Learn how to get rid of ant hills in your backyard quickly and easily
We cover 9 proven methods, both chemical and natural, to help you start getting rid of those ant hills today.
Everyone likes spending time in their backyard, but we all know that we share our backyard with nature.
We’ve previously covered how to keep aways frogs, bees, wasps, and squirrels from your pool and patio, but today we are going to talk about your backyard’s likely most populous visitor.
Particularly, ant hills.
No one likes unsightly ant hills that can quickly take over the backyard lead to bites and potential home infestations.
Thankfully, there are some tried and true methods that make getting rid of backyard ant hills fast and easy.
Before we dive into how to get rid of ant hills in your backyard, let’s take a moment to understand why there are anthills back there in the first place.
Why are there Ant Hills in my Backyard?
Ant hills are fairly common, even if you have a well maintained lawn, there are likely to be ant hills of some sort in your lawn at any given time.
There are a few different factors that contribute to the number of ants and subsequent ant hills in your yard that you should take into account when determining how to best get rid of them.
The most common cause of excessive amounts of ant hills in your yard is the soil itself.
If your backyard soil is overly dry and crumbly, this type of soil is much easier for ants to dig down into and to burrow than say thick, wet clay soil.
Similarly, if your backyard has dead plants, trees, decaying wood, or dried out patchy grass, these all attract ants to build ant hills as well.
Another factor is the other bugs in your yard.
Ants are insects of opportunity, they are going to go where the food is and where life is likely to be the easiest for them.
If you have a yard that has an abundance of aphids, meal bugs, or other small bugs that might produce what is known as honeydew, ants are going to be drawn to them.
This means that if your backyard has plenty of bugs, there are likely to be more ants too.
Are Ant Hills Bad for my Lawn?
The most obvious answer to this question is that more ant hills mean more ants.
If you are trying to find ways of getting rid of ant hills in your yard the best solution is to get rid of the ants.
More ant hills mean more opportunities for ants to come into the home, to bite people and animals that might be in the backyard, and more ants that you have to contend with overall.
There are literally hundreds of different varieties of ants, and unless you are an expert in ants, odds are you are not going to be able to identify the ant and are not going to be able to determine if they are dangerous for homes and people.
Ants can spread bacteria, some varieties can eat wood and cause damage to your home, some have very painful or itchy bites, and they can all easily and quickly eat and contaminate food in your home.
Ant hills in the yard will lead to ants in the home in a matter of time.
Preventative bug treatment may also be a good option for you and might help to keep ants at bay.
If all else fails however, taking matter into your own home can make a huge difference in getting rid of ant hills.
9 Ways to Get Rid of Ant Hills in Your Backyard
If you are noticing a growing population of ant hills in your backyard, there are some things that you can do to get rid of your current ant hills and prevent new ones from forming.
1. Boiling Water
Boiling water is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get rid of ant hills.
You want to heat up enough water that it will kill any live ants on contact, will destroy the hill and that it will also flood and destroy the tunnels that are beneath the surface.
The hot water is going to work to collapse the tunnels, flood the colony and kill the ants that are in the hill all in one fell swoop.
This is a great first step if you want to get rid of ants and ant hills naturally and are not really a fan of chemicals or poison to get the job done.
This is also something you can do no your own without having to call an exterminator.
Make sure to wear some heat proof and water resistant gloves as most conventional oven and grilling gloves only protect against hot surfaces but are not effective against hot liquids.
Also take care to be precise with where you pour the boiling water as it will kill any grass or vegetation it comes in contact with as well.
2. Flatten the Hills
Another effective way to get rid of ant hills in your backyard is to flatten the hills themselves.
What this does is send a message to the ants that the area in which they are building is not safe to build.
They will continue to rebuild each time you flatten the hill for a while so if you are using this method, you are going to have to flatten the hill several times and keep flattening it to get the message across and to get the ants to stop building in that area.
The easiest way to do this is with a good hand tamper. This should do the trick with a few simple poundings on each ant hill in your yard.
- Steel 8-Inch x 8-Inch head
- 9-Pound steel head
- Hardwood handle with thicker lower section for additional strength
- Used to flatten and smooth dirt, stone, asphalt, and other materials
3. Granular Ant Treatments
You can also get a granular ant treatment that you can put in your yard to keep ants at bay.
