How to Get Rid of Ants Outside

Eliminate Outdoor Ants for Good: A Complete Guide on Ant Control

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Are you tired of stepping on ant hills in your yard? These common pests can quickly become a nuisance when they decide to set up shop in your outdoor spaces. But don't worry, we've got your back.

To get rid of ants outside, you can simply use diatomaceous earth or a mixture of sugar and borax as bait near ant trails, and for immediate results, pour boiling water directly into nests.

In this text, we'll dive deeper into the various strategies and how to execute them to successfully get rid of ants outside and reclaim your outdoor space. Let's get right into it!

How to Get Rid of Ants Outside?

image of boiled water on ant hill

To get rid of outdoor ants, you have to inspect the ant hills, use the best outdoor ant sprays, outdoor liquid ant baits and make sure to do regular maintenance to prevent the insects from coming back. Let's go over this strategy step-by-step.

Step 1 - Inspecting Ants Nests

Eliminating ant nests marks the first step in the process of taking back your yard from ants. Discern and disrupt the ant colonies, making sure to tackle all ant hills, as even a single one can repopulate your yard.

Ants often establish nests near plants or underneath garden stones, from where they can easily access food and water.

⚠️ Things to Watch Out for

  • Inspecting the yard thoroughly, eyes open for anthills, trails, or a gathering of ants can guide you towards locating the nests.
  • Keep pets and children away during the process, especially if you're planning to use an ant poison or an insecticide.
  • Some species of ants can emulate aggressive behavior when disturbed, so exercise caution while tackling ant hills.

Step 2 - Using Outdoor Ant Spray and Baits

Ant sprays and baits provide an excellent solution for managing persistent infestations.

Spray evenly across the garden, focusing on plants, lawn edges, cracks, and other likely ant entry points. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle to avoid any damage.

💡 Where to Place Them

Outdoor baits work best when placed near ant trails or entrances to nests.

Step 3 - Regular Maintenance and Monitoring of Outdoor Ants

Keeping your yard ant-free requires regular maintenance and vigilance:

  • Remove attractants: Regularly clean up food scraps and standing water, which are prime resources for ants.
  • Trim vegetation: Keep the grass mowed and bushes trimmed. Overgrown vegetation can provide great habitat for ants.
  • Monitor regularly: Regularly inspect your yard for signs of ant activity, especially during warm months when ants are most active.

4 Natural Ant Control Methods for Outdoors

Getting rid of ants in our outdoor spaces involves more than just pesticides. In consideration of our environment and non-target organisms, it's recommended to turn to natural ant killers.

1. Boiling Water Method

For ant hills scattered throughout the yard, boiling water presents a simple, cost-effective treatment.

This method involves pouring hot water directly into the colony's entrance to reach as many ants as possible including, importantly, the queen. Mind the boiling water – its high temperature kills ants instantly.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a great outside ant killer! DE is a type of soft sedimentary rock that crumbles into an abrasive white powder lethal to many types of bugs.

Sprinkle this non-toxic powder around anthills and ant trails in your garden to dry out and eradicate the ants.

⚠️ DE remains effective as long as it stays dry, so make sure you check the weather before applying it.

3. Borax and Sugar

The worker ants transport the borax and sugar solution back to the colony and targets the entire ant community, including larvae and queens.

To create the solution, mix one part borax with three parts powdered sugar, fill small, shallow containers with the mixture, and place near ant trails.

4. Essential Oils

Lastly, certain essential oils work as natural ant-repelling agents. For instance, ants find the strong scent of peppermint and tea tree oil deterring.

Dab these essential oils onto cotton balls and place them in high-traffic ant areas


Mix them with water in a spray bottle and spritz around your garden.

Always remember – the key to effective ant control is to target and remove food sources, so starving out existing colonies and deterring new ones from forming.

5. Ant Repellent Plants

Plants – like mint, tansy, and wormwood – have strong smells that ants find unattractive and can help to deter them. Using plant-friendly ant repellents helps effectively managing outdoor ants, while making your backyard more appealing. It's a win-win!

