How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Outside Without Killing Them?
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How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Outside Without Killing Them?

We’ve covered a lot of topics on Pest Control FAQ where we talk about getting rid of pests that are inside the home. And we have even talked about how to get rid of ants. But I get asked all the time how to get rid of ants naturally that are outside the home, and I’ve decided that it’s time to address this. We’re also going to talk about how to get rid of them in a natural way that doesn’t kill them. After all, many people with a pest problem simply want to deter them, and not harm the pests.

So, how to get rid of ants naturally outside without killing them? Use plants in your garden and around your home that naturally repel ants. Tidy up any of the places where you may have food outdoors. Use essential oils and other scents that are repulsive to ants. Use cucumber, since ants cannot stand the smell of it.

It is not impossible to get rid of ants outside your home, and you can do it without causing them harm. You can also get rid of the ants by using natural methods. In this article, I’m going to show you practical ways to deal with ants. And I’m also going to give you some product recommendations that will be helpful to you. 

What Sort of Ants Might be Outside Your Home?

Depending on where you live, you may encounter a variety of different types of ants. But which types of ants are harmful to other living beings, which types are harmful to your home, and which are just nuisances? Knowing what kind of ants you may encounter will help you both identify them, and properly get rid of them. You will also know the risk of what you’re up against.

Some of the most common types of ants you may encounter include:

  • The Carpenter Ant is one of the most common that you will find in your home and your yard. These ants are incredibly dangerous to your home and trees. They will tunnel their way through the wood, and they have been known to be dangerous to the very structure of your home itself. If you think you may have Carpenter Ants, you will want to act fast to get rid of them.
  • Fire Ants are very popular, and they can be very dangerous. Fire Ants are well known for their painful, burning sting that gives them their name. These aggressive ants are most common if you live in a warmer climate, such as the Southern region of the United States. They prefer to build their homes outside, and they do not like to be disturbed.
  • Pavement Ants can often be found crawling out from cracks in the sidewalk, or from underneath rocks. They are fond of meats and greasy food, as well as sugary foods. Pavement Ants can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. They are known for coming back over and over again, much to the frustration of many homeowners.

Now that you know what kinds of ants might be likely to invade your home and yard let’s talk about why you don’t want them on your property in the first place.

Why You Don’t Want Ants Outside the House

Simply put, having ants outside the home increases the chances that they will eventually choose to come inside your home. After all, ants will smell the food inside your house, and they may choose to come inside to raid your cupboards or fridge. Once inside, they can facilitate the spread of disease by crawling all over your food after crawling over other surfaces.

Ants may cause damage to trees and other wooden structures.

And while ants may provide some benefits for your outside garden, they can also pose a threat to it. Ants can protect certain insects that do a lot of damage to your garden plants. Certain types of ants may also cause an incredibly high level of damage to trees and other wooden structures.

Ants may compromise the integrity of your foundation

This may eventually include your home. Certain types of larger ants will tunnel through the wood in your homes, and can even compromise the integrity of your foundation.

Fire Ants are dangerous if you come in contact with them

If it’s fire ants you have a problem with, they are dangerous if you come in contact with them. And if you have pets or children, they may not know to stay away from fire ants. Other species of biting or stinging ants can also cause significant pain and injury if a child is playing outside and begins digging in the area of an ant hill.

Plus, don’t forget that ant hills popping up all over your yard can also be just plain unsightly. While this is not a hazard, it may make you feel embarrassed about your yard and lawn. They can also be massive pests if you barbecue or have parties outdoors frequently.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Outside Without Killing Them?

Now, I’ve compiled a handy list of things that you can use to repel ants naturally away from outside your home without killing them. Some of these are using fairly simple ingredients that you may already have in your home, or that you can pick up easily from a local store.

Use Plants That Are Offensive to Ants

If you were looking to add another plant to your garden, you might want to choose something that will be offensive to ants. Certain plants may repel ants away from your yard and from possibly coming into your home.

Some of the plants you can try adding to your yard include:

  • catnip
  • pennyroyal
  • peppermint
  • spearmint
  • sage
  • and similar plants and herbs.

The scent of these plants may be enough to make ants think twice before they create their home on your property. And since mint and sage repels a lot of different pests, it will have added value for you.

Try Using Essential Oils

I have talked a lot about essential oils here at Pest Control FAQ. Not only are essential oils very powerful and aromatic, but they are usually easy to find and don’t cost that much. Essential oils have been very popular lately for health, aromatherapy, and many other reasons.

But they are also incredibly effective when it comes to pest control. They mainly work by offending the scent glands of any pests that you want to repel. And when a particular scent is incredibly overwhelming to ants, they will be likely to retreat far away.

When you’re choosing essential oils to repel ants, there are a few specific scents you might choose from.

Peppermint oil is an excellent first choice when it comes to repelling ants.

If you want to get rid of ants naturally then some other essential oils you might use are:

  • citrus oil
  • tea tree oil
  • cinnamon oil
  • and more.

You can try combining some of these together to make the deterrent even more powerful.

How to use essential oils?

