How To Get Rid Of Ant Hills
No one likes having too many ants in their home. However, just getting rid of the ants is not enough. You have to kill their queen to ensure that no ants come again in your yard or garden.
When there are too many ants, they create an ant hill that can be a big problem for you. If you are looking to get rid of ant hills in your home, you are in the right place. Here is everything you need to know.
Ant Hills Explained
Before moving on to the different ways you can utilize to kill ant hills, you need to understand what they are. Ant hills are various mounds of dirt. These hills can have many sizes and can be found anywhere in your yard, garden, or outdoor area.
The composition of the ant hills can also vary depending on the ants. Some ant hills are hard, and some are soft. They can be composed of anything from rocks, pebbles, sand, to branches and soil.
Keep in mind that you will never find ants on top of the ant hill. They live below the surface level, with the queen living on the lowest level. That is because the queen requires the most protection, so it is difficult to get to her. Once you get rid of her, you can kill the entire ant colony in no time.
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. They create these tunnels in the dirt, and they drag and excavate the dirt to the surface level. When they pile this dirt, an ant hill is formed.
Creating an ant hill may seem like a random occurrence to the human eye, but ants use strategy to create them. That is because the ant hills have a few functions to 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 get rid of an enormous ant hill.
Are Ant Hills Deep?
Many people wonder if ant hills are deep and if various methods can kill all the ants effectively. First, keep in mind that an ant hill is deeper than you think. It can range anywhere from two inches to thirteen feet and even more.
Some ant hills are so complex and deep that they resemble cities. The deepness of the ant hill depends on how long it has existed and the types of ants that live there. The longer the ant hill has existed, the deeper it will be.
That is why it is essential to get rid of the ant hill as soon as you spot it. The longer you let it be, the deeper it will get, and the problem will worsen with time.
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. Keep in mind that an ant hill has such a strong foundation that even rain can’t deter it from its place.
The ants will not attack you or harm you unless you make the first move, so you will not have to incur any harmful bites or stings. However, if you want your plants and flowers to be safe, you’ll want to remove this nuisance from your yard.
Types Of Ants That Create Ant Hills
The most common types of ants that create ant hills include:
- Fire ants
- Allegheny mound ants
- Texas leafcutter ants
- Argentine ants
- Harvester ants
- Pyramid ants
All these ants 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 they don’t have an opening on the top.
That is why it might look like a random pile of dirt to you. They will also sting you when you attack, so you should not disturb the mound when you are trying to get rid of the anthill. Precaution is essential to ensure that the entire process is carried out smoothly.
Getting Rid Of Small Ant Hills With Pesticide
If the ant hill in your yard is not too big, you can easily use a pesticide to get rid of it. Use a pesticide that has a long-term result, so there are no problems for a few months. After the time limit, you will have to treat your backyard once more.
All you have to do is spray the pesticide from 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 a liquid pesticide because they don’t reach the queen and are ineffective.
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. That is why you should use a generous amount of pesticide to kill all the ants on the hill, including the queen.
Getting Rid Of Massive Ant Hills
If the ant hill is massive, then you have a big problem on your hands. 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 it will 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 the insecticide around the ant hill where you cut your grass. Doing this will create a barrier so ants 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 need to 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 need to give the insecticide enough time to reach the queen.
Once it reaches the queen, your plan will be effective. The ant hill will eventually collapse when the queen does not exist anymore.
3. Flatten The Ant Hill
If you don’t have a few days or a week 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.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ant Hills
If you don’t want to get rid of ant hills through insecticides, you can always use natural methods. It might take longer, and it 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 get rid of ant hills:
1. Pour Boiling Water
Yes, killing ants can be as simple as pouring boiling water on them. Take some hot water and just pour it through the opening of the ant hill. The hot water will travel through their strategic 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.
2. Create An Ant Bait
You can create ant bait at home to effectively kill the ants. All you need to do is mix borax with honey, sugar, or peanut butter. The 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 ants to take it back. Place as many as you can for the ants to take it back to their queen.
Many people use vinegar as a natural remedy to get rid of ant hills. Keep in mind that it may not be as effective as you think it might be. That is because the smell of vinegar 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 it 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 it will get the job done in no time. You can also spot ant trails and sprinkle boric acid in those places.
As soon as the ants start coming into contact with boric acid, they will die instantly. If you reach the queen using this method, the entire ant colony will be eliminated.
Controlling Ants Inside The Home
If you had an ant hill in your backyard, then the chances are that there might be ants in your home too. That is because many ants invade homes and use crevices and nooks to create colonies. To get rid of this nuisance, you can follow the following methods:
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is an effective way to control and eliminate ants inside the home. It is incredibly popular because it is effective. All you have to do is mix equal parts of powdered sugar and baking soda.
Once you are done mixing, you can keep it in a shallow container and place it where you keep seeing ants in your home. The ants will start eating this mixture, and they will die instantly. That is because baking soda reacts negatively with the acid in their stomach and kills them.
2. Castile Soap
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. All you have to do is make a spray using one quart of water and 1/4th cup of Castile liquid soap.
As soon as you see ants, you can spray this mixture on them, and they will die instantly. That is why it effectively kills the ants you see, but not the ones that are back in the colony or nest.
3. Commercial Bait
Of course, commercial bait is an excellent way to get rid of scout ants and the ones back in the nest. We all know that ants love sweet food, and that is present in the commercial ant baits. Wherever you see ants crawling, 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 where children and pets can reach. It might not be safe for them, so you need to be careful.
Once you effectively use the commercial bait, the entire ant colony inside your home will die. It can take a few days or a week to see results, but once you do, ants will not bother you again.
Repelling Ants In Your Yard
Even after you get rid of the ant hill, it is essential to take steps to deter ants from coming into your backyard again. Here are the top ways you can do that:
Ants hate the citrus smell. It is too strong for them, and they will not come near a place where there is citrus. That is why 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.
2. 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 it will keep your garden minty fresh.
You can also utilize this technique indoors to keep ants from coming into the kitchen. It is one of the most effective ways to repel ants.
3. Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon is another fragrance that ants dislike. You can place cinnamon sticks in various places in your yard. If you want to enhance the fragrance further, you can use cinnamon oil on the sticks.
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 such places.
That was your complete guide to getting rid of ant hills. Use these ways depending on where ants are and how massive their presence is. All these ways are tried and tested, so you will not have any issues.
Once you get rid of 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.