How to Kill Red Ants in the Yard Naturally


While ants in your yard can be a hassle, fire ants (also called red ants) create a different problem altogether. Not only do they come in large numbers and take over an area quickly, but these aggressive little ants can sting you in a way that you'll still feel days later. Fire ants in your yard present a problem that requires prompt attention. Get rid of these pests safely with a few household items and some quick thinking.

Step 1

Use a long-handled shovel to scoop up fire ants out of their nest, dirt and all, and put it into a bucket. Fill the bucket with dirt and ants and leave a little room at the top. Fill the bucket up with hot soapy water and leave it to sit for 24 hours to kill the ants. This may take several tries but will reduce your fire ant population drastically.

Step 2

Dig a hole in the middle of the anthill quickly and carefully; this will surely make them mad. Drop a chunk of dry ice in the hole and force it deep down in the ground with the shovel or a rebar. Cover it back up with angry ants and dirt and leave it alone. The new unpleasant temperature will kill off the queen and force the survivors to relocate.

Step 3

Take burning charcoal embers from a recent barbecue and cover the anthill with it. This will at least temporarily send fire ants packing.

Step 4

Melt 1/2 bar of lye soap into five gallons of boiling water and pour it in a circle around the anthill before using the shovel to stir the dirt around mixing it with the hot soapy solution. This will immediately kill the ants.

Step 5

Scoop up ants from one colony and drop them into another with a long-handled shovel. These aggressive ants will fight to the death, taking care of much of the problem so that you don't have to.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts and tuck your pants into your boots when shoveling up fire ants to avoid getting stung. Wear gloves when handling dry ice.

Things You'll Need

  • Long handled shovel
  • Dry ice
  • Rebar
  • Burning charcoal embers
  • Lye soap


  • Fire Ant Information. Got Fire Ants?
  • Kill Fire Ants
Keywords: kill fire ants, fire ants in lawn, remove fire ants in lawn

About this Author

I’m a cleaning guru with a blog that I try to keep up with in my spare time: I’m prior service military, a previously certified EMT-B, a dental assistant, mother of one (2 if you count the cat) married to my best friend, and I have an extensive background in aerospace science and technology.