How to get rid of ants

In Australia, ants are about as common as kookaburras and kangaroos. They play a crucial part in your garden’s ecosystem but inside the house can wreak havoc, finding their way into just about everything. Here we uncover the best natural ways to get rid of ants  as well as the best not-so natural ways to get rid of ants.


Types of ants

Australia is home to lots of pests and critters and a plethora of ants, some of the most common types of ants are:

  1. Carpenter ants
  2. Fire ants
  3. Bull ants
  4. Sugar ants 
  5. Black Ants
  6. Argentine ants
  7. Pharaoh ants
  8. Red Ants

1. Don’t feed ‘em

First things first, if you want ants to stay away permanently don’t leave a buffet of sugary and fatty food out. Keep your home free of crumbs and food scraps and keep as much as you can in sealed containers. This isn’t a foolproof method but it will cut down their numbers inside your home. 

2. Get them at the source

Here’s a simple and natural way to exterminate ants in one go.

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  1. Find the ants nest and using a small spade make a hole in the centre.
  2. Pour boiling water into the hole, repeating until no more ants surface from the nest.

Tip: This will turn them into crazy ants so make sure you’re wearing protective clothing.

3. Homemade bait

Finding the ants manor is often easier said than done, so if you can’t find the source you could look at making your own ant trap. 

  1. Mix together 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of Borax and a teaspoon of water. 
  2. Place a small amount near where the ants are active. 
  3. They will ingest the bait and take it back to the nest, killing off the entire colony. 

4. Richgrow 2.5kg Ant Killa Insecticide

Stop your ants from coming into your home with Richgrow Ant Killa. Simply lie granules around entrances, between pavers, on your lawns and the edge of your garden. Not only will it kill ants but it provides a strong barrier to keep the ants out! This 2.5kg pack will cover 400 square metres.

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Richgrow is highly effective but can be toxic to dogs, fish and children so make sure to apply out of reach. 

5. Water repellant 

If there’s one thing in particular that ants aren’t a fan of it’s water. If you find them scaling the sides of your dog’s food bowl, place the bowl in a larger bowl to form a moat around the food which will help keep the ants out.

6. Ant Bait

Another pesticide but for inside the home is Ant-Rid. Ants eat the bait and take it back to the nest where it infects the rest of the ants including the queen and destroys the nest. Whilst you won’t see results instantly, this bait is extremely effective. 

7. Smells

Ants don’t like strong smells, making vinegar and strong-smelling herbs such as cinnamon, mint, black pepper and even garlic, a great option to repel these pests. Simply leave these herbs in a small bowl or dip a cotton bud in liquid versions.

8. Ant Sprays

Raid Max Ant Killer is designed to combat not only ant issues but to kill cockroaches, spiders and other pests too. Simply spray the crawling pests as you see them and where they enter to create a long-lasting barrier for up to six months. 

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9. Gels

Talon Ant Killer Gel is a clear gel you use in ant “hotspots”. The pests are instantly attracted to the gel and take it back to the nest and kill the rest of the brood and the queen. It has relatively low toxicity to humans. 

10. Essential Oils

If you want to go chemicall-free you can treat ants naturally with five different essential oils. 

  1. Patchouli
  2. Peppermint
  3. Vetiver
  4. Orange
  5. Cedarwood

Dilute a couple of drops of essential oils in water and vodka and pour into a spray bottle. Use the spray on the affected areas and wherever you see ants coming in. This concoction is also great for other pests.

How to get rid of ants
Lottie Dalziel

Lottie Dalziel, is a 4AM riser and coffee-addict who loves reading up on the latest trends in sustainability or discovering ways to upcycle almost anything! You can find her by the beach, cooking up a storm or adding to her abundant (some would say out of control) plant collection.