Mix essential oil with water in a spray bottle, and then spray it around the outside of your home. Don’t spray on top of or inside of the ant hills, since this is likely to drown and kill the ants. You should make sure to spray your patio, all around the outside of your house, and anywhere near spots where ants might tend to go. 

Avoid Feeding the Ants

Some people may be tempted to feed certain pests, and then be unhappy when those pests stick around. If you do not want ants, then do not provide any food sources for them. Remove anything from outside your home that could serve as a food source for ants. Then, they are likely to go elsewhere in search of something to eat.

If you regularly have barbecues or outdoor parties with food, keep an eye on food and sticky drink hitting the ground. After all, ants can end up being the worst uninvited guests at your party, especially when there is food around. Don’t leave any used dishes or utensils outside, because they may smell like food and attract ants.

Move your pet food bowl

Another ant attractant is the common pet food bowl. Many pet owners are dismayed to find ants crawling all over their dog or cat’s food bowl. If possible, you should move your pet’s food bowl to a place where they are less likely to attract ants.

Get rid of the standing water

You should also be careful with leaving standing water around your home. If ants are not seeking food, they might be seeking a drink. Keep things as dry as possible, deterring ants from being able to find a drink in your yard or home.

Spray Vinegar Around the Home

Vinegar is a natural scent that is offensive to many pests, one of which is ants. If you start seeing ants outside your home, trying mixing vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, spray around the outside of your home. For added strength, try adding essential oils or even some garlic to the spray bottle with the vinegar and water.

Cinnamon is a Great Deterrent

The smell of cinnamon may be pleasing to you, but ants cannot stand this spice. The scent is too strong, and it will force them to leave an area where they detect it. Fortunately, cinnamon is incredibly versatile, and there is a multitude of ways you can use.

Some ways that you can use cinnamon as an effective ant repellent include:

  • Get powdered cinnamon, and sprinkle it around areas that you want ants to stay away from. You can also sprinkle it at the entryways of your home, in order to prevent ants from coming inside your house.
  • If you prefer the idea of using essential oils, you can get cinnamon essential oils.
  • Mix cinnamon or cinnamon essential oil in a spray bottle with a large quantity of water, and spray this mixture around the outside of your home.
  • The easiest way to use cinnamon is by getting raw cinnamon sticks and placing them around the outside of your home. You can even bury some in the dirt.

If cinnamon is your choice of ant repellent, you may also consider mixing it with one of the other methods I have recommended.

Try Using Lemon

Like many pests, ants are repelled by the scent of citrus fruits. This means you can effectively use lemon to deter ants away from your home. And remember earlier when I suggested using a natural disinfectant to get rid of an ant’s scent trail? Many natural disinfectants include citrus scents such as lemons or oranges.

Lemon juice is available at most grocery stores, but you can also make juice yourself with a fresh batch of lemons. Disperse lemon juice around the outside of your home, especially at potential entry points where ants might choose to come inside.

Besides deterring ants, the smell of lemon juice to humans will smell clean and refreshing. It also will repel other insects away from your yard and home without being harmful to the environment.

Draw a Line With Chalk

This one might sound too good to be true, but many of my readers have told me that they found ants will not cross a line drawn in chalk. This is because ants don’t like the powder sticking to their feet so that they will avoid it. For a quick fix, use any spare outdoor chalk that you have and draw lines on your sidewalks, patio, and other appropriate surfaces. This will help keep ants at bay.

Coffee Grounds Will Make Ants Move Away

Coffee will not kill ants, but I have found that it is incredibly effective as an ant repellent. In my experience, spreading coffee grounds around outside will make ants leave within the week. They find coffee so offensive that they will pick up and move away from your yard to another place.

This is most effective if you place coffee grounds near the points of entry where ants come into your home.

Ants Cannot Stand Cucumber

You may or may not know that ants cannot stand the scent of cucumber! Fortunately, you can use this to your advantage to repel them from your yard. If you regularly cut up and eat cucumbers, you can try using the scraps from the parts you don’t eat. Or if you don’t mind cutting up and using whole cucumbers as a natural pesticide, that is fine, too.

The easiest way to use cucumber may be to place whole slices around the outside of your home, but this may be unsightly as the cucumbers dry up. Try putting cucumber and water in your blender and blending the mix as thinly as you can. Then, pour it into a spray bottle and spray around the outside of your home.

Buy Specialized Ant Repellent Products

Many companies make high-quality pesticides that are good for getting rid of ants. However, it can be hard to find pesticides that are not the only natural, but only repel ants without killing them. It can still be done!

Continue reading, because I have a few products to recommend to you later on.

Main Reasons to use Natural Pesticides

I have a few articles on Pest Control FAQ about natural pesticides you can use, as well as the pros and cons of using natural chemicals versus synthetic pesticides. In fact, I find that the topic of using natural pesticides comes up a lot these days. People are always asking me if synthetic chemicals are harmful, and wanting to know ways that they can “go green.”

How to get rid of ants naturally by using natural pesticides?

