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Getting rid of Ants in the lawn, Need help

 
Joe Gag
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Hi, on one of my tree lines I have a ant colony, in a couple different spots, I would like to get rid of them so i can get the grass to grow back in that area. Any tips?The are Black ants.
 
John Brownlee
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There are borax based ant baits you can easily make that will eliminate the entire colony. Use 2 Tbsp of borax and make a paste with jam, jelly, honey etc. The element boron is toxic to ants, and they will slowly take the poison into the colony without any harm at first. As the toxic level slowly increases, as it is fed to all the ants, including larvae and the queen, after about a week they will ALL die almost at the same time.
John
 
Joe Gag
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Is this unsafe for other animals such as Dog's,chickens etc
 
John Brownlee
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I would certainly keep the animals from eating it, but I will tell you that my son ate a borax based Roach bait once when he was about 2, and had 0 reactions. from my experience and what I have learned about pest control, the worst reaction to borax baits is a little bit of gas.
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Boiling water will do the trick.
 
Joe Gag
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Does the boiling water kill them? I am just not sure how I would get enough down all of the little holes.
 
John Brownlee
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Tom,
boiling water will work, but, it will not kill the entire colony all at one time so it will need to be treated multiple times.also you have the added danger of carrying boiling water across your yard. DON'T WEAR FLIP FLOPS! Boiled feet aren't very permaculture.

I also just thought of this option. I read somewhere that guinea hens will eat fire ants. Maybe get some guineas and temporarily confine them to the area where the ants are. Research this first.

And i know there are Organic ant control products that are made out of just the essence of orange peels, that might be the best answer for an ant problem.
 
Joe Gag
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I am unsure if there are Fire Ants in NY, I have Guineas and chickens but they don't seem to spend much time there. Guess I could build a Temp Pen to keep them just in that area.
 
John Brownlee
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Joe,
I would try the guineas first at least until you observe them eating or avoiding the ants.
 
Tom OHern
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John,

I agree that Boiled feet aren't very permaculture, but neither is using borax. In fact, from a permaculture standpoint, I wouldn't even recommend trying to kill the ants unless they were fire ants and posed a threat to people or pets but since these are black ants, personally, I'd just leave them. Most ant colonies die off during the winter and if you want to encourage that, then the best thing to do is find their major food source and remove it or plant sage, pennyroyal, peppermint, rue, mint, bay, lavender, marigolds, pyrethrum, wormwood, yarrow or tansy to encourage them to abscond from their nest.
 
John Brownlee
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Tom,
I agree with you on evereverything. Except for the use of borax. Borax is boron which is a necessary plant element that is naturally occurring. However in 99.9 percent of cases, adding boron to the soil is totally unnecessary, and like everything else too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I do agree that if these are just black ants I would leave them alone too.
 
Jonah Decker
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diatomaceous earth ... comes in a powder form is completely nontoxic. Made from diatom skeletons. Is added to grain shipments to prevent infestation.
Kills bugs by getting in the joints of their exoskeleton and dehydrating/cutting them.
I used some last summer to get rid of an ant colony in my garden took a couple applications. The colony is gone now.
 
Joe Gag
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I keep DE on hand here, I'll give it a try.
 
Marj Baker
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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I found 2 tablespoons borax with a half cup of sugar mixed together works great, I scuff up the ant hill and pour it right in, cover with soil to keep the birds and critters out, ant hill gone quickly. I have a friend who put the mixture in an old plastic peanut butter jar with a small hole in it near the top, set in the soil near the ant hill, keeps other critters out.
 
Joe Gag
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Have not had a chance to do anything yet, it has been raining.
 
Bonnie Eveland
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There are a number of different natural methods. I found a link that has quite a few more methods than I had previously heard about. Just remember that ants out in a field in not too large of numbers greatly benefit the soil. http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blogs/13-natural-remedies-for-the-ant-invasion
 
Luke Townsley
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Location: Dugger, IN Zone 6a
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I've used a bucket of soapy water on ants before. Just dumped it on the ant hill. Apparently something about the soap suffocates them, or at least that's what I have heard.
 
Bev Huth
Posts: 36
Location: AR, USA
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Chickens - fence them in fairly tight to the ants, go in an turn the ant hills up. The chickens eat a lot of the ants and all of the eggs. Watch it for a week or so, turn up new hill if they happen.

I did that here for two years, now no more ant problem, the free chickens handle the few that try to move in, they know ants are food
 
joe r c smith
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Tom OHern wrote:John,

I agree that Boiled feet aren't very permaculture, but neither is using borax. In fact, from a permaculture standpoint, I wouldn't even recommend trying to kill the ants unless they were fire ants and posed a threat to people or pets but since these are black ants, personally, I'd just leave them. Most ant colonies die off during the winter and if you want to encourage that, then the best thing to do is find their major food source and remove it or plant sage, pennyroyal, peppermint, rue, mint, bay, lavender, marigolds, pyrethrum, wormwood, yarrow or tansy to encourage them to abscond from their nest.


I have small ants that have taken over my lawn. They will bite anything that steps in the lawn. My dogs will not go on it anymore and that is why we have it. I live in arizona where it is hot. Do you know if those plants you mentioned are dog safe and also heat tolerant? Will those plants grow in the lawn?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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As with anything, when it becomes a real nuisance, it's time to act accordingly, preferably with out harm to non-target things. The ants you have, that have evicted your dog from your yard are probably a type of fire ant. Rather than run a risk, just sprinkle diatomaceous earth over the hills, don't water it in. If you want to do something fast, you can use a borax soap in a lawn feeder type hose sprayer and saturate the mounds. When that has soaked in and the surface is dry, sprinkle the diatomaceous earth, that will finish the job. I had a multitude of ant hills on my land when we started the rejuvenation and restorations, we have only treated the mounds that are in the way/ in the wrong places. The Diatoms do the job with out being a danger to any of your critters. using the borax as a soak, also does well and it isn't available for your critters to lick up.
 
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