In this article I’ll share 13 proven DIY ways to kill Ants outside.
Not only that, I’ll give you a totally free downloadable info graphic at the end that will highlight the information in the article in graphical form so you can use it as a quick reference when needed.
For each of the methods you’ll learn:
- Why they work
- How to setup traps with them
- How often to use them
- And how to get the best results
But for those in a rush, I’ve surmised the main points for each of the 11 products in the table below.
That being said, I recommend reading the entire article as I’ll show you exactly how to setup the traps in more detail (no one else does this) and what pitfalls and gotchas to avoid.
|Method||Why It Works||Trap Options|
|Baking Soda||explodes ants!||Spray mixture|
|Bleach||alkaline poison||Spray mixture|
|Boric Acid||extremely effective||Spray mixture|
|Boiling Water||pretty obvious 🙂||best poured near source|
|Chalk Line||dehydrating agent||Barrier type trap|
|Citrus Fruit Peels||strong smell|
|Spray mixture or decorative|
|Coffee Grounds||strong smell|
|Barrier type trap|
|Diatomaceous Earth||dehydrating agent||Barrier type trap|
|Lemon Juice||strong smell|
|Spray mixture or decorative|
|Peppermint Essential Oils||strong smell|
|Spray mixture or decorative|
|Bait Traps||exploits behavior||Best mixed with bait|
|White Wine Vinegar||acidic||Best mixed with bait|
Understanding what you’re up against
Ants are truly amazing and very powerful! They may be small but they are mighty and they work hard. They have a very organized structure within that domain where they reside.
They are resilient and they can adapt to a changing environment. As a result, they can survive just about anywhere!
This can make it tough to successfully get rid of ants outside your home or your business. No matter where your property is located, there is going to be a time when you have a problem with ants.
Knowing how to nip it in the bud and take care of it before their numbers grow and the problem escalates is important.
They can become a nuisance, but there are ways you can take care of them on your own. You don’t have to pay the high cost for an exterminator to get the job done.
If you enjoy reading this article and want to know more about tackling ants effectively products you can find in your home, then checkout our article that covers that very subject:
A safe way to kill ants outside without harmful chemicals is to use baking soda. For the best outcome, mix it with some powdered sugar. This will draw the ants to it, and they will carry it back to their nest.
When they consume baking soda, it is going to alter the pH level in their body. The chemicals found in their digestive system mixed with the baking soda create high amounts of carbon dioxide.
This is going to cause their body to shut down. It will dry them out and they will die. There are some myths that baking soda will cause ants to explode! That isn’t going to happen, but this can be a powerful way to destroy them.
It is both safe and inexpensive to use. However, this method doesn’t always destroy all of them because the baking soda may not get to the queen and stop the production of eggs from her.
The use of bleach is considered one of the most effective ways to destroy ants outside. You do have to be careful with it.
Don’t get any bleach on your skin and make sure you don’t pour it in a manner that would allow it to splash into your eyes as it hits the ground.
The area of grass or other landscaping around the spot where you pour the bleach may be damaged, but often work the sacrifice to get rid of the ants.
Bleach is effective and inexpensive. It is also one of the methods that seem to work well on all types of ants. If you have issues with flying ants, this is a method you should try early on to try to get rid of them.
An effective way to kill ants is by mixing boric acid with something sweet. This can be honey or powdered sugar. You need something that will draw the ants to the chemical part of it.
They will then carry the boric acid back to the nest. This can prove to be effective. For the best results, you need a powerful mixture.
Offer plenty of it with just a bit of the sweet stuff to entice the ants to take it back with them.
Boil a generous amount of water. Add some liquid soap to the mixture. Go to the location where the ants are and use a rake to open it up as much as you can.
While the water is still extremely hot, pour it inside the nest. Ants create amazing tunnels that allow them to move through the nest. You want the boiling water and soap to penetrate those tunnels and reach the location of the queen at the core of it.
Repeat this process about an hour later to help destroy even more of the ants that may have survived the first round of it. Try to do this process several times in a given day for the best results.
Not only will the hot water and soap kill them, but it will destroy the detailed system they have underground for survival.
Many people laugh at the concept of a chalk line helping them to keep ants out of their home or business. It may seem silly, but it can work. You can use regular sidewalk chalk to get this done!
Make a generous line with it and they won’t cross it! While this isn’t going to kill the ants, it can be a great way to control where they are. You want to keep the problem outside.
Don’t let them come inside for food or shelter. The chalk line can help you to isolate the problem and continue to combat it.
The use of cinnamon can be a great way to get rid of the ants. It will suffocate them as they inhale it. You can use ground cinnamon mixed with a small amount of sugar around the entrance and exit of the nest.
You can also use drops of cinnamon essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle.