Some reasons you should use natural pesticides outdoors include:

  • When you use natural pesticides, you have less of a chance of contaminating your soil, or even your water.
  • Natural pesticides are less likely to kill bugs and animals. This is perfect if you want to use only humane methods of pest control.
  • If you have pets or children, synthetic pesticides may be very harmful to them.
  • After a while, insects may build up a tolerance to synthetic pesticides. This means that they won’t work anymore to repel pests. Natural insecticides work better over the long-term since pests won’t build up a tolerance to them.
  • If you’re environmentally conscious, natural pesticides and natural deterrents are an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Some natural methods of pest control may be more affordable and easier to use than synthetic pesticides. You may also be able to use these without needing to hire a costly exterminator.
  • Nowadays, natural pesticides are much more accessible than they used to be. You can also find them at more stores than you used to be able to.

If you are sold on the idea of using natural pest repellent methods and products, then we can continue with why you may want to use humane methods, as well.

Recommended Natural and Humane Ant Pesticide Products

Now, I am going to give you some product recommendations. These are all natural products that you can use to repel ants outdoors without killing them. I am going to include general descriptions for these, along with their rating on the Amazon market place.

Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil

Though not specifically marketed as a pesticide, this peppermint essential oil from Majestic Pure will help repel ants away from any area it is applied to.

It is made in the USA, and it is guaranteed to be a pure product with no unnatural additives. This peppermint oil is advertised as being safe to use around the house and garden.

Wondercide Natural Pest Control Spray

This natural pest control spray is easy to use, environmentally friendly and will repel ants without killing them. This spray is made with organic essential oils of cedar and lemongrass. Lemongrass is naturally revitalizing and invigorating.

Check Price Here

Choosing not to Kill Ants (Just Repelling Them!)

You don’t have to justify your choice not to want to kill pests. Whether you have specific religious beliefs, political beliefs, activist beliefs, or you just don’t want to kill other living things; there are many valid reasons for using human methods of pest control.

If you want to get rid of ants naturally but don’t choose to kill them, it may cause some problems later. For example, they may also relocate to a nearby neighbor’s yard. However, you may be able to collaborate with your neighbors to create a collaborative effort to drive ants from your community. This will result in pest repellent on a much larger scale.

Main Ways to Prevent Ants from Entering Your Home

Every time you step outside, do you see an increasing amount of ant hills popping up all over your yard? It can be disheartening to see ants moving into your backyard. And naturally, you start to feel anxious that they may decide to come into your home to forage for food.

Unfortunately, this is what ants do, and it gets worse during the warmer months of the year. If you live in an area where it’s warm all the time, you may have an even worse ant problem.

When you see ants moving into your backyard, you must take action as soon as possible to deter them away. This is especially true if you start seeing them wandering into your home. 

Food will naturally attract ants like nothing else

You should always start pest control with tidying up. Do you have areas outside where you regularly have food or eat? Maybe you have a barbecue or picnic table where you are likely to drop crumbs or pieces of food on the ground. Food will naturally attract ants like nothing else. Surely, you have seen a group of ants swarming all over a piece of food on the ground before.

Disinfect wherever you have seen ants crawling

In addition to cleaning up areas where food may fall, you should also disinfect wherever you have seen ants crawling. This is especially true if you see them indoors! There is a range of natural disinfectants for you to choose from.

The main point here is that ants retrace their steps by using the scent of the trails they’ve left. And if you use disinfectant to erase those trails, they’ll be less likely to come back.

And if you have seen any ants inside your home, you should also consider using some indoor methods to repel them from your house. You don’t want to drive ants out of your yard just to have them move into the house.

Final thoughts: How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Outside Without Killing Them?

Today, we’ve jumped deep into the topic of getting rid of ants naturally outside without killing them. We’ve talked about tidying up, scents you can use to deter them, the use of cucumber, and other helpful methods. I’ve even introduced you to some useful products that you can find on Amazon. If you have any methods you prefer to get rid of ants naturally outside without killing them, feel free to leave these in the comments section below!

Here at Pest Control FAQ, you will find answers for all of your pest problems. Whether you are battling birds or bed bugs, I have solid advice for you, as well as product recommendations. After all, you should never let pests take over your life! 

Related Questions

Why do people prefer humane pest control? People have a lot of reasons for not wanting to kill animals and insects. Some religions and spiritual practices forbid people from killing other living things. Some people are animal activists and do not believe in killing a living thing. And others are just squeamish at the idea.

How do I get rid of ants that are indoors? Try the use of safe, indoor pesticides. Clean up their trails with disinfectant, so ants are less likely to follow their scent trails back into your home. Use spray and ant bait traps. Caulk any crevices or cracks where ants are likely to crawl in so you can prevent any re-entry. Place ant repellent products at the entryways of your home so that they do not come back inside your house.

What are the natural predators of ants? There are a variety of animals and other bugs that eat ants. Some insects such as beetles, caterpillars, spiders, and snails will eat ants. Other animals such as snakes, fish, lizards, birds, bears, and coyotes may eat ants, too. Anteaters are famous and have their namesake for eating ants.

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