How To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Yard Naturally? 8 Easy Ways (2022 Guide)

Hold up… is that a tiny volcano emerging from your yard, your very own pee-wee Mount Pinatubo, an itsy-bitsy Nevado del Ruiz? Nope, it’s an anthill, and it’s ruining your otherwise perfect lawn!

Not only does this Vesuvian blemish make mowing your yard impossible, but it’s also quite dangerous.

Ants colony

I know it’s never pleasant displacing nature, but that grass plot pimple has got to go with an effective killer or natural insect-killing remedy!

However, before you reach for chemical-based insecticides or another type of pesticide, as a gardener, you should consider the impact it could have on your vegetation, pets, kids, and other (more welcome) insects such as bees, butterflies, and ladybirds.

A much safer way to deal with those 250,000+ ants is to get rid of ants naturally including with orange peels, cucumber peels, canola oil, or cayenne pepper. There are plenty of ways to evict your hive-minded homesteaders without using a single aggressive chemical, and I’m going to be discussing the very best with you here today. Let’s get to it!

8 All Natural Ways of Getting Ants To Sling Their Hook

1. Suck Them Out With Your Vacuum Cleaner

Okay, so here’s the thing… Ants are actually incredibly beneficial to our garden ecosystems. They help to aerate the soil, pollinate seeds, and keep more irritating pests such as ticks and termites at bay by gobbling them up for dinner.

So, my advice is to start with removal rather than eradication. Take something like this Black+Decker handheld vacuum, and start sucking up as many of the little blighters that you can find in and around the mound.

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Once you’ve caught them, release the ants in an area away from your lawn. 

2. Soapy Water Tsunami

As a soapy water solution is easy to make and is an effective method, I’d recommend trying this method next.

You can go for the classic soap/water combo if you like, but a lot of people augment this ant-annihilating recipe with things like baking soda, tablespoons of canola oil or peppermint oil, and apple cider vinegar.

For a simple bug-busting concoction, mix 1 quart of water with a heaped tablespoon of soap… that’s literally it. Funnel it into a spray bottle, then give the problem area a generous spritzing. Try to coat all nearby plant life and any ant trails you can see, too.

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To take out the whole colony, simply pour your mixture into the mound. It will fill all the nook and crannies and kill ants on contact, making it one of the best natural methods to kill ants. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking… Water? How will water kill ants? They don’t seem all that bothered by the rain. Well, true enough, ants don’t mind water, but the water is just a means of spreading the soap.

It’s the soap that clings to and suffocates them, not the water. As a bonus, it also masks their chemical trails, breaking down the communication barrier between other ants in their colony.

Ant in grass

3. Baby Powder Apocalypse

Ants don’t have lungs like you and me, rather, they breathe through tiny pores in their exoskeleton. Baby powder is composed of such small particles that it can enter and clog these pores, suffocating the ant, and killing ants to death. 

It’s not a pleasant way to go, but it’s a damn sight better than being poisoned by chemicals (I imagine), and it won’t harm your grass, pets, or kids — hooray!

If you have children, you no doubt have some baby powder in your bathroom cupboard or perhaps in a baby travel bag. If not, You can pick some up for a reasonable price here.

Alternatively, if you have any baking soda stashed somewhere in your kitchen, which should do the trick as the particles are roughly the same size as those in baby powder.

Once you’ve got your hands on an ant killer powder of your choice, treat the area by sprinkling this natural anthill-killer poison into the ant mound and on any trails you can see.

4. Death By A Thousand Diatomaceous Earth Particles

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock. It’s essentially the ground-up fossils of single-celled algae harvested from lacustrine or marine sediments. It can be pure white (like baby powder), but it sometimes resembles a fine brown sugar.

While particles of diatomite feel soft to the touch to us humanoids and our pets, they’re like a million tiny razor blades to ants. As they walk across these tiny ant killer granules, it will make lots of microscopic incisions in the ant’s waxy exterior, then dehydrate them by soaking up their internal fluids.

As DE contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium it’s also incredibly nutritious for plant life, so not only will it solve your creepy crawly conundrum and keep ants at bay, it will also reverse some of the damage those little critters have done to your lawn. 

There are a few different types of DE ant killer treatments, but I recommend Safer’s Diatomaceous Earth over other natural methods or artificial methods of killing ants in your lawn and garden beds. 

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To get started with DE treatment, simply sprinkle this ant killer weapon across any ant trails you can see and pour it into the openings of the mound. It may take a little while to completely dehydrate the colony, but it gets the job done, trust me!

