Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Organic Ant Killer for Gardens

One day last week I noticed there were ant piles growing up all over our yard. The ants were red, but bigger than the typical fire ant, and they were building piles much differently than I've ever seen. And the ants were leaf-cutters as I watched them carry pieces of cut up leaves into their mounds.

At first I tried fire ant killer, but then I noticed a few mounds inside my raised garden. I don't know much about gardening, but I'm pretty sure it's a no-no to put ant killer inside your garden.

So I googled organic ant control solutions, and there were tons to choose from. But the only one I could try was using plain, white, table sugar. It was the only one that I had the necessary ingredient on hand.

What you do is to take a cup or more of table sugar and pour it directly into and around the opening hole of the ant mound. Use a LOT. I don't know the action, but something about the sugar drives them away. (I don't think they are killed but simply relocate.)

I tried it and poured sugar in little piles all over my yard.

I even tried it on the large mounds growing under our privacy fence.

Conclusion: The sugar worked!

Kind of.

Within a few hours of applying the sugar to the small and medium sized mounds, the ants were gone. But the largest mound, seen here on our chain-link fence, was too large and the ants just moved over and started a new opening.

I have tried everything to get rid of this large mound, now about 2 feet in diameter. I've tried all kinds of pesticides but nothing works. Time to call the guy!

But on the small mounds, and the ones in my garden, no more ants!

Table sugar! Who knew?

(Oh, I wouldn't suggest using this trick too close to the house if you are in an area with the small, black, kitchen, sugar ants. We don't have those here. Every ant here is some type of stinging ant. We are so lucky.)