails. Alternatively, make a natural ant deterrent spray by mixing water with garlic puree for long-lasting results.

How to Grow Garlic: A Year’s Supply

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