Red ants

I have a small garden about 15 ft by 20 ft with borders and a lawn.  At one side of the lawn, edging onto a border, there is a red ant nest about 6" high by 18" wide.  I hate to have to do it but it has to go, one way or another.  They have a nasty bite if agitated or disturbed.  Any ideas, kind or unkind.  Bit desperate now.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,354

    Watering the area regularly will move them on.  Ants don't like wet areas.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • The exceptionally wet winter and heavy rain made no impression on them, but will give it a go.  Thank you

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,754

    They've raised the nest about ground level which helps to keep it dry - as Bob says, regular watering will encourage them to move on - they'll find another spot - whether or not it's in your garden or elsewhere - who can tell? image

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • Hello Dove -  Ah, I see.  Will certainly give it a go and see what happens.  Thank you.  image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,354

    There are also nematodes which you can water on but those are rather expensive.  Google "Nemasys No Ants" to have a look at those.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Tim BurrTim Burr Posts: 344

    Get a box of icing sugar and equal amount of Baking Soda and mix two together.  Powder the ants nest with the combined mixture.  The ants will go for the icing sugar because of the sweetness, but at the same time as eating the icing sugar, they will also ingest the baking soda.  The baking soda will react with the formic acid in their gut, and because ants can't burp (apparently), they will get full of gas and literally explode. Its not a perfect solution as the ants won't take the solution back to their nest, but if you repeat over several days it will severely deplete the nest colony which may cause it to collapse of it's own accord.  Icing sugar and baking soda is not toxic to other animals, birds, or children or pets.  And this isn't made up.  It's true.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,145

    If you don't want to be cruel, water the nest with a solution of one small bottle of essential oïl of cloves (paharmacies and health shops) mixed into 10 litres of water.  The ants hate the smell and will move somewhere else. 

    The Vendée, France
  • Not all Ants seem to be reading the posts on this forum...........nice deep damp shady area......a thriving Ant nest.

    Perhaps that is why they are such successful creatures and set to take over the world image  Are they not the most prolific creatures on the planet ?  I seem to recall reading that somewhere ?

  • Tim BurrTim Burr Posts: 344

    Argentina ants are the most prolific ants on the planet, and their super colonies stretch from one side of the globe to the other.  They have tested ants from different continents to confirm that and where ants of different colonies would fight and kill each other, Argentinian ants recognise each other and don't fight and are tolerant of each other.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Quick death?  Pour a kettle's worth of boiling water over the nest.

  • image Thank you everyone.  Some good ideas there.  I'll let you know how I get on.  


  • Sheila103Sheila103 Posts: 1

    I tried boiling water, and it caused a large bare patch on the lawn. I've also tried the Nematode solution, but it says on the packet that it doesn't kill the ants, just moves them on, which they seem to have done -- to another part of the lawn! I am now trying ant-killer granules, but feel I am fighting a losing battle. I really look after my lawn, and maybe this is part of the problem; they don't seem to bother the one in the back garden, which is sadly neglected.

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