How To Kill Ants In Garden Soil: 23 Proven Methods That Work

How To Kill Ants In Garden Soil

If you’re experiencing problems with ants in your yard we have solutions for how to kill ants in garden soil. We explore the various methods of ridding your garden of ants that work.

You can kill ants in your garden with boiling water, dish soap, boric acid, ant-traps, and pet-safe pesticides that won’t harm your garden plants. When ants are a problem, these are the ways to combat them.

With so many different solutions available it’s hard to know which ones to try first. What are the best ways to kill ants? 

Our guide gives you the best answers to rid these pests from your garden without putting your beloved pets or members of the family at risk. 

Here we explore proven methods for getting rid of ants in the garden with several different choices so you can find the ones that you’re the most comfortable with.

Garden Overrun With Ants

If you notice that your garden is overrun with ants, it could signal a problem that is only going to get worse in time. When ants are allowed to stay, colonies can multiply quickly, and they can even get into your house. It’s important to address the problem as soon as you notice it.

The ants that you see are just the tip of the iceberg. These are the workers that are carrying food back to the larger networks of colonies that exist underground. One anthill can quickly turn into several in a few days’ time. 

These pests can spread quickly, and it can take an arsenal to keep them under control. Ants are small and easy to kill, but the bigger problem is that there are usually millions of them underground and they multiply quickly below ground.

How To Ged Rid Of Ants In Vegetable Garden

When ants are taking over your garden it’s time to spring into action and to use products that will kill the ants on the surface. 

It’s also wise to use ant killers that they will carry back to the colonies as a potential food source. These can quickly wipe out entire colonies of ants to eliminate the problem. 

Here are a few of the most effective solutions we’ve found.

Ant-Trap Stakes

Ant-traps are safe to use in your garden and among your vegetable plants. The ant-killer is contained within stakes that are driven a few inches into the ground. Small openings in the plastic cases of the stakes allow ants to crawl inside and eat the poison.

Terro makes an Outdoor Liquid Ant Killer (link to Amazon) in the form of bait stakes. You can get a package that contains 8 traps. The stakes come pre-filled and are ready to use. Just break the tab and drive the stake into the ground. 

These traps come with a see-through monitor window that lets you know when the killer inside is low and it’s time to replace them. Ants take poison from the stake and carry it back to the colony. 

In time, it can wipe out an entire colony, so it kills the ants you see as well as the ones you don’t.

Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits

In addition to the stakes, there are other types of ant killers that work just as effectively. Ant baits are also made in round traps that you don’t need to stick in the ground. These are small round trays that can be conveniently placed anywhere that you see ants.

Terro Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits on Amazon come in a package of 6. This gives you plenty of coverage for a medium-sized garden. Each of these bait stations comes pre-filled with borax, which is known to kill ants quickly. 

These stations come with stakes so you can affix them to certain places in the ground or simply place them wherever you see ants.

Ant Gel

Ant Gel is another type of ant killer that is highly effective in killing ants. It takes a few hours for the ant gel to begin working but soon after ants eat the gel and carry it back to their colonies, it starts to kill them. The poison is combined with a sweet sticky gel that attracts ants to the bait traps.

We recommend Raid Ant Gel on Amazon because it’s neatly contained in bait trays that can be conveniently placed anywhere in your garden. You can get a 3 pack of precision trays that work up to a month after you break the tab and place them. 

They can be used indoors and outdoors, and the cost is pretty cheap for the multi-pack. Ant gel is a good resource when you’re strategizing about how to kill ants in garden soil.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In The Garden Naturally

If you have pets or small children, or if you simply do not like to use pesticides, there are several ways to get rid of ants in the garden naturally. You can control ants in the garden with a few things that you have lying around the house.

Boiling Water

When you see an anthill, pour boiling water over the colony. This wipes out all the ants that are crawling on the surface of the ground. If you pour it into the holes that you see them emerging from, you can get quite a few of them. However, be aware that there is a lot more beneath the surface.

Borax Powder

You can place a solution of borax powder and artificial sweetener on the soil. Both of these substances are deadly to ants, but they are harmless for pets and humans in small quantities. This is one of the more popular natural methods of how to kill ants in garden soil.

Organic Pest-Control Spray

Mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest Control Spray on Amazon is another method of how to kill ants in garden soil the natural way. You can get a 16-ounce bottle for at a good price. 

