Some scientists say that ants are the oldest organisms in the world. They even co-existed along with the dinosaurs. Imagine that! However, just because they have superior longevity and survival capability doesn’t mean they are a welcome addition to your garden. If you’ve got kids running barefoot in your yard, you don’t want them bitten by ants. It can result in unbearable itchiness and swollen skin that could leave scars. Here are six effective tips that could help you control the ant colonies in your garden.
Get Rid of Aphids
Your first line of defense against ants is controlling aphids and other pests that suck sap. They create a sticky, sweet residue that ants gravitate to. Fortunately, you can readily control aphids by using all-natural insect-killing soaps or neem oil. Minimizing the other pests will prevent the ants from hanging around your garden to harvest their beloved honeydew.
Lure Ants With Artificial Sweetener
The thing about artificial sweeteners is they taste and smell just as sweet as real sugar. You can try pouring Equal powdered sugar where they congregate. Anecdotal evidence of happy users suggests that this is fatal for ants. However, the toxicity of the faux sugar may make you think twice about using it for your caffeine fix.
Sprinkle Ground Cinnamon or Cayenne Pepper
These two herbs smell very strong, even for humans. However, it is very annoying for ants and their teeny tiny olfactory nerves. That being said, cinnamon and cayenne pepper will not kill the ants. But it will help repel them. Pouring this all over your garden will disrupt the pheromone trails they leave behind. Thankfully, you can readily buy both spices in the grocery in bulk. Besides, if they are good enough to ingest by mouth, they are safe enough for your kids to step on.
Use Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Use what? Yes, it is indeed a mouthful to pronounce, but this substance is very effective. Place them along ant trails and near the nests. You can buy this material in the hardware or even online. They are made from the diatoms or fossils of hard-shelled algae. When ants make contact with this powder, they will dehydrate and die. As a bonus, it will also kill nearby roaches and slugs. However, you have to administer this when the weather is warm and dry for maximum efficacy. And since it is food-grade, you can rest assured it is safe for humans and pets.
Set Up a Borax-Sugar Trap
You can make your own ant lure and poison. Borax or boric acid mixed with sugar tempts ants to feast on your trap. Once they do so, they will bring to their colonies and kill everyone in the process. Though these compounds are natural, they can be quite harmful to humans and animals. Make sure that you leave your traps in hidden areas.
Pour Boiling Water on the Colony
Clearly, this final tip will only work if you know where that ants’ nests are located. You may have to dig quite a bit to create a big enough cavity to immerse the colony in boiling water. It may take several tries before you kill that queen and eradicate every last ant. If all else fails, call for professional pest control. We service many cities in Arizona, Wyoming. Check out our locations here: Avondale, Flagstaff, Mesa, Phoenix, Surprise, Tucson, Walpi, Yuma and Cheyenne.