As soon as the sun starts to shine, nature comes to life, and animals start working on building nests and expanding their territory. It is how the little ant with its colony in your garden is also working hard. One ant seems harmless, but an ant never comes alone! Once the way to the pantry is found, you can be sure that the entire legion will follow. There are natural ways to keep the animals away. The use of chemical pesticides is outdated. We provide a strategy to overcome the ant in a completely natural way.
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The ant species is one of the most successful species on the planet. About 12,000 ant species are known on our earth, and they live on every continent except Antarctica. Most varieties are black or brown, but yellow, red, green, silver-gray, and gold-colored varieties. Ants have a three-part body, three pairs of legs, and antennae on their heads. These antennae are the immediate sense that the ant can use to smell and feel. Ants have eyes, but they are underdeveloped. Queens and male ants have wings to perform the so-called ‘nuptial flight.’ At that moment, we are talking about flying ants.
The sometimes enormous clouds of ants, therefore, only consist of males and queens. In the sky, these mates, after which the males die and the queens look for nesting places to establish a new colony. Ants live in colonies. A settlement consists of one queen, workers (the largest group), and young males and young queens. Workers have divided the tasks; they are scouts, food collectors, nest keepers, nurses, or soldiers and carry out all the necessary functions. Ants are diligent people. They build their nests in the ground or hollow trees. All soft surfaces, cracks, or holes are suitable for a nest. Ants attack and defend themselves by stinging with a poison stinger orbiting and then injecting formic acid into the bite wound. It gives a burning sensation and red bumps and can be very painful. The African Saifu, also known as Driver Ant, is known for being deadly. The Fire Ant, from South America, also has poison that can kill a person.
Are ants harmful?
Food on which ants sit is no longer suitable for consumption because ants carry bacteria. They are certainly very unsanitary, especially with large numbers. The nests of ants consist of enormous corridors. They make your patio and garden unstable. Also, ants spread aphids that are harmful to plants and protect the aphids by killing their natural enemies, such as the ladybug’s larva—enough reason to want to protect your garden and home and keep them away.
Keep ants away
In fact, with ants, prevention is better than cure. By taking preventive actions, you can prevent ants from setting up camp in unwanted places.
- Always cover food scraps in the kitchen and make sure that the worktop is clean. Sweets, in particular, are a direct invitation to ants.
- Sink the garden table regularly and sweep the tiles, so that loose sand goes right back into the grout.
- Ants love rotting material in the garden, so remove old wood and leaves. Close the waste containers outside and the kitchen’s waste bins well; here is a proper storage shed for ants.
- Before the summer, make around with the sealant sprayer to properly seal cracks and crevices in the house.
- If you want to keep ants out of your home or a particular area, there are several ways to create a boundary that ants will not cross. For example, ants never walk over the copper wire because they hate copper. Put a copper wire along the threshold, and they will choose a different route. Five-cent coins seem to have the same effect. Update: This doesn’t seem to work! Please leave comments at the bottom of this is/is not the case with you.
- Chalk and baby powder contain talcum powder. It is a natural pesticide. Sprinkle it on the ants’ routes, and they won’t pass it anymore. In case of rain, repeat the spreading.
- It is good to know that ants always take a fixed route. If you disturb that route, the animals will become disoriented.
- Dispose of coffee grounds in your garden. Mix it with a little bit of garden soil and sprinkle it where you want to keep the ants away. Incidentally, a little coffee is good for the plants, and cats hate it—two birds with one stone.
Fight ants with herbs and plants
There are several herbs and plants that ants dislike. When it comes to spices, sage, rosemary, chives, marjoram, Maggi herb, and basil keep ants at bay. Both mint and tansy are known for their ant-repellent properties. Also, it is good to know that ants hate certain strong smells. The smell of basil, oregano, garlic (just like snails), sage, rosemary, cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon is too strong for the animals. You can mix the herbs with water or block the route with some litter. Ants don’t go over a layer of pepper either. Sprinkle some pepper (black, white, cayenne makes no difference), and they will stay away. Again, repeat the spreading when it rains. Mint in any form keeps ants away as well. You can crumble mint leaves or cut open a mint tea bag and sprinkle the contents along the ants’ regular route. You can also spray toothpaste or mouthwash with a strong peppermint flavor and scent. The plants that repel ants are marigolds (annual) or lavender. However, this is where the marigold proves to be most effective. Place the herbs or plants in a few strategically placed pots or bright places in the garden.