Experts reveal an easy method for removing ants in your lawn

If ants are causing a nuisance in your backyard, try this non-toxic material that won't damage your grass

immaculate lawn with outdoor table and chairs and paraol
(Image credit: nagelestock.com/Alamy Stock Photo)

Ants have an important part to play in maintaining healthy eco-systems, as great scavengers that also ward off other pests. However, if you have a serious infestation on your hands, or are concerned about an increasing number in your yard, there is a simple trick worth trying.

When it comes to how to get rid of ants, various recommended methods risk damaging your grass. Enter: diatomaceous earth – this expert ants' nest removal tip for lawns will do the job without any burning or discoloration.

ants in grass

(Image credit: Yon Marsh Natural History/Alamy Stock Photo)

This is a white powder that often comes in a similar bag to garden soil. The mixture is made from ground-down sedimentary rock, shells and water-based creatures, and will dehydrate the ants in your lawn.

'Diatomaceous earth is a small, sharp powder composed of fossilized diatoms that can cut an insect's body and cause it to die of dehydration within two weeks,' says Nancy DeWitt, owner of Patriot Pest and Termite Control. 'To be effective, this should be placed in dry conditions.'

Make sure you reapply it after rain, she says, and once done, you may need break the ant nests using a fork. 

spoon of diatomaceous earth

(Image credit: Marek Uliasz/Alamy Stock Photo)

The process is very slow, comments Holly Maguire from Simple Lawn Solutions. She says that using diatomaceous earth will only work on the ants that come in contact with it.

Therefore, she recommends reapplying the powder several times until the ants have gone. 'The benefit is that it will not hurt your lawn,' she adds. 

So although it doesn't bring instant satisfaction, this product enables you to remove ants without ruining your existing lawn ideas or creating unsightly patches. 

ants nest in grass

(Image credit: Catherine Paffey/Alamy Stock Photo)

Many of us who enjoy spending time gardening are just as conscious of local wildlife as the appearance and fragrance of our outdoor spaces. It's also worth remembering that ants help to keep the soil in your yard healthy. Consider if it's absolutely necessary to remove the ants in your lawn in the first place before taking any steps.

However, if the ants are dangerous fire ants with a painful bite, then it's definitely worth taking action to remove them. Simply trying to destroy the nest will likely result in a swarm of angry ants, so you need to use a substance that will get rid of them. Diatomaceous earth on Amazon is a cost-effective ant-removal method – and it can also work to get rid of mites and gardener enemy number one: slugs.

Looking for another convenient method of deterring unwanted bugs? Our guide to the best plants that repel insects will come in handy.

Millie Hurst
Millie Hurst

Millie joined Gardeningetc in January 2021 as a news writer. When she isn't writing about gardening, she's tending to her small front garden. Her geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums are looking lovely right now. She recently bought a bench for the garden and is loving alfresco lunch breaks and taking time to notice seedlings growing. She loves picking up some new plants at the local garden centre and is never without some fresh flowers at home.