How do I get rid of an army of ants in the garden

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Army ants in the garden can be a challenge, but there are ways to deter or manage them without harming the overall ecosystem. Here are some methods you can try, keeping in mind that complete eradication might not be realistic:

Disrupting their Movement:

  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle food-grade DE around the perimeter of your garden beds or near ant trails. This dehydrates and kills the ants that meet it. Reapply after heavy rain.
  • Natural Repellents: Try creating a barrier using strong scents that ants dislike. Use a solution of white vinegar and water, peppermint oil diluted in water, or citrus peels around the garden beds.

Making the Garden Less Attractive:

  • Remove Food Sources: Army ants typically raid your garden for food sources like honeydew from aphids or other insects. Control these pest populations to reduce the appeal of your garden to army ants.
  • Water Management: Army ants prefer moist environments. Address any drainage issues in your garden to prevent water from accumulating and attracting them.

Beneficial Creatures:

  • Encourage Predators: Attract natural predators of army ants like ladybugs, lacewings, and nematodes. Planting certain flowers like marigolds and dill can attract these beneficial insects.

Physical Barriers:

  • Gravel or Sand Lines: Create a physical barrier around your garden beds with a 2–3-inch line of gravel, sand, or crushed eggshells. This disrupts their movement and makes it harder for them to enter.

Important Note:

  • Army Ant Behaviour: Army ants are nomadic and might be passing through your garden in search of food sources elsewhere. These methods might deter them from establishing a temporary base in your garden or discourage them from returning.


In some cases, army ants can be beneficial in your garden. They prey on other insects, including some garden pests. If the damage they cause is minimal, consider coexisting with them and focus on attracting beneficial predators that can keep other pest populations in check.

Seeking Professional Help:

  • Severe Infestation: If the army ant presence becomes overwhelming and causes considerable damage to your plants, consider consulting a professional pest control company specializing in environmentally friendly methods.

Remember, patience and a multi-pronged approach are key. By implementing these strategies, you can discourage army ants from making your garden their haven.