If you have a recurring ant problem, you need to know how to get rid of ant hills because without nipping the problem in the bud, you will forever be living with ants.
And ants are an absolute, unequivocal pain in the “£$”£*%(“£%$*!!
You’ll be hard pushed to find anybody who disagrees and if they do, immediately rip off their face-mask, for they are nothing but a towering pile of ants disguised as a human being trying to repair their public perception
As with most beasties – the best tactic for getting rid of them permanently is to hurt them where they hurt the most: their homes – and with ants, finding their homes is actually usually quite easy…
How are Ant Hills Created?
An ant hill usually begins after the queen has mated. She immediately wants to take things seriously: find a new home, settle down and raise the kids…so, she digs…and digs…and digs some more until she’s created a safe, subterranean chamber to lay the eggs and live out her life.
As the youngsters grow, they begin to expand the hill by creating more and more tunnels until it stretches into an intricate network of chambers, pathways and exits. A nightmare for somebody trying to destroy it and keep their home clear of pests.
But, a nightmare no longer! Check out our ten best ways to destroy that ant hill that’s giving you constant grief.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Boiling water
Simple, yet effective: the handiest tool you have at your disposal is the humble kitchen kettle. You really don’t need me to explain the ins and outs of this one in any great detail… just boil the kettle and pour it into the top of the troublesome ant hill.
The water will find its way through the network of tunnels and chambers and flood the place, whilst the heat of the liquid will kill any ants it comes across. As a bonus, the temperature is likely to help actually destroy the infrastructure of the hill itself, hopefully meaning your problems should all be over: might as well use the remainder for a cup of tea, huh?
Well, maybe and maybe not. The problem with the boiling water trick is that the ants way down at the bottom have time to flee the nest, meaning you might not kill off the ‘family’. A few days later, you could see some (insane, admittedly) ants returning to rebuild.
Which is why you’ll want to follow it up with other ways to kill off the ant hill…
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Boric acid
Boric acid is an old pest-killing favorite around these parts; you can use it in powder form or mix it with water for a readymade boric cocktail that’s easy to pour atop the ant hill(s).
Again, the principle is pretty self-explanatory. You want to pour your toxic boric poison directly into the top of the nest and flood the place out. As ever, the ants will die upon contact with the stuff – but the problem of killing every one of them persists.
You also want to apply the liquid around the area of the nest itself to cover all your bases… there’s no telling where the prolific diggers might pop up in their haste to run away.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Flatten it out
Often, patience and habit can be all it takes to oust your unwanted neighbors. Ever lived next to somebody blaring loud music at all hours? It grates pretty fast.
If the ant hill in question is quite a solid structure, then you can simply rake it over and flatten the ground out; destroying the main entryway to the hive. This will likely upturn quite a lot of ants and send the message that the hill is no longer safe.
The major drawback is that they’ll likely rebuild shortly afterwards; so it becomes a war of stubbornness between you – but it’s a viable solution if you want to avoid harmful chemicals (although, it would up the ante if you sprinkled some pesticides over the area after raking it).
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Dig deep
On a similar note – instead of using a rake and only disturbing the topmost layer, grab a shovel and dig down deep. Now, the aim of this method is less a case of disturbance and more of uprooting the hive as a whole: turfing the squatters out.
It’s only now that you will realize how deep these hills can go…Keep digging and digging until you notice chambers and pockets of ants. Ideally, you want to be able to identify the queen and her boudoir. Destroy it all!
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Fuel
Let’s take a look at a controversial one… petrol or diesel. Naturally, these harsh, toxic fuels will kill any ants unlucky enough to drink a mouthful, so it’s effective in that sense. Plus it saves you having to go out and shop amongst pesticides.
The big trouble is that it can be quite dangerous, especially if you live in a hot/arid climate with lots of direct sunlight. You don’t really want to pour highly flammable fuels all over the place in the middle of a heat wave; plus fuel ain’t cheap!
