Getting rid of ants in the garden has to be one of the most popular questions that I have personally received in many emails and posts on the vegetable gardening Facebook page. I probably should have answered how to get rid of ants a while ago, but alas I have not created any blog post to date on the topic, so here are some remedies from the research I have conducted.
|Fire Ants: Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fire_ants_01.jpg|
What makes this topic tough is that not all remedies work, and with over 12,000 species of ants, not all ants are technically bad for your home vegetable garden. So here are some home remedies that you can give a try.
The first idea is one of my own that I read years ago and that is to use cornmeal. The upside to this method is that you will reduce the ant population, cornmeal is safe for your plants, and it is fairly inexpensive and widely available at any supermarket.
|Cornmeal as a Solution|
The downside to this method, is that it takes a lot of applications to start seeing results and you may not wipe out the colony, which is probably what you are shooting for here.
Another example of a good ant fighting method that is safe for plants, is direct spraying with a vinegar and water mixture. Equal parts will do. I have not tried this method personally as I like the cornmeal method, but the idea here is that the low pH of the vinegar is not good for the ants and it will kill them.
|Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle|
Finally, this third method is extremely popular. Why? Because it works, and it's quick. OK, fairly quick, but you get the idea. That is to mix equal parts of Borax and something sweet like jelly in a bowl. Then place the bowl where your ants are. Because of the sweetness of the jelly, the ants will surely consume the borax laden concoction and kill the ants.
|Mix equal parts borax and something sweet like Jelly|
When consumed by the ants they are unable to digest it which really messes them up on the inside. It has also been said that it wreaks havoc on their exterior as well. In other words, Borax works as a great one two punch, outside and inside of the ant!
Also according to http://www.boraxforants.com/, when you make a paste with Borax, water and sugar, they will take that gel paste back to their queen which will wipe out their colony, and that is what you are looking for!
There are even more solutions than these 3. You can find them at Exterminate House Ants with 13 Natural ingredients. There you will find all kinds of cool solutions, including the few I wrote about here.