These treatments are easy to sprinkle on and around the ant hills and work simply when the ants pick them up and take them back to the colony.
The ants in the colony then feed off the poison and die.
- One application controls insects for up to 3 months (Refer to booklet for insects killed for 3 months.)
- People and pets may safely use area after product is watered in and allowed to dry
- Kills all listed home-invading insects (Refer to booklet for insects killed for 3 months.)
This is a very effective and quick way to get rid of ants and their ant hills and to make certain that they are not going to come back and that you have gotten rid of the ant hills once and for all.
You can also spread the granular treatment to creates a barrier and keeps them out of the house if that is your main concern.
Granular treatments tend to be the most effective since ants tend to pick up food and take it back to the colony to eat.
Granular treatments are going to penetrate deeper into the colony and are going to kill more ants than spray or liquid treatment in most cases.
4. Bifen I/T
Using Bifen I/T is a great way to treat ant hills directly because its main ingredient is effective on almost all kinds of ants, as well as the small aphids and other tiny lawn bugs that produce the sweet honeydew may attract the ants in the first place.
The residual effect also keeps them away for a long time. The active ingredient used in is Bifenthrin and the “I/T” just stands for Insecticide/Termiticide.
Bifen I/T is regularly used commercially on athletic fields and golf courses to get rid of any hills and keep them away.
To use Bifen I/T, follow the instructions on the packaging carefully to dilute it to the proper ratio and then spread it as directed to get rid of your backyard ant hills.
Once the ant hill colony dies and the dirt in and around the ant hill dries up you can use a hand tamper to flatten the ant hill back down to match the rest of your backyard.
5. Carbonated Water
If you are looking for a more natural, non-chemical way to get rid of the ant hills in your backyard, carbonated water may just do the trick.
For starters, the water helps to dissolve the ant hill so that the ants cannot escape.
The CO2 in the water also displaces the oxygen in the tunnels and helps to suffocate and get rid of the ants at the very lowest levels of the ant hill.
The carbonation also helps to collapse tunnels and get rid of the infrastructure of the ant hill and the ant colony.
This means that carbonated water is going to suffocate ants that are present, get rid of the tunnels, and help get rid of the ant hills that are bothering you.
6. Soapy Water
Soapy water is another effective means of getting rid of the ant hills in your backyard.
The soapy water is non-toxic so if you have pets or kids you do not have to worry about poison being in your yard.
Soapy water kills the ants that are at the entrance of the hill, it collapses the tunnels and the infrastructure the makes the colony, and it also makes it hard for ants to escape as soapy water is slippery and harder to get out of.
7. Boric Acid
Another one of the most popular insecticides used against ants is boric acid.
Boric acid is highly toxic to lots of insects including roaches, spiders, and ants and kills ants instantly.
You can use it in its powdered form and sprinkle it over the entry of the anthill or buy it in a squeeze bottle form for easier application.
Any ants moving in or out will likely die upon contact.
To make this even more effective, you can turn it into a solution by mixing it with water and sugar.
The sugar will attract the ants to the solution, and helps disguise the taste and scent of the chemicals.
8. Bait Stations
Using bait stations proves to be highly effective and is a safe option if you have children and pets at home since the chemical is hidden.
Place the bait station right next to the ant hill’s opening. This will make sure that most of the ants will pass through it.
Any ants that pass through the station to take the bait will die.
Also, since they will carry the pesticides back to the tunnels and chambers of the colony, they will kill the rest of the ants as well.
- Kills the ants you see and the ants you don’t
- Pre filled bait stations are ready to use
- Contains borax
- Flexible placement: in the ground using the stakes or on decks, or in garages or basements without using the stakes
- Patented station protects the bait from the elements, prevents it from drying out
9. Call An Exterminator
When all else fails, calling an exterminator is a great choice.
They can look at the type of ant you are dealing with, the type of colony you are dealing with and can use whatever poison necessary or other means to get rid of the ants and to destroy the colonies while protecting your lawn and landscaping.
Exterminators are going to be able to effectively and efficiently place the right ant treatment and get rid of ant hills so that they do not come back and so that the ants are gone entirely.
Looking for some other Pest Control Solutions for your Outdoor Space?
Check out some of these other how-to guides to help reclaim your pool, patio, or backyard space.
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