Some folk go as far as recommending setting the fuel alight after you’ve poured it in – the dangers of which you don’t need me to highlight. Plus, it’s ineffective as you’ll likely only burn the top layers as the deep chambers will be lacking in oxygen to carry the fire.
Speaking of oxygen, though…
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Carbonated water
Carbonated water can be a cunning method of killing off deeper hills. You’ll need lots of it, but the general gist is that the carbon dioxide in the water displaces the oxygen in the hive, suffocating the lower levels…
Admittedly, it’s kind of a shot in the dark (you don’t know how deep the hive runs and how effective the carbonated angle is), but it has been known to work. Plus, it’s cheap. Can’t argue with frugality.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Ant bait
Ant baits and traps are, naturally, a fantastic killer, but most folk don’t realize that the bait can work in your favor for the hill itself. Often, the ants will chow down on the bait and take it back to the nest for storage/or because it has attached itself to their bodies.
In doing so, they’re walking through the house with muddy shoes basically. Except the mud is toxic and kills off your entire family if they get close enough to it.
Downside is: you’ll need a lot of bait and a lot of patience.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Soapy water
Remember the Borax suggestion above? This sort of expands on that idea. You can use any old dishwashing soap for this method, really, but Borax might be one of the best to opt for.
Mixing together a soapy concoction works on two levels: the liquid will drown the colony if you pour enough in – plus destroy the structure if you have it boiling first! – and the soap will add a great deal of… stickiness to proceedings, making it harder for ants to flee the waves and clogging up the passage ways in the nest.
On the bright side, they’ll be super clean when they get to ant heaven.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Ant killers
To expand even further on this idea of clogging up the arteries of the nest, some people like to use actual glue (and lots of it) to flood the nest. It basically works in the same way, by trapping all the ants and destroying the nest – plus closing off exit ways.
But, this method is much better and more effective when used in conjunction with something like baking soda or diatomaceous earth. Substances that will scratch, dehydrate and slowly kill off any ants that stumble across the granules.
This is almost like trapping the ants in their home due to an avalanche and then waiting for them to starve off over the long, long, gluey winter.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Natural Remedies
Of course, the DIY cauldron stirring doesn’t all have to involve expensive ingredients or weird glue concoctions. You can opt for some of the more natural deterrents and killing substances readily available to us.
The best of which is: orange rinds. Orange oil (limonene) is often used in the pest killing world due to the deterring factor of the orange scent, but when it comes to ants, you can literally just blitz up some genuine orange rinds and create a sort of smoothie which will cause them endless bother.
Vinegar, in its many forms, too is a brilliant anti-ant ingredient. All you have to do is mix some pure vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, with water and play around with ratios until you reach your full killing potential.
How to Get Rid of Ant Hills: Skip What Doesn’t Work
There are a lot of ant rumors floating around on the internet, which is mostly harmless – except you could end up wasting your time and energy on ant hill solutions that just don’t work. Here are a few useless remedies you can skip:
- Coffee grounds. You’d think ants would love coffee, being such brilliant workers. And in reality…they don’t mind this stuff. It doesn’t kill them on contact – it only makes it a bit of a bother for them, blocking the entryways to their homes. Kinda like dirt, really, and you know ants have no problem dealing with that.
- Salt. Salt is often hailed as being a natural desiccant that’ll kill off ants. The thing is it doesn’t work. In fact, ants don’t really seem to mind the salt at all. Skip this – you’ll wind up right back where you started, just saltier.
- Baby powder. This home remedy for ants has been around since the days of yore – except back then, it probably did work. You see, back in the day, baby powder was made with talc (before it was discovered that inhaling talc could be dangerous) and talcum powder is pretty effective for dealing with ants. But just straight up baby powder? Totally ineffective.
Okay, now that you know what works – and what doesn’t – in getting rid of ant hills, get out into your yard and dig, pour, scatter and rake until your life is ant-free!