The Best Way to Kill Ants

A trail of ants.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 75-50
What You'll Need
Ant bait
Scrap wood
What You'll Need
Ant bait
Scrap wood

Ant infestations can be an annoying and unwelcome intrusion in any home, particularly in the summer months when breeding peaks. Food contamination, stinging and structural damage are all perils that ant colonies can bring to a home and garden. Follow this simple step-by-step guide to learn how to kill ants and destroy their colonies for good.

Step 1 - Find the Colony

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The hub of all ant activity revolves around the colony. This is where the queen lays her eggs—if the queen is killed, an ant colony rarely survives. Locate the colony by finding high activity areas where ants enter and exit. Small gaps between paving slabs or tiny areas of upturned soil are the most common routes into a colony.

If you are having difficulty locating the colony, place several small blobs of jelly or marmalade around suspected areas to lure ants out and heighten activity.

Step 2 - Set the Bait

Place the bait around several areas near to the colony that the ants use as a route. Liquid bait is ideal. Squeeze several small droplets onto small pieces of scrap wood and lay them along the route, taking care not to cause any disturbances. Ants leave an odorous trail to find their way back to a colony, so human interference will deter them from using previous routes.

Step 3 - Check the Bait

Check baited routes daily to make sure the ants are taking the bait. Ants will feed heavily on bait they like and subsequently take the toxins back to the colony and spread them around.

If ants seem to be ignoring the bait, try a different brand. If your bait is working, add a few new drops to the pieces of wood on a daily basis until ant activity ceases.


If you're trying to find a natural way to kill ants, try flooding the colony with boiling water. This is a quick and effective method but may need repeating several times. Alternatively, digging up ant hills causes confusion and disorientation and will lead to ants abandoning the colony. However, this won't necessarily cause them to leave your yard.

Knowing the best ways to kill ants will keep your next picnic safe. That means more food for the humans, not the pests!

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