How To Get Rid Of Ant Hills
No one likes having an ant infestation in their backyard or ant activity in the kitchen, and eliminating a few ants living in your backyard or kitchen is not enough. You have to kill the ant queen to ensure that ants do not return to your lawn or your backyard.
When there are too many ants, workers excavate and create ant mounds. Look no further if you want to remove ant hills in your yard.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about ‘How to get rid of ant hills.’
Let’s get started!
Ant Hills Explained
Ant hills appear when the queen of the colony has mated. Fire ants are the most common ant species to build ant mounds; Carpenter ants do not build ant mounds. As the colony develops, so will the hill size; the worker ants dig vast tunnels to accommodate the ant population.
These hills can have many sizes and can be anywhere in your backyard. The largest supper colony of ants was found in Southern Europe. It contained billions of these pests and stretched over three thousand seven hundred miles!
The composition of the ant mound can vary depending on the species. Some ant hills are challenging, and some are soft. They can be composed of anything from rocks, pine needles, pebbles, tree resin, and sand to branches and soil.
You will never find ants on top of the ant mound; most ant species live in ant nests under the ground. The queen lives in lower chambers. That is because the queen requires the most protection, so it isn’t easy to get to her. Once you eliminate her, you can kill the entire ant colony.
The Formation of Ant Hills
Ants may be tiny, but they have the intellect to build a complex system of tunnels inside the ant hills. Many ant species create these tunnels in the soil, and they drag and excavate the soil and mix sand with tiny sticks to harden the structure and then take it to the surface. When they pile this soil, an ant mound is formed.
Ants use a strategy to create them because the ant hills have a few functions for the ants, which include:
Serves as an entry and exit point to the ants
Protects from predators
Controls the temperature inside the ant hill
The simpler the system of tunnels, the smaller the ant hills will be. A massive ant hill means that the tunnels the ants have built inside are complex and strategic. That is why it can take a while to eliminate ant hills.
Are Ant Hills Deep?
Many wonder if an ant hill is deep and whether various methods can effectively kill the ant problem. Keep in mind that an ant hill is deeper than you think. It can range anywhere from two inches to thirteen feet or more.
Some ant hills are complex and deep. The deepness of the ant hill depends on how long it has existed and the types of ants there. The longer the anthill has existed, the deeper it will be.
It is essential to get rid of an ant hill as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the deeper it will get.
Are Ant Hills Harmful?
Ant hills don’t harm you in any way, but they are a nuisance to have in your yard. That is because big ant colonies can kill the plants around your yard or garden. Remember that an ant hill has such a strong foundation that even rain can’t deter it from its place.
Ants only attack if threatened, so always use caution when eliminating ant hills.
Types Of Ants That Create Ant Hills
The most common ants that create ant hills include:
Allegheny mound ants
Texas leafcutter ants
All these species create complex structures that are foundationally sound and intact. Keep in mind that fire ants are a nuisance to have in the yard. Their ant hills are made from soft earth and don’t have an opening on the top.
Getting Rid of Small Ant Hills with Pesticide
If the ant hill in your yard is small, you can use a pesticide to get rid of it. Use a pesticide that has a residual effect on the lawn so there are no problems for a few months. After the time limit, you will have to treat your backyard once more.
Spray the pesticide at the opening of the ant hill to kill them. However, this method will only be effective when ants are incredibly active. You should also refrain from using liquid pesticides because they are ineffective and don’t reach the queen.
Instead, you should use a powdered or granulated pesticide, as it is effective and offers long-term results. Such a pesticide kills the ants on contact.
Getting Rid of large mounds
If the ant hill is large, then you have a big problem. To get rid of these ant hills, follow this step-by-step guide:
1. Mow the Grass
Mowing the grass will allow you to keep your yard safe while creating a perimeter around the ant hill. Wherever the large ant hill is, make sure you mow the grass around it. Your aim should be to cut the grass as low as possible.
Doing so will allow the ant hill to be visible and keep your grass safe from any nuisance. You will also get to see if any ants try to turn away somewhere else. So, make sure the grass is mowed to the lowest.
2. Use an Insecticide
Apply an insecticide with the active ingredient Cyfluthrin around the ant hill where you cut your grass. Doing this will create a barrier so ants in the colony can’t escape. After that, you should apply the insecticide on top of the ant hill.
It is not a quick process. Once you have applied the insecticide, you must leave it for a few days. If the ant hill is too big, you might need to leave it for a week. That is because you must give the insecticide enough time to reach the queen.
Once it reaches the queen, your plan will be effective. The anthill will eventually collapse when the queen does not exist anymore.
3. Flatten the Ant Hill
If you don’t have a few days or weeks to wait for the insecticide to have its effects, you can start flattening the ant hill to reach the queen yourself. To do this, you can mix an insecticide with soil and sprinkle it in your yard so the ants don’t have a chance to disperse. This will discourage from creating another colony in the same area.
If you see the queen dispersing, all you have to do is kill it, and your job will be done. However, we recommend that you don’t flatten the anthill and instead wait for the insecticide to naturally reach the queen in due time.
