Stopping the ants you see scurrying around the garden landscape isn't enough. They'll just keep coming. Tackle the problem once and for all by going to the source of the situation: the ant hill itself. Instead of using toxic commercial pesticides, first try using non-toxic or low-toxic home remedies that will eliminate the ant hill.
Build a Bait Station
Some ants prefer sweet, sugary bait. Other ants prefer fats and proteins. Test what type of ants you're facing by dabbing peanut butter onto a postcard and honey onto another postcard. Place the two postcards on opposite sides of the ant hill. After a day, observe which postcard has attracted the most ants. Once you know what kind of bait the ants prefer, make a homemade bait station.
Make the bait. In a bowl, pour 4 tablespoons of peanut butter or 6 tablespoons of honey, depending on which type of bait attracted the most ants in your postcard test. Add 3/4 teaspoon of boric acid. This natural powder is relatively low in toxicity to humans, pets and wildlife, but it kills ants effectively.
Smear the boric acid-enhanced bait inside a sealable plastic container, such as an empty, cleaned-out yogurt container. Close the container. Poke holes in the lid of the container with a screwdriver, a nail or a similar sharp implement.
Place the bait station near the ant hill. The ants will crawl through the holes in the container, feed on the bait and take the bait back to their nest where the boric acid will kill all the ants. Meanwhile, the plastic container will keep pets and wildlife from accessing the bait and also protects the bait from rain.
Add Boiling Water
This method is approximately 60 percent effective on the first try. If the ants survive, they will either relocate their nest -- eliminating your problem without you needing to kill all the ants -- or begin rebuilding their nest in the same spot. If necessary, repeat the boiling water application.
Eliminate Ants with Citrus Oil
Limonene is the active ingredient in orange and citrus fruit peels that kills ants and other insects upon contact while being low in toxicity to humans, pets and wildlife. Harness the power of citrus oil to eliminate an ant hill.
Fill a 1-gallon blender two-thirds full of orange peels.
Blend on medium until the peels are a fine mush. Aim for 1/2 gallon of orange peel mush. If necessary, add more orange peels and blend again until you have 1/2 gallon of puree.
Add 1/2 gallon of orange juice to create a liquid consistency.
Pour the citrus solution directly onto the top of an ant hill. The citrus oils kill the ants on contact.
Bucket the Hill
Bucketing the ant hill allows you to remove and relocate the hill without killing all of the ants. Using a large bucket and a garden spade, dig out the ant hill. Dig 12 inches deep and in a 12-inch radius around the center of the ant hill to fully remove the nest. Toss the removed soil into a bucket. If necessary, use multiple buckets.
Once the ant hill has been dug out, take the removed soil to another location, such as the outskirts of your property, and dump the soil out of the bucket. The ants will gather themselves together and rebuild their nest near where you dump them.