ants

by Liz
(Syracuse, UT)

My soil used to be wonderful! I bury all my green refuse (apple peels, carrot shavings, etc). I had lots of big fat worms.

Then the ants moved in. I have four big ant hills. I do not see the hills, just the ants. Now there aren't any worms to be found.

How do I get rid of these ants? They are black and bite.

Thanks.

Hi Liz, that certainly is a bit disheartening - the nerve!

I have heard that ants need water, so if you have a dripping tap, drip irrigation, or underground sprinklers, this would certainly account for them moving in.

They also like buried wood, so their ideal situation would be anywhere that they have access to buried roots, decaying raised beds or other wood possibly buried during house construction.

There isn't much you can do about that, but you can use their taste for sugar against them; I've found that they love icing sugar mixed with Borax, which they take home to the nest, feed it to all the queens and juveniles, which kills them.

Sometimes this is the only way to get rid of them, and a couple of things you must keep in mind; borax is not only toxic to ants, but dogs too, and probably other critters.

Keep your bait stations well away from where dogs will be exposed to them, and dispose of them once the ants clean them out. You may have to do this several times to be sure you have got them all.

Apparently, they also really like corn meal, which swells up inside them and kills them, but I've never tried this.

If you do find the nests, boiling water will take care of them without any hazard to pets or other creatures.

Hope that helps with your ants!
Jacki

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