5. The Salty Snub Out

Ever noticed how thirsty you are after eating a salty meal? Well, much like DE, salt is a desiccant, meaning it has dehydrating properties. So, if you’re looking for a cheap solution to your ant invasion, it’s a great choice.

All you need to do is mix a good amount of salt with some water, put the solution into a spray bottle, then spray the solution to kill ants in yards, ants in lawns, and even ants in house. 

Risk Level

Unlike DE, salt isn’t so good for plant life, so try to be sparing when treating the area with this ant-killing method. I know that you’re desperate to get rid of the ants, but the last thing you want to do is kill your grass in the process.

Colony of red ants

6. White Vinegar Washout

White vinegar fights the good fight on two fronts: the acidity level burns their exoskeleton and kills ants, and the scent acts as a repellent and wards off ant colonies.

Ants have amazingly powerful scent receptors, so the strong smell of vinegar is far too much for them to bear. If they get so much as a whiff, it’s likely that they’ll move on to your neighbor’s yard and set up shop there instead. 

Hypothetically, you may only need to kill a few ants to get the majority of them to up sticks and hit the old dusty trail, as the lingering smell will drive them crazy.

I’d recommend making a 1:1 vinegar/water solution for ant extermination, lightly spritzing ant-infested areas, or pouring a drop or two on the colony of ants.

Risk Level

Overexposure to white vinegar can mess with the PH level of your topsoil, which can in turn have a negative impact on your grass, so it’s important not to go in with all guns spray bottles blazing.

7. Cinnamon Oil Overhaul

Cinnamon is like vinegar in that it has such a strong scent, it disrupts channels of chemical communication and drives ants away, but, in oil form, it can also kill them outright.

I’ve used a mixture of water and a few drops of Ethereal Nature Pure Cinnamon Oil to good effect in the past, but if you’ve got some ground cinnamon or cloves on the spice rack, a sprinkle of those may suffocate your 6-legged intruders.

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Risk Level

There’s nothing quite like a pinch of cinnamon to kick a sweet treat up a few notches, but our grass disagrees. Too much cinnamon will kill your greenery, so proceed with caution.

P.S. It might give your pooch the sneezes!

8. Spice Strike

You can also make a solution with water and cayenne or chili powder to get your unwanted guests to skedaddle, but if you’d sleep better knowing the ants are dead, then go ahead and sprinkle the granules directly in and around the mound.

Risk Level

Pets don’t like spices, so if this is the method you’re going for, it’s best to keep your animals inside for the time being.

Ants nest on grass

How To Keep Ants From Returning To Your Yard

You’ll never be able to completely rid your yard of ants, nor would you want to, but if you want to prevent them from forming mounds in the middle of your lawn, I advise taking preemptive action.

Another natural insecticide and an effective and one of the proven natural ant-killing methods is using chili pepper, pepper flakes, tablespoons of cayenne pepper sauce, orange peels, cucumber peels to eliminate annoying ant invasions.

Make a simple soap water solution and spray anywhere you believe to be most habitable for ants. They love to set up camp by food sources, so if there are any trash cans, compost heaps, or organic waste receptacles around, soap them up, or, if you can, move them away from your lawn.

Ant-Busting Myths According to Garden Experts

Before we go our separate ways, let’s briefly run over a few popular ant-busting solutions that don’t actually work, so you know to steer clear from them.

  • Coffee Grounds — Coffee isn’t a very effective means of killing or warding off ants. They will likely use their super bug strength to push the grounds out of their path and continue as normal, so you can go ahead and save your coffee grounds for your morning brews.
  • Cornmeal — The theory goes that if ants eat cornmeal, it will expand in their stomach when exposed to water, causing bloating to the point of explosion, which isn’t true at all. Feeding ants your oatmeal won’t set off a chain of tiny explosions around your yard, as adult ants only eat liquid food.
  • Mint — I think people assume that because mint has a strong scent, ants don’t like it, but they’re known to build their nests beneath aromatic herbs, so it’s another myth, I’m afraid.
  • Lemon Juice — Now, lemon juice can mess with ants’ chemical trails and cause a bit of confusion, but it’s not going to repulse them so much that they’ll pack their tiny bags and leave, nor will it kill them.
Ants in the grass

Ants Be Gone — Summing Up

Congratulations, you’re now a veritable master of natural extermination. With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can keep ant infestations under control without harming the environment or your family (fluffy or otherwise).

But remember, while ants can be a nuisance, they’re also our friends, so don’t go hunting them willy-nilly. Only use these methods if you absolutely have to.


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