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How to Kill Ants in My Tree

By Melynda Sorrels ; Updated September 21, 2017

It's discouraging when one of the trees on your property has become a hangout for ants. They always seem to come in large numbers, making the problem sizable. Most trees are taller than we are, so controlling the ants in them may seem impossible. With a little ingenuity on your side, however, ants can be eliminated from your tree in almost no time.

Wrap tape around the base of your tree with the sticky side facing out. This will catch ants on the way up and down. Replace the tape periodically as it becomes cluttered with ants.

Place a large flowerpot near the tree filled with dirt. Place a piece of fruit to use as bait on top of the dirt and wait for the ants to swarm it. Pour boiling water into the pot and stir the dirt around with a long-handled shovel. Repeat this as often as you want to kill large numbers of ants quickly.

Sprinkle corn meal on the ground at the base of the tree. The ants will collect the bait and take it home to feed the colony, which will kill them off quickly as they can’t digest it. Eventually, the queen will eat it and die, which will force the rest of the colony to move on.

Mix 1 tsp. of boric acid into 2 cups of water and add in 6 tsp. of sugar. Dip cotton balls into the solution and place them into plastic containers. Poke holes into the plastic so the ants can get in and place the lid onto the container. Place the container near the tree to attract the ants. Once they take the bait home, it will kill large quantities of ants.

Place an upside-down flowerpot onto the anthill to cover it and pour scalding water into the drain hole at the bottom. The ants will be unable to escape. Repeat this process as needed.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Tape
  • Flowerpot
  • Fruit
  • Corn meal
  • Boric acid
  • Sugar
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic container

Tip

  • Plant lavender, curry, tansy and marigolds near the base of the tree to keep ants away. Also create barriers with flour, salt or chalk to keep ants away.

Warning

  • If you use a commercial pesticide to kill the ants, read the manufacturer's instructions carefully as these products may not be safe around children or pets.

About the 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.