It not only repels ants from garden soil, but it also kills them. You get the added benefit of repelling other insects including spiders, fleas, earwigs, scorpions, silverfish, and more. All of the ingredients are non-toxic to pets, humans, and plants.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth on Amazon, also called DE is an effective way to kill ants and to keep them away from plants. This product is the most effective when it’s used on dry soil. 

It takes longer to work on wet surfaces, but a few sprinkles in your garden kills ants. This is one of the few natural ant killers that ants cannot develop immunity for, so it keeps killing them effectively

A four-pound bag of Safer brand Diatomaceous earth is available at a good price. It’s made of dry and porous particles that feel soft to the touch, but the microscopic edges are razor-sharp. 

When insects ingest the powder, it absorbs their moisture and dries them up from the inside out. We like this product because it is 100% Diatomaceous earth with no fillers. It contains no harmful or toxic chemicals so it’s safe for pets, humans, and plants.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Garden Without Killing Plants

Although boiling water kills ants, it’s not a method you can use near plants. We have some remedies on how to kill ants in garden soil without harming plants.

Most ant-killing products for outdoor use are made with ingredients that only target crawling insects, protecting plants that may be growing nearby.

Long-Acting Pesticide Spray

Ortho Bug B Gon Insect Killer Spray on Amazon is one of the most popular ant killers that is a spray type. It can be applied directly to the top of an anthill or wherever you see ants. 

This is an instant ant-killer that leaves a residual film of poison. It kills on contact and it keeps killing for months. This pesticide kills ants, mosquitoes, ticks, beetles, and hundreds of other garden pests.

We recommend this insect killer because of the multiple benefits that it offers. It kills hundreds of different kinds of insects including ants, and it starts working on contact. 

A 32-ounce bottle is available and the product continues to kill ants for up to 6 months. It can be sprayed on shrubs, in vegetable gardens, fruit trees, lawns, trees, and more. One bottle treats up to 5,300 square feet with lasting protection and it’s safe for plants.

Ultrasonic Repellers

Ultrasonic Pest Repellers on Amazon are electronic devices that help to discourage ants, mice mosquitos, spiders, and other pests from invading your garden and home. This is a plant-friendly approach to getting rid of ants.

Bocianelli makes an excellent ultrasonic pest repeller with upgraded electronic technology. You simply plug one into an electrical outlet near the garden area and it repels a host of varmints and crawling insects, including ants. 

This device is best for anyone who is chemical sensitive and who prefers technology as a deterrent. It’s safe for kids and pets as well as plants. 

You can get a 6 pack of these devices and you can also use them in the house for double protection. They work up to 30 inches.

Neem Oil Insect Pesticide

Neem Oil is an organic ant killing pesticide that is safe for use on trees, shrubs, and garden vegetables. It’s not toxic to plants, humans or pets, but it’s deadly for ants.

Bonide on Amazon makes an effective product when you’re wondering how to kill ants in garden soil without harming the plants. It contains Neem Oil which is an organic pesticide that kills ants on contact and keeps killing them for months. 

How To Keep Fire Ants Out Of Garden

There are several different species of fire ants. These are ants that sting when they bite, and the bites are extremely painful. They are often called “red ants” because of their ginger to bright red coloring. You can easily discern them from the common black ant.

If you’ve seen fire ants in your garden, it’s important to know how to kill ants in garden soil quickly and effectively. These are the most feared of this invasive insect. Here are the best ways to keep fire ants out of your garden.

Fire Ant Bait Granules

Ambdro Fire Ant Bait Granules on Amazon can be sprinkled around the perimeter of your garden and is one of the best approaches for keeping fire ants out. You simply apply them around the edges of the area you want to protect. 

When ants try to cross the barrier, they’re attracted to the granules and carry them back to the colony for a food source. The pesticide inside kills even the dreaded fire ants and wipes out their colony.

This product is sold in a 2-pound bag, a 1-pound bag, and 1/2 pound bag. Ants carry it back to the colony where it kills the queen and the rest of the workers.

It is known to wipe out a colony of fire ants within 2 weeks. It only takes 2 to 4 tablespoons of bait around a mound to wipe them out.

Fire Ant Killer Dust

Pesticide dust is another method of how to kill ants in garden soil. The dust is fine and can be applied directly on the anthill. Ants are drawn to it and it kills them on contact.

Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer on Amazon is a reliable brand of fire ant killer dust. You can buy a 2 pack for a good price. It is fast-acting and easy to apply with the shaker top applicator. It kills the queen and destroys the entire colony of fire ants.

