Ants nesting in outdoors under stones, along curbs or in cracks of pavement can become a great nuisance to your outdoor parties. Pavement ants can also infest your home and nest under floors or any holes in walls leading to costly damages. There are many ways of controlling ants, but can you use salt to kill ants?
Table salt is not just for food, it can be used in controlling many pest invasions including snails and slugs. It is a safe and less expensive option unlike chemical pesticides. Ants are popular pests that can cause painful bites on skin. They can also damage or weaken your foundations thus important to control them.
Does salt kill ants?
Salt may not be effective against ants. The exoskeleton on the outer part of the ants may protect them against salt dehydration. According to some observations, ants have even been seen carrying crystals of salt and feeding on salty foods.
One major use of salt in landscape is to kill weeds between pavers. When applied, salt draws water from the plant cell, which leads to plant withering and drying. There is nothing wrong with using salt as a trial for killing ants. Let’s see how you can use it for great results.
How to use Salt on Pavement Ants
When using salts to control ants, many sources suggest mixing it with water to form a strong solution and spraying it directly on the ants. The salt will dry on the exoskeleton outer part of the ant’s body and by chance it may dehydrate and kill them.
Mixing salt with hot water can be more effective in killing ants, but already the high temperature of water may be sufficient enough to kill ants. For this reason salt will not have provided any help but instead destabilized the soil around for any plant growth. If you decide to choose this method, then avoid using nearby plants.
When killing ants, you should directly target their nest. If you are using salt solution, pour it directly in their nest. Like bees, ants have a queen, whose role is to lay eggs and establish a colony. The rest of the ants work hard to protect her. If their queen is still in place, then expect the ants menace to continue.
How to Get Rid of Ants Outside – Other Safe Ways
If you don’t agree with the idea of using salt to kill ants, then there are other safe ways of getting rid of ants outside.
1. Distilled white vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is nontoxic ingredient for controlling bugs. Vinegar does not kill ants directly but it repels them. Pouring it into their nest will make them to disappear from the site as they don’t like its smell. Vinegar is also good at keeping snakes away. Avoid using it near your plants as it may kill them.
2. Dichotomous earth
Dichotomous earth is obtained from remains of aquatic organisms known as diatoms. It is a nontoxic ingredient that kills bugs by dehydrating them. To completely get rid of ants in your pavements, apply dichotomous earth in their nest. Promptly use as directed on the package label.
3. Essential oils
A number of essential oils are effective in repelling bugs and you can safely use them against ants. They include, peppermint essential oil, tea tree oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, neem oil and cinnamon leaf essential oil among other. Mix 5 to 10 drops of your essential oil with 2 cups of water and spray in ant nest.
4. Pouring water
Whether cold or hot, water will kill ants in your yard. While hot water will burn them to death, cold water will drown them. This is the least expensive way of controlling ants. Simply pour water in their nest and repeat the following day. Addition of few drops of hand soap into the water will make the process more effective. Hot water should not be used near plants or lawn grasses.
5. Keep your yard kempt
Ants like unkempt areas and one way of discouraging them in your yard is to keep everything in order. Cut tall grasses around, remove decomposing logs, old tires and other debris. Properly clean your paved outdoor areas including patios and driveways.
6. Fill cracks in your pavers
Cracks in your pavers or foundations will attract ants and other pests into your yard. This is where they hide and breed from. Ensure that cracks and crevices in your driveways, patios and sidewalks are always filled whenever they occur. If not pests, weeds will also grow in those cracks.
7. Remove their food
While most ants are carnivorous, they will also eat food leftovers in the kitchen, in birdfeeders or pet bowls. Ideally, locate how they obtain their food and discontinue the supply. Dispose any food leftovers in a closed bin and clean your pet feeding area.
Ants are a nuisance especially when they nest in your pavers or foundation. While pesticides are effective for killing ants instantly, the method may end up killing other beneficial insects around or harming your pets. It is for this reason we recommend using home remedies which are safe and less expensive.