How to Get Rid of Ants in Garden Without Pesticide


With all the time and effort expended in creating and caring for a garden, it can be discouraging to look down and see ants marching through it. These tiny invaders come in large numbers and take over an area with ease. While dousing them with pesticides would surely do the trick, it would also render all of your hard work inedible and cause problems for neighborhood animals. Getting rid of them safely requires just a little more effort, but in the end it's more than worth it.

Step 1

Locate the source of the ants and place an upside down flower pot on top of their home. Pour boiling or scalding hot water down the flower pot's drain hole that is now facing up. This will kill off many ants and send a message to survivors that this isn't a good place to live. This may take several applications to get through to stubborn ants.

Step 2

Sprinkle dry grits all around your garden so that ants will take the "free meal" home. When they consume the grits for dinner they won't be able to digest it and many will die. If the queen eats it and dies, the colony will be forced to move on.

Step 3

Cut oranges into wedges and place them around the garden. Ants will climb all over the orange pieces which birds will fly down and scoop up taking your ant problem with them.

Step 4

Dig up their anthill and place a piece of dry ice into it. Use a long handled shovel and be sure to push the ice down into the hole you have dug firmly before covering it back up. The freezing temperature will kill of the queen and many of her colony.

Step 5

Douse the ants with soapy water. Dish soap is bad for ants, but not for your garden. You can even pour soapy water onto their anthill to scale back the ant population. Keep a spray bottle handy with soapy water in it to spray onto ants you find in your garden to kill them on the spot.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you're using a shovel to move or scoop up ants, wear long sleeves and tuck your pants into your shoes to reduce the chance of getting stung.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower pot
  • Dry grits
  • Oranges
  • Long handled shovel
  • Dry ice
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle


  • Beyond Pesticides: Least-toxic Control of Indoor and Outdoor Ants
  • Self Sufficientish: Tips on how to get rid of pests
Keywords: remedy for ants, ants in garden, kill ants

About this Author

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination, and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.