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How to Get Rid of Ants Safely

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

An ant infestation in your yard or garden can be a bothersome and persistent problem. However, for the avid gardener, commercial ant poisons are not a viable option. They may harm pets, kill helpful garden insects or contaminate a crop of organic vegetables. Luckily, they are not a necessary option either. There are several ways to get rid of ants safely and effectively without resorting to noxious chemicals that may contaminate your garden, family or pets.

Get rid of anything that may be attracting ants to your yard or garden. Check out the places that the ants frequent for bits of cat, dog or people food or a standing water supply. If the ants are in your garden, aphids may be attracting them. You must get rid of them--and any other food source--to permanently solve your ant problem.

Grind chalk and create a perimeter around your garden (or any other place that they frequent) with it. Ants will not cross over a nice thick line of ground chalk, and it's perfectly safe for you and your pets to cross. Wait until late in the evening, when ants are less active, to reduce the likelihood that you'll be trapping ants in your garden as well as keeping them out.

Find the anthill or -hills. Then, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Right before removing it from the stove, toss an ample amount of chopped orange peels and pulp into the water. Then pour the boiling water and orange bits onto the anthill. The boiling water will kill the ants on contact. And since the limonoids in orange peels and pulp are poisonous to ants, they'll kill any ants that the boiling water misses. If your anthill is exceptionally deep, you may have to douse the anthill more than once.


Things You Will Need

  • Ants
  • Chalk
  • Oranges

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.