Remote Trigger Spray Ant-Killer

Using an ant killer that is applied by a remote trigger sprayer is a convenient way to kill ants without coming into contact with the pesticide itself. This type of ant killer comes in a jug that has a hose and spraying system so you can spray the solution in hard to reach areas.

Our top pick in this category is the EcoRaider brand of ant-killer on Amazon. It comes with a remote trigger sprayer and the pesticide kills ants instantly on contact.

The residual effect lasts for up to 4 weeks to keep ants from coming back. It’s non-toxic to people and animals. This one comes in a 32-ounce bottle.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Vegetable Pots

Even vegetables that are grown in pots are subject to ant infestations. They love to inhabit any kind of compost where they can burrow down and create a new colony.

If you notice that there are ants invading your vegetable pots, there are a few excellent solutions to kill them quickly before they become a problem.

Safer Brand Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer on Amaon is a spray that can be used on vegetables in pots. You can get a 32-ounce bottle for cheap. It’s an organic insect and pest control that kills ants along with 45 other types of insects. 

It’s safe for animals, people, and plants, but deadly to ants and you can use it on vegetable plants up to the day of the harvest because it dissolves into the soil but doesn’t leave a residue. It’s most widely recommended for hydroponic gardening.

Ant-Killing Bait Stakes

Bait stakes that are filled with ant-killer are another excellent way to kill ants in vegetable pots. They can be stuck in the soil of any pot for a convenient and effective way to keep ants out.

We recommend Amdro’s Kill’s Ants Stakes on Amazon. You get an 8 pack for a good price. They can be used in pots as well as around the perimeter of your vegetable garden. Ants enter the small openings of the stakes and carry the ingredients back to the nest where they kill the queen and wipe out the colony.

Plant Spikes With Fertilizer

You can complete two tasks at the same time with insect-killing plant spikes. These are specially made for potted plants. They contain plant nutrients to feed the plant while killing ants with a pesticide.

Bayer’s Advanced Insect Control Plus Fertilizer Plant Spikes on Amazon are our top choice in the category. You get 10 spikes for just cheap price. They continuously supply plants in vegetable pots with nutrients while wiping out any invading ants. Each spike lasts for up to 2 months.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Rock Garden

Ants can also become a problem in a rock garden. There are lots of places for them to burrow down and form colonies under the rocks. This can make it tricky to find the openings to the colony. There are a few products that are ideal for eliminating ants in a rock garden.

Ant-Block Granules

Amdro Ant Block Granules on Amazon are designed to sprinkle around the perimeter of your garden to protect it from ant infestations. The pesticide comes in granule form in the perfect size for ants to carry back to the colonies to get a higher kill-rate. In some cases, entire colonies are wiped out.

Amdro makes an ant block granule perimeter guard that is available for 12 ounces or 24 ounces. The unique formulation attracts ants to the granules so they will carry it back to the nests. This product is effective for 25 different species of ants. 

They can’t resist it as a food source, and it creates an effective barrier around your garden. The granules can last up to 3 months in their effectiveness and one package can cover up to 1,080 linear feet for perimeter protection.

Raid Ant And Roach Barrier

Raid Ant & Roach Barrier on Amazon is an economical product that is available in a 16-ounce bottle. It is a spray that can be used on rock surfaces to kill ants on contact. It also kills other insects. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor rock gardens as well as on patios.

Multi-Purpose Ant Killing Spray

If you see ants in your rock garden, an aerosol spray that has a long and concentrated range is useful for getting behind larger rocks in the garden.

Hot Shot Ant Killer on Amazon is an aerosol type ant killer. You get 16-ounces for a cheap price. This formula kills a variety of different ants on contact. It contains a residual that keeps killing ants for up to 4 months. 

In addition, it kills many other pestering insects. It’s water-based so it won’t leave an oily residual stain on your rock garden.

How Do You Get Rid Of Ants On Your Lawn

Ants also invade lawn areas. They’re harder to see through the grass, so it’s best to assume that if there are ants on any part of your property, they are likely to be living in your lawn as well. Broad range sprayers are the best option for getting the coverage that is necessary to wipe them out for good.

Here are the top-rated remedies for getting rid of ants on your lawn:

Wondercide Eco Treat Natural Outdoor Pest Control Spray

Wondercide Eco on Amazon is a product that uses natural ingredients that is safe for kids and pets. It kills and repels ants safely. It’s available in a 32-ounce spray bottle. 

