It’s easy to forget that we live in Mother Nature’s domain, and all of her creatures have every right to the land that we use. But sometimes, her buggy children arrive in droves, and they need to be pushed back. Given that most critters are vital to the ecosystem, you might want to know how to get rid of flying ants as naturally as possible. We've got some surefire methods for you to try.
Natural Methods for Getting Rid of Flying Ants
Most times, flying ants are more of a nuisance than an actual harm. But too much of anything isn’t great, flying ants included. So, before you nuke your yard with harsh chemicals, try to get rid of flying ants using these natural methods.
Plant Aromatic Herbs to Deter Flying Ants
If you’re at the start of the spring planting season, then you could include a few aromatic herbs around your garden bed or house’s border to deter flying ants from drawing close. They don’t like the smells of herbs like lemon balm, peppermint, and lavender. However, some herbs can turn invasive on a dime, so make sure you keep a careful watch on their spread. There’s no use in getting rid of one problem, only to spark another.
Use Mother Nature’s Goodies to Keep Them Out
Another natural way to get rid of flying ants without killing them is setting up bowls or pieces of repellant materials like cloves, dried peppermint leaves, cinnamon sticks, and coffee grinds at the entryways to your house and the borders of your garden beds. This will keep the ants concentrated away from the areas where you set them up.
Make a Homemade Flying Ant Bait
Ant baits are one way to kill a colony, because the ants will eat the bait and should carry it extra deep into the mound. But this is a lethal method, so we don’t suggest using it if you just want to relocate your flying ants.
- Small bowl
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons borax powder
- Water, enough to create a paste
- Jar lids or squares of cardboard/cardstock
- Mix sugar and borax in the bowl, gradually adding small amounts of water. Keep stirring until you’ve created a paste.
- Place the paste in jar lids or on small squares of cardboard or cardstock.
- Set the lids or cardboard/cardstock where you've seen ant activity.
You can substitute baking soda for borax and powdered sugar for granulated sugar. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and the ants' natural formic acid will be just as lethal.
DIY Flying Ant Repellant to Spray Them Away
Ant repellants are a good alternative for those who don’t want to kill any ants, but wish to drive them away from the perimeter or garden beds. Keep in mind that this spray includes essential oils, which some people, plants, and pets can be sensitive to.
- Spray bottle
- Liquid dish non-detergent soap
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon essential oil
- ½ teaspoon peppermint essential oil
- ½ teaspoon pine essential oil
- ½ teaspoon lemon essential oil
- Mix the water and soap in a 2:1 ratio. For example, if you're using a quart sprayer, mix 4 cups of water with 2 cups of liquid soap.
- Add ½ teaspoon each of pine, lemon, peppermint, and cinnamon essential oils.
- Shake to mix well.
- Spray into swarms and any areas where you see ant activity.
- Repeat if needed. Always shake well before using.
When Should You Break Out the Big Guns?
Since flying ants are just a stage of maturation and they’ll eventually die anyway, there’s very little reason for you to break out the chemical pesticides. But this only works if you’re actively using the deterrent methods throughout the season. If you’re not consistent with these methods, then you won’t see any results and may feel compelled to use artificial killers.
But if you’ve tried everything and aren’t having any luck, then you have the choice to spray your yard and the exterior of your house with an ant killer. Of these artificial killers, you’ve got sprays, ant baits, pellets, and powders.
Make Sure Your Flying Ants Aren’t Termites in Disguise
Of course, these removal methods only work if you’ve actually got a flying ant problem. Sometimes, what you think are flying ants are actually termites, and there’s a whole different approach to getting rid of those house killers.
There are a few ways that termites and flying ants vary.
- Wings: Flying ant wings are thinner than the width of their body and are not equal sized all the way down, whereas termites have same-length body-sized wings.
- Antennae: Flying ants have crooked antennae while termites have completely straight ones.
- Body shape: Flying ants have a tapered shape, resembling more of an ant/hornet abdomen, whereas termites have a straight body.
Send Those Flying Ants Packing
Flying ants aren’t really more than a cosmetic issue… unless they make their way inside. Either way, some of the most balanced techniques for getting rid of flying ants involve all-natural ingredients. So you can rest easy knowing you sent those flying ants packing without destroying their entire colony just for aesthetics.