Citrus Fruit Peels
An eco-friendly way to tackle the ant problem can be to save your peelings from citrus fruits. This is a powerful option if you have fire ants you must destroy!
The citrus contains d-limonene and that is very toxic to certain species of ants. Some people toss their orange and lemon peels out there by the nest and hope the ants will take pieces of it inside.
For the best results, turn those citrus fruit peels into a paste. Use a food processor to make it into a product they can consume with ease. Remove any chunks that remain.
Add a sweetener to it such as sugar, powdered sugar, or honey. This will draw the ants to it and then they can take the harmful elements within those peels back to the nest.
If you drink coffee, you already have a method to kill ants on hand. The used coffee grounds can be used to attack them. This is a good alternative for those that choose not to use chemicals outside of their home or business.
If you have children or pets in the area, you definitely want to avoid such products that could be dangerous for them.
Coffee grounds create a smell that is very harsh for the ants to deal with. The nitrogen found in coffee grounds is what repels them from it. Ants don’t do well with the intake of caffeine in their bodies.
The worker ants are going to be confused by the smell of the coffee grounds. While they will try to avoid it, this is also going to make it difficult for them to smell sources of food.
As they lose their scent trail abilities, they will consume what they can find. That will be the coffee grounds. This is going to be hard on their bodies and it can kill them, but it is a very slow process.
You can also add some boric acid to the coffee grounds to help speed up that process if you aren’t opposed to using chemicals.
Keep the coffee grounds wet so they are effective. Once they dry out, they will no longer harm the ants. You can add your daily used coffee grounds to the area to continue breaking down their defenses.
Consider bringing in some Diatomaceous earth to the location of the nest for ants. You can rely on it to kill them within 24 hours. It will destroy red ants in less time than black ants.
This type of material is going to get into the exoskeleton of the ants. As a result, they will die from dehydration. This is a great way to control ant issues that have gotten out of control.
When it comes to harming the ants, lemon juice may be something you have on hand to work with. Mix 3 parts water with 1 part lemon juice in a spray bottle. This works on all species of ants.
Spray it generously several times a day around the entrance of the nest. They will take it back inside with them.
We have several articles that discuss and explain DIY traps and products found around your home, I highly recommend checking them out as you will find them useful:
Peppermint Essential Oil
The use of peppermint essential oil is great for many types of pests, and ants are no exception. Mix 10 drops per 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray it all around the entrance and exit points of the nest.
Do this often throughout the day. You should start to notice fewer ants coming and going after a few days. Keep it up until they are all destroyed.
Poison and Bait Traps
Be very careful using poison and bait traps to kill ants. You don’t want to get any of the products on your skin. You don’t want to use such products where children or pets can get into them and be harmed.
There are poison products designed specifically to kill ants. Most of them contain boric acid as the main ingredient.
The poison can be placed directly into the next. As ants go deeper inside, they will carry it back with them. It can stick to their bodies. They may think it is a food source and take it with them into the storage area of the nest.
Bait traps work in a similar fashion, but they aren’t placed inside the nest. Instead, you place them in areas where you see the ants marching to collect food.
They will then carry pieces of the bait back into the nest with them. Ants work as a unit, and the number of them that can bring back that bait can be very high daily.
This can help to penetrate the nest and make the ants vulnerable to being destroyed by the poison from that bait.
Incidently we have an entire article dedicated to setting up borax powder traps. It’s focused on cockroaches but will work just fine for ants too. Check it out here:
Mix an equal amount of water and vinegar. If you have any essential oils, you can add a few drops to the mixture. Shake the mixture and find the location where the ants are entering their domain.
Use a dropper to generously apply a trail of it to and from that entrance location. Before you apply it, watch the path the ants take to march in and out. You will find they use two lines to do this.
Make sure the water and vinegar solution is applied to both directions of their movement. Repeat the application twice a day for a week.
Pay attention to your safety and those around you when you use any of these methods to tackle an ant problem. Some of the methods will work faster than others.
You should start to see fewer ants coming out to find food though once you try a method. This is a good indicator it is working.
Ants have been around since the beginning of time! They are versatile, efficient, and they have what it takes to survive.
You have to be patient and you have to be aggressive in your efforts to successfully kill them so they don’t reside around your home or business. You may have to try several methods to get your desired results.
The most effective strategy often depends on the species of ants. However, they can evolve and build up a resistance to some methods you use to destroy them. It may kill a number of them, but not all of them or the queen. When you try a given method, give it a bit of time to work.
If it doesn’t yield your desired results, move on to another option until you are successful and the battle against the ants leaves you victorious!
As promised, here’s the link to the free ant diy trap guide – click here.
If you want to learn more about various insects, then checkout our site categories, we have a bunch of articles there that are totally worth reading:
That’s it for this article. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you think it might be useful for someone else then please share it on social media, email or your own website! It really encourages us to write more content and grow the site!
All the best
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