How to Get Rid of Ants and Ant Hills In Your Lawn

If you have been noticing ants in your lawn and ant hills, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Ants are one of the most common pests in lawns and gardens, and a sight in many yards across the country.

Ants can be difficult to get rid of because they build their nests underground. They also tend to travel in large groups, so it can be hard to get rid of them all at once. While they may not be harmful to you, they can be a nuisance and harmful to your grass and plants, so it’s important to know how to get rid of them.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most effective ways to get rid of ants and ant hills in your yard. Keep reading for more information!

How Do Ants Live?

Ants are fully social insects, meaning they live in very large colonies with hundreds or thousands of other ants. They build nests and tunnels into large, complex systems that are all underground, typically in normal soil.

Ants prefer to build their homes in soil that is well-drained and not compacted. This means, unfortunately, that a lawn that is well taken care of will be more appealing to an ant colony than a less good lawn.

How Do Ants Affect Your Lawn?

One primary way ants can negatively affect your lawn is through the creation of ant hills. These hills are made from soil that is excavated from underneath the lawn, and placed on the surface of the lawn, out of the way of their homes.

This can make your lawn uneven, meaning it can be dangerous to walk or run on, and your lawn mower could potentially get stuck on the big clumps of soil. The grass under these large mounds can also become damaged or killed, particularly if the grass is cut short, due to a lack of sunlight or oxygen getting through to it.

Ants also often eat through the roots of the grass as they build their nests and tunnels, which can result in dead patches of grass throughout your yard.

Ants colonizing your lawn also leads to an infestation of aphids, as the ants “farm” the aphids so that they can feed off of the Honeydew that the aphids secrete. Aphids are damaging to plants and vegetables, and so if they infest your garden it could be very bad.

There are some benefits that come with ants. They often hunt other insects in your yard and garden, and ant hills can help aerate your lawn. However, the costs tend to outweigh the benefits, which is why we recommend trying to eliminate ants from your yard as soon as possible.

How To Remove Ant Hills

Another concern with ants are the ant hills they make in your lawn, which can get fairly large and be a tripping as well as a mowing hazard.

If you only have a small number of ants and ant hills, raking can be effective maintenance routine.

Raking the hills out to spread out the dirt will scatter the ants and prevent mounds from becoming too tall and hardened.

You should do this on a weekly basis throughout spring and summer. It won’t stop the ants from living in your lawn, but it might make enough of them scatter away to another place and make it harder for them to survive with dwindling numbers.

How to Kill Ants

Once you’ve disturbed the ants homes by raking and spreading out their ant hills, it’s important to get rid of as many ants as possible. Because you can’t simply pick up an ant and bring it to another location, you’re only way of removing the ants is by killing them. You can do this both with natural, homemade methods, as well as with chemicals and professional ant-killing products.

You can check out our post for the Best Ant Killer Products currently on the market.

Killing Ants Naturally

Killing ants with natural methods typically means pouring or spreading something in and around their ant hills. You can use boiling water, for example. This is a popular method, and it is effective, but it can result in a boggy lawn or even dead grass if you pour too much.

Another common practice is to combine olive oil and soapy water. This concoction penetrates through the ants exoskeleton and kills it. White vinegar also kills ants on contact, but it is hard to pour enough into a hole to kill all of the ants in the colony.

We have a post dedicated to more detailed methods and information about killing ants in your lawn naturally.

Killing Ants With Chemicals

Killing ants with chemical methods doesn’t mean you have to buy a professional ant-b-gone product. One of the most common methods of dealing with ants includes mixing boric acid (powder made from borax) and sugar.

You mix this combination into a paste and place it around the ant hills. The ants take the sweet sugar back to their colonies, and the borax kills the ants. The main problem with this method is that you need to take care to mix the proportions exactly right.

Professional products, however, are also readily and widely available as well. These include fast acting ant killer sprays, ant killer granules, both of which act either on contact or through digestion, as well as ant bait stations, which the ants consume and bring back to their colonies, where it then spreads throughout.

To learn more about killing ants with borax and other chemicals, click on our post here.

How To Keep Ants Away

Ants are difficult to get rid of completely, because they exist in such large colonies that it can be hard to eliminate every single one. They also primarily live underground, so you can’t really tell if they’re totally gone or just hiding.

However, once you have gotten rid of as many as you possibly can, there are a few things you can do to discourage them from setting up camp in your yard again.

First, remove any food sources that might be attracting them. Make sure to clean up any spilled food or trash, and keep pet food and water dishes tidy. You can also try spraying the area with an ant repellent or an herbicide like glyphosate.


Ants are a nuisance in many ways. They’re not just annoying when you see them crawling on the ground – they’ll actually get into your house if given the chance and cause serious structural damage. When ants have established an ant hill or colony nearby, it’s important to take action quickly before they invade your property and cause more damage than necessary.

With so many resources available for killing ants, it can be difficult to know which is the best solution. Luckily, there are a few reliable ways of getting rid of these pesky pests, both with natural remedies and by using more potent chemicals.

We’ve given you the best ways of removing ants in your lawn, but if this becomes too much for you or they keep coming back we suggest hiring an exterminator to take care of it for good. If these tips were helpful please share our blog post with others who need help getting rid of pesky ants!

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.