Our grandfathers had their own method of dealing with ants. They had to protect their crops, when there were no insecticides available. Nowadays we have many different types of insecticides that deal with ant problems, yet many of us feel we would like to get rid of the ants without using insecticides. Below are a few tips, grandfather’s ways !
The harshest way is on a hot, sunny day to place a clay flower pot upside down over an ant’s nest. Within three to five hours, the ants will lay their eggs in the flower pot, you can observe this via the hole in the flower pot. When filled with eggs, fetch a bucket with very hot water, scoop up the flower pot with a spade and slide it into the hot water.
Another way is to carefully dig out the ants’ nest with a large spade and throw it away with a wide curve. The birds will eat the eggs and the disturbed ant colony will find it very difficult to regroup together again, in fact they may never do so.
A bit more humane is to press into the ant’s nest fresh leaves of chervil, thyme, marjoram/oregano or lavender. They dislike the herby smell and they’ll leave the nest.
The unwanted shoots of the tomato plants is another thing they loath. You press them into their nest and the same thing will happen as with the herbs, they leave the nest. They’ll regroup in another place in the garden but at least not in the spot you found so unsuitable.
A handful or mint leaves, or a teaspoon of dried mint mixed with 25 cl water, then poured onto an ants’ nest is another successful method.