5 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Ants Nests in Your Lawn in the UK

5 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Ants Nests in Your Lawn in the UK Find 5 quick ways to get rid of ants nets in your lawn & how to prevent them from coming back by addressing the root cause of the infestation. Read more at WM James & Co.

There's nothing more frustrating than seeing ants nesting in your beautiful lawn. Luckily, though, there are some easy ways to get rid of ants nests that should help you restore your lawn to its former glory.

These little insects can quickly multiply if not dealt with, and their nests can cause unsightly browning patches in your lawn. Not to mention the annoyance of having them crawling around when you're trying to enjoy your outdoor space.

But it's not too tricky a task to get rid of ants nests in your lawn.

We've rounded up our 5 top tips to help you tackle the problem and keep your lawn looking healthy and green.

ant with water drop

Why is My Garden Overrun With Ants?

The solution to any problem is often understanding the root cause. So, before we dive into how to get rid of ants nests in your lawn, let's explore why these pesky critters are attracted to your garden in the first place.

There are a few reasons why your garden may be overrun with ants:

  • Food source: Ants are attracted to food, and your lawn may be providing them with a plentiful supply. This could be from overripe fruits or vegetables, sticky spills, or even dead insects.

  • Moisture: Ants need moisture to survive, so if your lawn is constantly damp or waterlogged, it can become an ideal environment for them to build their nests.

  • Pests: Certain pests, such as aphids, produce a sugary substance called honeydew that ants love to feed on. So, if you have a pest problem in your garden, it's likely attracting ants, too.

You may even find it's a combination of these factors that have led to an ant infestation in your lawn.

Are Ants in My Lawn Harmful?

The truth is, your garden probably already had a healthy population of ants before you even noticed their nests in your lawn. And for the most part, they are actually beneficial garden creatures.

Ants help to aerate the soil, which is important for the health of your lawn. They also break down organic matter and help to distribute nutrients throughout the soil.

However, when their numbers become too large or a nest is built in an inconvenient location, they can become a nuisance. Additionally, some ants can sting or bite if threatened (like red ants), which can be dangerous for pets and children playing in the lawn.

So, while it's not necessary to completely get rid of all the ants in your lawn, you may want to control their numbers.

ants on branch

How to Get Rid of Ants Nests in Your Lawn

Now that we understand why ants may be nesting in your lawn let's move on to the most important part: how to get rid of them.

#1 Regularly Water Your Plant Pots

If you notice the ants tend to swarm around the bottom of your plant pots, it's a good idea to regularly water them.

Of course, it's important not to overwater, as this can create a damp environment that attracts even more ants, and potentially kill off your plants.

But keeping the soil moist can help to reduce ant activity as it makes it more difficult for them to build nests.

#2 Remove Potential Food Sources

As mentioned earlier, food is a big attraction for ants. So, it's crucial to remove any potential food sources from your lawn.

This includes cleaning up any spills or removing fallen fruits and vegetables promptly. It may also mean addressing pest problems in your garden to reduce the production of honeydew.

If you're growing fruit trees or patches, consider using a barrier, such as a fruit cage, to keep any fallen fruit within a confined area.

Not only will it help to prevent the spread of ants, but it will also double up as bird protection, as they won't have access to the fruit either. Our Low Fruit Cages are great for this purpose, and they're super popular with our home gardeners and allotment growers.

#3 Use Natural Repellents

If you're looking for an eco-friendly solution to get rid of ants nests, there are a few natural repellents that can help:

  • Citrus peels: Ants are repelled by the scent of citrus, so placing lemon or orange peels in areas where ants congregate can deter them from building nests.

  • Vinegar: Like citrus, the smell of vinegar is a turn-off for ants. Create a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar and spray it on any areas you want to keep ant-free.

  • Cinnamon: Sprinkling cinnamon powder around potential entry points to your lawn or directly onto ant nests can help to drive them away.

If you opt to use an ant killer, make sure the solution isn't damaging to your lawn or the surrounding plants. The natural repellents listed above are safe and non-toxic options.

#4 Try Boiling Water

For more severe infestations, boiling water can be an effective and inexpensive way to get rid of ants nests. Simply pour the hot water over the ant nests in your lawn, making sure to avoid any plants or grass that could be damaged by the heat.

This method may need to be repeated a few times for larger nests, but it's a simple and chemical-free solution.

#5 Remove Ants Hills

A good indicator that ants have made a home in your lawn is the appearance of small ant hills. These mounds can be easily removed with a shovel or spade, disturbing the nest and causing the ants to relocate.

Once you've removed the ant hill, it's important to fill in any holes and level out the area to prevent further nesting.

While this does mean digging into your turf, it can be an effective solution for getting rid of a large number of ants in one go.

ants nest

Can You Prevent Ants Nests?

As the saying goes, "prevention is better than cure." And this applies to ants nests in your lawn, too.

Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of ants building nests in your garden:

  • Regularly mow and aerate your lawn: A well-maintained lawn with shorter grass makes it more difficult for ants to build their nests and encourages them to move on.

  • Keep your garden tidy: As mentioned earlier, removing potential food sources from your garden will help deter ants. Keep your outdoor space clean and free of debris that may attract them.

  • Create a barrier: Installing physical barriers, such as wire mesh or gravel, around your lawn can help prevent ants from entering and building nests.

  • Use an insecticide: If you're dealing with a particularly stubborn ant infestation, using an insecticide specifically designed to target ants can be effective. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use it safely around pets and children.

ants in leaves

Summary: Removing Ants From Your Garden Effectively

While ants are a sign of a healthy garden, having them nest in your lawn can be a nuisance. By addressing the root causes and taking preventative measures, you can effectively get rid of ants nests and keep your garden looking beautiful.

Regular maintenance and upkeep of your garden should help to keep ants at bay, but if you do find yourself with an infestation, try one of the five methods we've suggested above.

And remember to always use safe and eco-friendly solutions whenever possible!

For more tips and tricks on keeping your garden looking its best, check out our other articles and guides.

Read Our Gardener's Diary


How Do You Get Rid of Ants Nests Without Killing Them?

If you prefer not to harm the ants, there are natural repellents, such as citrus peels and vinegar, that can help deter them from nesting in your lawn.

Should I Destroy an Ants Nest?

It depends on the location of the nest and your tolerance for ants in your garden. If the nest is causing damage or poses a safety risk, it's best to remove it.

What Do Ants Hate the Most?

Ants are repelled by the strong scents of citrus, vinegar, and cinnamon. They also don't like to build nests in areas with shorter grass or physical barriers.

Will Ants Go Away on Their Own?

If the conditions in your garden are favourable for ants, they may continue to multiply and build nests. It's important to address any contributing factors, such as food sources or moisture, to prevent future infestations.