Organic Ant Control Update

Using Coffee To Kill Ants?You all know we have been fighting ants for a while and not just fighting ants… trying to do it as organically as possible.  Now you have to understand the magnitude of our ant problem.

We are pretty sure one of the big trees in the back is dead for the most part due to wood ants and so we are about to have to stump that big guy down… which is sad to think about.  So we know we have a big ant problem if they are taking out 20-30 year old trees.  Add in the fact that we have a wood pile problem in the back alley that we are working on clearing out – and also another wood pile problem beside the shop that we have yet to tackle. 

Ant problem would be an understatement

So let’s get back to the garden part.  As you probably know with ants come aphids – which is a whole other problem.  So ant control is vital, and honestly it can be tough when trying to do it organically.  It seems easy enough to mix this and do this and blah blah – the whole you are thinking… we could go get some sevin dust and murder those lil piss ants in about 5 minutes… BUT NOOooOOoOOo – we want to save the earth today.  haha

We have used a few of the methods, and we will kind of sum it up so far for everyone.

Garlic & Cayenne Mixture – We took garlic and mixed it with pure powdered cayenne.  That was put into a spray bottle with water… and we sprayed the entire garden with it.  Then we even used the pieces of garlic and sprinkled them around the garden as well.  Honestly, we saw it do a little bit of good – but it definitely didn’t fix the problem.

Coffee Grounds – They say if you put coffee grounds around, the ants will take it back eat it and the second they drink water or something – BANG!  It swells and they die.  Well – I can say I never once saw an ant eat the grounds, nor die from it.  I assume it happened… but just not a lot and not in plain view.  We are sick like that and wanted to see one balloon and pop. haha 

Baking Soda – It is supposed to be poisonous to ants… so you put a ring around your plant with it.  I think this actually helped some – but at the same time, we saw little baking soda parties going on… they were swimming around in the white powder… playing catch with it.  You know… like a baking soda party.  It did seem to keep them off the plants though – but now just they run around in the dirt.

Organic Sprays – I can’t think of the name of the stuff we used one day, but it claimed to be organic and after looking at it, it did pan out.  So we covered our garden in it.  I mean ants were drowning in it; we found a big bed and just hammered it with this stuff.  It has worked better than anything so far, and we will try and find the name to share with others.

Organic Granules – Just found some “organic” granules that are meant to be spread around the mounds and also to create a barrier.  We just used it last night and so we have yet to see the results, but we can dream can’t we!  Hopefully this will push the ants out and finally we can have our day of glory.  We will also have to look this one up – don’t have the name handy.

So as you can see we have been busy fighting ants in our garden – as many of you are doing the same as well.  Searches have skyrocketed for organic ways to kill ants.  I guess everyone is trying to be a bit greener in terms of eradicating pests like ants – which is always great to know.  I hope this helps those wondering how the fight was going, and we will continue to update on the organic war on our ant enemies.

Also, if you have any other organic ways to fight them – fill us in, we always want to learn more and if it works… we will buy you a coffee, beer, margarita or drink of your choice.  Seriously.  Keep it organic though.


16 thoughts on “Organic Ant Control Update”

  • 1
    ghost on May 12, 2008

    aardvark. totally organic.

  • 2
    James on May 12, 2008

    ghost – 😉 that is an AWESOME idea.

  • 3
    Megan on May 13, 2008

    I had this neighbor I called The Pimp. He wore these huge glasses and track suit all the time and drove a cadillac and had a girlfriend with a fur coat. He was fantastic. He came over one day and “helped” by poisoning all the ants on the sidewalk with something totally not organic. But I didn’t have the heart to stop him.
    I think I’ve heard about cornmeal – the same exploding after eating idea, and that they don’t like cinnamon, and avoid it. Or are those old wives’ tales?

  • 4
    deb on May 13, 2008

    If the mound is away from plant roots, drench it with some orange oil and molasis (1/2 cup each) in a couple of gallons of water. Don’t do it around plant roots because it will kill them .

  • 5
    James on May 13, 2008

    Megan – yeah, the cinnamon & cornmeal is said to work.. just our ants wouldn’t fall for it. I don’t think “the pimp” was a wives’ tale though… as real as a heart attack. haha

    deb – yeah, we have small lil mounds coming up here and there in the garden itself, but we can’t find the mound that isn’t… we are on the hunt though. Thanks – had heard about molasis before!

  • 6
    Anita on May 17, 2008

    I hear that used coffee grounds are also good for adding nitrates to your garden. I dont know what that means as far as gardening but thats what they (starbucks) says. If you want some they give them away for free. Just ask your friendly barista or give Justin a call and he can bring some home.

    Oh and don’t buy coffee. we get a free pound every week that always goes unused.

  • 7
    James on May 19, 2008

    @Anita – hmm – might have to look the used coffee grounds up. DUDE… hook it up with some coffee!

  • 8
    Angie on July 29, 2008

    I have little tiny black ants on my okra and passion vine. Other than the aphids, do the ants cause any plant damage?

  • 9
    debbie in austin on September 2, 2008

    Ants are attacking my okra…eating holes at the base of fruiting vegatable, and housing parties insides the flowers…baracading any possibility of pollination.
    They march up and down the parameter of my raised beds as if they are daring me to intrude into their space…and they deliver nasty stinging bites. I am determined to take back “MY” garden. I look ridiculous following them, trying to determine where their mounds are hidden…lucky for me, looks are a thing of the past (over 50)…I found them! Their underground mound was massive, though I did have to pull up the lining in the bed to address them all…..I killed them with “Grits”, followed by baking soda…problem solved!
    I do have to add that the soil was very dry, done intentionally, then…I left a bowl of water out, placed next to the mound. I now love the sight of dead ants…it makes me smile :).

  • 10
    collin on September 14, 2008

    Same problem as a lot of you. Massive ant population which didn’t bother me before. but now that I’m growing the vegetables, the aphids are having a seriously negative effect. Corn, I gave up growing it because the aphids (with the help of the ants) sucked the life out of it. Now they are all over the strawberries, sucking the roots, or the stem right below the soil. If anyone has figured this problem out, please let me know. Thanks!

  • 11
    vickie on March 28, 2009

    I have been brodcasting Granular Molasses over my ENTIRE yard/garden area.
    No FIRE ants yet in these areas.

  • 12
    Jamie on April 21, 2009

    Vickie, Where do you get the granular molasses? We have fire ants terribly here… I would love to kill them all!

  • 13
    John on May 2, 2009

    Does the planting of peppermint work? But then how do I control the peppermint from running wild across the strawberries??

  • 14
    Shannon on June 5, 2009

    I have a mint plant within a foot and a half of an ant hill, so unless peppermint is special from other mints when it comes to ants, then I think no. But I’ve heard otherwise sooo, depends on the ants maybe?

  • 15
    Bev Shaffer on August 25, 2009

    How about the little critters in the house? Just one room they seem to like-the only room btw that has an area carpet down..hmm -duh-remove the carpet-but I want the carpet in that room….little tiny brown guys…

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