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The 2 Best Ways to Get Rid of Ants Fast–Without Using Harsh Chemicals


Are ant hills suddenly overtaking your lawn and invading your garden? You don’t have to resort to chemicals or ant traps. Step away from that bottle of Raid and try these homemade solutions instead.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your House or Lawn

The solution that’s always worked for me is a mixture of one part Borax to one part icing sugar. You can also use regular sugar, or really anything that’s sweet. Mix it together, set it on an old jar lid, and set it near where the ants are. Within a couple of days to a week the ants will be gone.

I’ve found in my yard that doing this keeps ants away for at least two years.

Also, don’t skip the jar lid step if you’re putting it on your lawn. It will kill your grass–I’ve learned this the hard way.

However, for those of you that have kids or pets that get into everything, using Borax is not going to work for you. In that case, move on to option B. . .

Get Rid of Ants the Pet and Kid Friendly Way

If you need to keep your pets and kids safe, sprinkle a generous dose of cornmeal on and around the affected area. The ants will eat the cornmeal, and it will expand too much in their stomachs and kill them.

Thankfully, the same will not happen if your kids or pets get into your cornmeal ant trap. The worst that can happen is that they might eat an ant or some dirt along with the cornmeal.

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Do I need to get rid of the ants on my peony bushes?

You might have noticed that there are ants crawling all over your peony bushes this time of year. Thankfully, you don’t need to set a trap for these particular ants, as the ants won’t harm the peonies. It’s commonly believed that the ants help open the peony buds, but I’ve seen a lot of conflicting information on this, so I can’t say if they actually do or don’t.

Planting Peonies? Here’s everything you need to know

However, if the only ants in your yard are the ones on the peonies and they’re not causing a problem anywhere else, you don’t need to set a trap for those particular ants.

Just maybe don’t plant peony bushes directly against your house. We had a small ant problem in our house that was always during peony season, and once I removed a peony that was too close, we never had an issue again.

How close is too close? Aim for 6 feet/2 meters away (or further) from the house.

Have other pests you need help with? Here’s how to deter the most common pests from your garden.

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!