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How to Kill Leaf Cutter Ants

By Lynn Rademacher ; Updated August 01, 2017
Cutter ants can devestate gardens and trees.

Although leaf cutter ants are not native to the Southern United States, they are beginning to make an appearance in the area. Leaf cutter ants can be devastating to plants as they can cut plants off at the stem and carry it away leaving just a stub behind to whither. If colonies of leaf cutter ants are able to get into trees, it is possible for the tree to be destroyed as the leaves are cut off. Leaf cutter ants are a challenging garden pest. However, it is possible to control and even stop their advance with some natural and nontoxic methods.

Follow the trail of leaf cutter ants and determine where the ants are nesting if possible. If the ants are entering the house, observe them until it is possible to locate their trail and where they are entering the house.

Mix equal parts of baby powder and cayenne pepper.

Place the mixture along the ants' trail. This mixture will coat the ants and suffocate them. If the nest can be located, pour the baby powder and cayenne pepper mixture into the nest.

Place lemon grass around the perimeter of the garden. Lemon grass is an easily controlled plant and is a natural ant repellent. By planting lemon grass around the edge of garden and flower bed, the ants will be reduced in the garden and the plants won’t be damaged.

Wrap the base of trees in plastic wrap and cover the wrap with a synthetic tree sap that can be bought at gardening stores. The ants will become stuck in the sap and die. The synthetic sap can also be used around the base of buildings to prevent leaf cutter ants from getting inside.


About the Author


Lynn Rademacher started writing in 2001, covering technology, family and finance topics. Her writing has appeared in "Unique Magazine" and the "Ortonville Independent," among other publications. Rademacher holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from South Dakota State University.