How to Get Rid of Ants in Flower Beds

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 heaping tablespoon boric acid/borax

  • 1 quart warm water

  • Cotton balls

  • Baby food jar with lid


Label the jars and keep out of reach of small children and pets.

Get Rid of Ants in Flower Beds

Finding an anthill in the middle of your flowerbed can be discouraging. Not only are they annoying, these insects will take over the area once they have located a place for their colony. Getting rid of the colony requires killing the queen. Insecticides may not be an option, as you do not want to harm your flowers or pose a danger to the environment. There are safer ways to get rid of ants.


Step 1

Pour boiling water on the anthill if it is small and you can do so without harming your flowers. Large anthills contain many tunnels that can run deep, and the boiling water may not reach the queen. Without killing off the queen, the rest of the colony will remain and multiply.

Step 2

Mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 heaping tablespoon of boric acid in 1 quart of warm water. You can buy boric acid in the hardware store, or use powdered borax found in the laundry aisle. Mix to dissolve the sugar crystals.

Step 3

Saturate 4 or 5 cotton balls with the solution and place them in a baby food jar. Seal the lid. Check to see that it does not leak. Punch several small holes in the lid with a nail.


Step 4

Place the jar on its side near the anthill. Elevating the top of the jar slightly will prevent it from leaking. Ants will enter the jar and carry the sugary solution back to the colony. Within a few days, the queen will consume the borax and die. Without a queen, any ants that remain will leave the colony in search of a new queen.


Nannette Richford

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.