Place these ant-repellent variants in your yard:

  • Mint: Repels ants because of its strong scent. Putting mint around the yard can create a formidable barrier against ants.
  • Tansy: It's notoriously loathed by ants. Its distinct smell and taste are known to ward off ants.
  • Wormwood: Typical herb used as an ant deterrent. Wormwoods are unpalatable to ants and deter them from creating ant hills in your yard.

6. Vinegar

Vinegar serves as an excellent ant deterrent due to its acetic acid content which ants find highly unpleasant. Simply mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and apply liberally along ant trails, around entry points, and near nest sites.

Regular applications may be necessary to maintain its effectiveness, especially after rain or in high-traffic areas.

By incorporating these tips into your regular gardening routine, ant invasions can become an issue of the past. Throughout these strategies, be mindful to adapt your method according to the type of ant species you encounter, as different species respond distinctly to varying methods of control.

Chemical Ant Control Methods for Outdoors

Moving from natural methods, let's investigate into commercial ant control procedures for outdoor areas. Often, these methods offer a more immediate and stronger solution, especially during severe infestation.

How to Choose the Best Chemical Ant Products for Outdoors?

Selection of the right insecticide plays a crucial role. You need a product that specifically targets ants and ensures safety for non-target organisms like pets or beneficial insects.

Types of Insecticides

There exist multiple types of insecticides for ant control. Some popular ones include:

  1. Contact Insecticides: These instantly kill ants upon contact, disrupting crucial functions which leads to their demise. Ideal for spot-treating visible infestations.
  2. Insect Growth Regulators (IGR): These hamper the life cycle of ants, inhibiting growth and reproduction. Suitable for controlling large colonies over time.
  3. Liquid Baits: Formulated with food attractants, these cause delayed death, granting time for the ants to carry the poison back to their nest, annihilating the entire colony.

Safety Tips for Chemical Use

While commercial products can be effective, their use necessitates caution. Always read and adhere to the product instructions. Store chemicals out of reach from children and pets, and use protective equipment like gloves and masks when handling.

How to Prevent Future Outdoor Ant Infestations?

Preventing future ant infestations outdoors takes more than just eliminating the present colonies. For strong ant defenses, keeping your yard clean is crucial. Regular maintenance is an effective way to prevent an oncoming ant invasion. A beneficial starting point is to remove ant hills and other potential food sources, deter ants from foraging in the yard. Activities like regular lawn mowing, leaf litter cleanups, and pet food management help avoid all of that.

Here's what you should do:

  • Removing leftovers and open food sources which could allure ants
  • Cleaning up after outdoor eating to avoid luring nearby ants
  • Sealing trash cans tightly to keep the ants away from waste
  • Regularly mowing the lawn and removing leaf debris to reduce hiding places
  • Managing pet food and water bowls, ensuring they aren't left open
  • Applying Diatomaceous earth (DE) around the yard, a natural powder kills ants by dehydrating them.


In your mission to get rid of ants outside, quick and efficient action is the name of the game. It starts with accurate ant identification.

Spotting distinctions among the numerous species of ants is paramount as each has unique behaviors, diets, and nesting habits. Ant baits work effectively over time, targeting the problem at its source and killing off the whole nest.

And if your attempts don't work, hire professional ant control services. Our experts possess the necessary tools, chemicals, and know-how to overcome ant infestations, all the while ensuring safety for all human and vegetation.

Table of contents
Heading 2

Frequently asked questions

What attracts ants to establish in outdoor areas?

Since ants are attracted to outdoor areas that provide easy access to food, water, and shelter. They often establish near plants or underneath garden stones to stay close to these resources.

How can one effectively locate ants in the yard?

To locate ants, inspect the yard for anthills, ant trails, or gatherings of ants found in your yard. Observing these signs can guide you towards the ants, but ensure safety for pets and children during the process.

What is the mechanism behind the effectiveness of ant baits?

Ant baits attract ants with a food source mixed with pesticide. Ants carry the solution back to their colony, which results in the poisoning and eventual eradication of the entire colony.