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How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden

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How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden

Written by: Sophia Turner

Say goodbye to infestations with these tips on how to get rid of ants in your vegetable garden. They're safe and quick to drive other pests away for good.

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Ants swarm the ground in search of grub to feed their massive colony. Therefore, they’re most likely to hang and build their nest in places with abundant food. While you may see an ant or two inside your home, there are definitely thousands nearby. So, don’t be surprised when you suddenly experience an ant infestation in your vegetable garden.



Luckily, there are some easy and natural methods you can incorporate to stop their spread. This guide will show you how to get rid of ants in your vegetable garden and decimate their nests if necessary.


Should You Get Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden?


Gardening comes with varying challenges, but most gardeners don’t know what to expect when dealing with ants. Unlike rabbits and squirrels, they’re too little for garden netting and too many to be moved.



Not to mention, these pesky critters can destroy your plants, spread bacteria, and even harm you with their painful bites. Since ants love honeydew coming from aphids, they would protect the sap-sucking insects at all costs in exchange for a sugary meal.



If you spend hours in the garden, you know how painful and frustrating it can be to share your garden space with ants. But dear gardener, did you know that ants can be an ally? For instance, ants act as natural pollinators by spreading pollen on the ground, which is an essential part of plant reproduction. They also aerate the soil as they wander off, crawling and digging tunnels from one plant to the other. These tunnels allow tiny pockets of oxygen, water, and nutrients to seep further into the soil and reach the roots. Aside from what seems to be an unintentional service, ants ward or kill off harmful insects like caterpillars and other soft-bodied organisms.



Indeed, it can be hard to decide whether to keep the ants in your garden or not. But, the best way to clinch this is to know if they start to become a nuisance. If thsignificantopulation is quite big and they now seem to threaten you and your garden, then it’s time to get rid of them.



However, don’t buy tons of pesticides just yet because there are natural and toxic-free ways to get rid of ants. You can buy these products online or even pick the things needed right out of your kitchen!


Steps to Getting Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden


Seize the Colony


When an ant is in sight, expect a colony near your house or garden. So, the first step to getting rid of ants in your vegetable garden is locating their origin. If you can’t find the colony, try looking for trail tracks on the soil. You can also follow where the ants go after discovering food. The latter may take some time, but it would be worth the effort.



Remember that the main goal here is to destroy the anthill, particularly the queen. The queen ant is considered the founder of the colony and can lay 800 eggs per day and millions during her lifetime. What makes it worse is that a colony can have multiple queens in one nest.



If you successfully destroyed the colony yet missed the queen, chances are they would relocate the queen ant to safer ground or proceed with rebuilding their nest. Clearly, the former is the best result to anticipate. So, it’s a matter of trial and error until you get rid of the ants.


Method of Choice


Synthetic Pesticides


The internet can provide many ways to get rid of ants in the garden. One is by using synthetic pesticides. This kind of pest control is formed via chemical alteration — powerful enough to kill every ant inside the colony. Another reason why people choose this method is that they last longer than their natural counterparts. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any adverse effects.



Synthetic pesticides can be dangerously toxic in specific doses. Not only do these cause health problems, but they have long-term effects on soil fertility. You won’t want to use synthetic pesticides if you don’t want to deal with environmental concerns.




An eco-friendly way to eliminate ants in your garden is by using natural ant repellers or killers. They’re mostly household items you can find at home or a supermarket near you. Ingredients such as oranges, vinegar, and boiling water are convenient and already familiar to you. Hence, you can guarantee safety and peace of mind using natural remedies that are better for your family and the environment.




The ant removal process doesn’t end when you use pesticides and repellers. They can come right back to your garden when produce seems too irresistible to ignore. For starters, you can distribute repellers around your garden as a fence. Getting rid of aphids works too, as these sucking insects would no longer leave traces of honeydew in your plants. Lastly, you can use a garden sprinkler to moisten the soil frequently. Ants thrive on dry earth, and wet soil will hinder them from building their nests since it’s heavier.


Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants in Your Vegetable Garden


Ground Cinnamon


Ants hate the scent of cinnamon. It certainly is not the cheapest method but it’s effective to rid of them quickly. Just sprinkle a hard, thick line of cinnamon powder around your vegetable garden and see it do its magic. Do note that ants won’t die from ground cinnamon; it’s just an effective means to drive them away. This solution is perfect for those who don’t want to harm any ants but want them gone in the garden.


Diatomaceous Earth


If you want ants gone and dead, there’s a safe and natural way to achieve that. Diatomaceous earth is fine dust that’s made from fossilized single-celled organisms. Once ants walk on this powder, it effectively kills them by damaging their exoskeletons. This eventually leads to dehydration within two weeks.



But don’t worry, diatomaceous earth is entirely safe to use around your plants and is harmless to your family. This makes it a favored strategy among gardeners. To use this, sprinkle a line around the perimeter of your garden. Re-apply every few weeks or until the ant problem resolves.


Borax and Sugar


Another powdery substance that you can use is borax. To do this, you must mix borax with something sweet, like sugar, to lure them. Once ants discover this concoction, they will take it back to the colony where everyone can eat it, especially the queen.



Borax can disrupt the digestion of ants, which can lead to fatality. However, the borax and sugar mixture not only attracts ants but beneficial insects as well. Rain might also cause borax to reach and soak your plants. Too much boron can damage your veggies and soil in the long run, so better use it sparingly.


Orange Peels and Vinegar


There’s no scientific study as to why ants, and most animals, hate the scent of anything citrus. Yet, most gardeners use them because they’re accessible plus effective. You first need to collect orange peels or other citrusy fruits you have at home. After collecting the peels, let them dry in preparation for grinding. Then, grab a spray bottle and mix it with water or vinegar for a strong-smelling scent.



You can use this on your plants once a week until the ants are gone. One downfall about using this is that it is a temporary solution and won’t completely kill the ants. Rain can also wash the mixture off your plants, so occasional spritzing is required.




Nematodes are worms known to deter ants, beetles, moths, and other pests. But how do such worms prevent all these from entering your garden? Since they’re microscopic, nematodes can quickly enter the ants’ body cavities. Once inside, they excrete lethal bacteria within 24 to 48 hours.



Nematodes are widely used in agriculture because they’re safe to use around both plants and humans. They also don’t harm pollinators like bees and are very easy to apply. Just take note that nematodes thrive in garden soil with a temperature of 42 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re best applied in the early morning or late evening to avoid UV light.


Plants That Repel Ants


Who knew plants like mint, rosemary, lavender, marigold, and garlic could act as insect repellants? Aside from giving you produce, these plants can keep ants away. Just like the orange peel method, these plants may smell pleasing to people, but ants consider them unbearable. So, grab a garden kit today and get planting!



It’s possible to ant-proof your garden without any chemicals. If you want to know how to get rid of ants in your vegetable garden, just follow these simple tricks. While you’re busy repelling ants, don’t forget to check out these garden tool racks to keep your things organized and easily accessible.

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