There is no waiting time for drying when you use this product so kids and pets can play in the garden immediately after it’s sprayed. To apply, you attach a garden hose to the bottle and spay up to 5,000 square feet of garden space. 

This ant-killed uses cedar oil which is a natural ingredient that is not toxic to humans, pets, bees, or butterflies.

Roundup For Lawns Bug Destroyer

Roundup Bug Destroyer on Amazon is one of the best ant killers for lawns. You get a 10-pound bag and it treats up to 2,500 square feet of lawn. It kills ants on contact, and it has a residual effect that can last for up to 3 months. It’s perfectly safe for lawn and other plants.

What’s The Best Way To Kill Ants Outside

The best way to kill ants outdoors is with a product that the ants are attracted to, so they will carry it back to their colonies for complete eradication. Potent ant-killing ingredients are necessary to get on top of the problem quickly.

Ortho BugClear Insect Killer on Amazon is our top pick for best overall outside ant killer. It costs pretty cheap for 32 ounces and the formula is super-concentrated. It’s one of the top-rated because it kills ants on contact.

It’s the best solution for anyone who is having a problem with ant infestations in the garden, lawn, or other areas of the property.

Ortho BugClear is made for killing ants in lawns and landscapes. It comes in a ready to spray container with no mixing required. It can be used on lawns for spot killing or as a perimeter control because there is a residual insect control that lasts for up to 6 months.

What I like:

  • It’s easy to use with a convenient sprayer
  • It kills ants instantly
  • It’s a good value for the price

What I don’t like:

  • Some users have had issues with the hose connection on the sprayer

Ortho BugClear is an effective ant-killer that is easy to use. It’s one of the best because it kills ants fast and keeps them away. Although some report issues with the hose to the spray nozzle, the product is still easy to use, and it will rid your garden of ants for good if you use it properly.

Fire Ant Killer Safe For Vegetable Gardens

Ortho Two Step Fire Ant Killer on Amazon is one of the best remedies for fire ant infestations. It is created specifically to target hardy fire ants and other insects.

What makes this product an excellent choice is a combination of factors. It contains a powerful and effective ant killer that is mixed with ingredients that attract ants. 

They carry it back to the colony where it kills the queen and eliminates the entire colony of ants. This treatment is part of a 2-step treatment that helps you get rid of fire ants for good.

This is ideal for anyone who has been battling fire ant infestations and is looking for a powerful method for killing high numbers of ant colonies. One twin pack of this product treats up to 324 mounds of fire ants.

What I like:

  • Effective at killing ants indoors and outdoors
  • Good value for the cost
  • Easy to sprinkle the powder & granules

What I don’t like:

  • It has a strong smell

Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer is one of the best solutions for a fire ant problem. It contains powerful ingredients that kill these fearful types of ants quickly to prevent their spread. It’s easy to use and you get a lot of mileage out of one package.

Ant Repelling Plants

Certain plants naturally repel ants. These include Sage, pennyroyal, catnip, and peppermint. Ants do not like the smell of these plants and they will go to great lengths to avoid them. To cut down on the ant population naturally, plant any of these near your garden.

Texas Sage Live Plant

We found a Texas Sage plant on Amazon is an excellent choice for keeping ants at bay naturally. What we like the most about this remedy is that it is an attractive plant that adds beauty to the landscape. 

This is a drought-tolerant variety that also flowers at key seasons. It is a good price for a moderately-sized healthy plant.

This is one of the top choices for landscapers because of the lavender and purple blossoms that look lovely against the silvery foliage. This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to repel ants naturally.

What I like:

  • It’s easy to grow and hard to kill
  • The plant doesn’t require much maintenance or frequent watering
  • The flowers are pretty, and the leaves are also attractive

What I don’t like:

  • A little pricey

Although this variety is a little on the expensive side, it’s still the ideal choice for anyone who wants to beautify their landscape while discouraging ant traffic.

Helpful Tips On How To Kill Ants In Garden Soil

  • Choose a product that has a powerful ant-killing ingredient
  • Address the problem as quickly as you notice it
  • Use a system that helps to destroy the entire colony to prevent re-infestation

Final Thoughts

When you see a trail of ants coming from the garden to the house it’s time to take fast action. We’ve reviewed several different methods on how to kill ants in garden soil, and you now have the knowledge about useful products that can help solve your ant problem. 

Find the method or product that fits your situation best and the one that you’re most comfortable with. Killing ants is a lot easier when you not only kill them but protect your garden from their return.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

Related Posts