How to get rid of Ant Hills naturally
You can always use natural methods if you don’t want to eliminate ant hills through insecticides. Home remedies might take a bit longer to work, and they may not be as effective as using an insecticide. However, you can try and see if it works for you.
Here are the top natural ways to eliminate ant hills:
1. Pour Boiling Water
Yes, killing ants can be as simple as pouring boiling water on them. Take a large pot of hot water and pour it through the opening of the ant hill. The hot water will travel through their tunnels and kill ants on contact.
Keep in mind that the water should be hot enough to kill ants instantly. That is why you need to have boiling water. The hotter the water will be, the more effectively you will get rid of ants. The alternative is to direct the garden hose at the nest for thirty minutes.
2. Create an Ant Bait
You can create ant bait at home to effectively exterminate ants. All you need to do to kill ants is mix borax in powder form or other insecticides with a food source like honey, sugar, or peanut butter. The worker ants will carry this bait to the queen.
The queen will ingest the bait, and the entire colony will end. However, you need to place enough bait for the workers to take it back. Place as many as possible for the ants to take it back to their queen.
Many people use vinegar as a natural remedy as it kills ants inside ant hills. Keep in mind that it may not be as effective as you think it might be. That is because the vinegar smell is strong, and ants run away from it.
The only way to get rid of ants through this method is to mix water and vinegar and to flood the hill with this mixture. The results may not be as effective as other methods, but you can give them a try.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is known to dry up the external skeleton of the ants, and they eventually die of dehydration. All you have to do is sprinkle it over the ant hill. It will kill many ants, and it might reach the queen too.
Of course, you will have to wait a while to see results since it will take a while for ants to be dehydrated and die. Using this way might not be effective for deep ant hills.
5. Boric Acid
Boric acid is incredibly popular among people because it is one of the most effective natural ways to eliminate ant hills. All you have to do is sprinkle boric acid on the ant hills and the entire lawn, and it will get the job done in no time. Apply Boric acid along ant trails also.
Other ants will be fed as soon as workers collect the bait. The entire ant colony will be eliminated if you reach the queen using this method.
Controlling Ants Inside
If you had an ant hill in your backyard, there might also be ants in your home. That is because many ants invade homes to create colonies.
Try the following:
Baking soda is an effective way to control and eliminate ants inside the home. It is incredibly popular because it is effective—Mix equal parts of powdered sugar to attract ants and baking soda.
After mixing, store it in a shallow container and leave it near the ant trail. They will eat this mixture and die. Baking soda reacts with the acid in their stomach and kills them.
Castile soap is another popular method used by homeowners. It will kill ants that come out to scout, but it will not kill ants back inside the nest. You must make a spray using one quart of water and 1/4th cup of Castile liquid dish soap.
As soon as you see ants, you can spray the soapy water on them, and they will die instantly. That is why it effectively kills the ants you see but not those back in the colony or nest.
Commercial Bait stations
Of course, commercial pest control bait is an excellent way to get rid of worker ants and those back in the nest. We all know that ants love sweet food, which is present in commercial ant baits. Wherever you see ant trails, keep the bait there.
It is also a good idea to keep these commercial baits inside cracks and crevices to target hidden ants. However, you should not use commercial bait in areas children and pets can reach. It might not be safe for them, so you must be careful.
Once you effectively use the commercial bait, the entire colony inside your home will die. It can take a few days or a week to see results from this pest control method, but ants will not bother you again once you do.
Ways to prevent Ants in Your Yard
It is essential to avoid attracting ants into your backyard again. Enclosed bait stations suitable for outdoor use can be placed on the ground, lawn, or near entry points to the home and will continue to kill ants. Secure trash cans and cut back vegetation and trees to prevent ants.
Here are other ways to deter them:
Ants hate the citrus smell. It is too strong for them, and they will not come near a place where there is citrus. You can save peels from lemons, oranges, or grapefruit and keep them in your yard. Spread the peels around by keeping them in various places.
For example, you can keep them at entry points, potted plants, and flower beds to deter ants from coming near. Doing so will protect the beautiful greenery in your yard or garden.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Mint is another smell that ants hate. You can dip cotton balls in peppermint essential oil and keep them in various areas of your yard. It will repel the ants from coming near and keep your garden minty fresh.
You can also utilize this technique indoors to keep ants from entering the kitchen. It is one of the most effective ways to repel ants.
Cinnamon is another fragrance that ants dislike. You can place cinnamon sticks in various places in your yard. You can use cinnamon oil on the sticks to enhance the scent further.
It will amplify the fragrance of cinnamon and deter ants from coming near. Using smell to deter insects is an effective way to keep them out of your home and other places.
That was your complete guide to getting rid of ant hills. Use these ways depending on where the ant infestation is and how massive their presence is. All these ways are tried and tested, so you will not have any issues. If you feel the problem is getting too big, call several top pest control companies for a free quote, they will solve your ant problem in a few hours.
Once you remove the ant hill, you should still take steps to deter ants from making your home their home. It will keep them away, and you can live ant-free.
Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively.