How To Prevent Ants From Invading Your Home And Lawn

Posted by: on July 4th, 2013 | 7 Comments
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Ants and other unwelcome pests seem to have a way of showing up just in time to ruin a perfect outdoor gathering. So, to help you combat meddlesome insects seeking to invade your home or interrupt your outdoor fun, we asked Maureen from The Home Depot Community Forums to prepare a simple battle plan for dealing with these pests.

In this short video, she will brief you on insect and pest control products and simple procedures you should follow to eradicate ants and other insects from your lawn and home.

Here’s a peek at her strategy:

Know thy enemy Certain types of ants, especially carpenter ants, can do structural damage to your home. So it helps to know what type of ant you’re dealing with to choose the right eradication method and products. If you need to call in backup, snap a close-up of the ant and send it to your local extension service for help identifying the ant and tips on ridding yourself of them.

Clean up your act A clean home is a hostile environment for ants and insects, so be sure you’re not leaving anything out for them to chow on. If you have indoor pets, spray a mixture of vinegar and water around the food bowls to discourage ants and other insects from stealing rations when you’re not looking.

Establish a perimeter Use an outdoor insecticide to spray a 12-inch-wide barrier all around the foundation of your home. Look for outdoor insecticides labeled “barrier treatment” as your weapons of choice.

Cover their tracks If you see one ant in your home, trust that there are more to come. And ants always leave a scented trail for other ants to follow. Spray a mixture of one part water and three parts vinegar anywhere you’ve seen ants to disorient others attempting to enter your home in search of grub.

Kill the colony Why settle for killing just one ant when you can get rid of the whole colony? Bait the areas where you’ve seen scout ants roaming. They’ll carry the bait back to the rest of the colony and you’ll soon be rid of the whole lot.

Take back the yard and hills Ants and anthills can ruin an otherwise perfect day in the sun. Mount a full-scale assault on ants by applying a family- and pet-safe lawn and garden insect spray with a garden hose, or spreading insect killer over your entire lawn.

Follow these orders and you can repel and eliminate most pests that would seek refuge in your lawn and home.


For help with any other questions related to your lawn or garden, visit the Garden Center online or at your local Home Depot store. And check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

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  1. jim says:

    The Ants And Treatments Sound Vaguely Like The Mexican Border War. lol

  2. Cheri says:

    Seriously? That’s your solution. Any idiot would automatically run to the store and buy an ant spray to kill them. How about some creative, non-toxic solutions that won’t poison the earth, food supply (run off) our pets and our children? Pathetic article.

    • Craig Allen says:

      I understand where you’re coming from, Cheri. This article goes beyond merely spraying some poison, though. That’s because spraying insecticide without the other measures mentioned here is likely to to result in an endless cycle of spraying, the ants eventually returning, spraying again, the ants returning again, ad infinitum. That gets expensive, and no one ever wants to spray more poison than they have to. So, the recommendation here is to get the job done in as long-term a way as possible and take relatively small steps to help prevent a subsequent ant invasion.

      An article on organic ant control is a good idea, though. Can’t argue with that.

      Thanks for commenting.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  3. Janet Majors says:

    well I need this information since my home is infested with red ants. I just hope it gets better by next week or I’ll be forced to take this somewhat brutal solution.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Seriously? Poisoning ants? WHY? Just attract birds. Flickers and other birds eat ants. So did horned toads (lizards) before they were annihilated by development. Poisoning ants poisons the birds who eat them. Ask rehabbers of wild birds and they can better explain this to you. Ants outside will stay outside unless people are extremely sloppy and leave food out everywhere. C’mon, folks, common sense here!!

    • Debbie says:

      Jennifer, I have to agree with you. I don’t want to kill out my big red ant bed, they’ve been there for years. Yes, they did take over about a 3 ft section of back yard but it’s by the back fence & close to my garden. In previous years they weren’t to be found in my garden area but this year (guess food was scarce) they’ve not only started invading it but are also making trails through the yard (I thought dogs were bad. Anyways I’ve been looking for a way to establish a natural perimeter wile being able to keep my big red ants in hopes some day there might be a rare horny toad stumble along. Thanks Jae for that helpful information, didn’t think there was a way to redirect the ants without killing them. Wouldn’t mind if they went out in alley where there’s lg trash reciprocal behind our house, it’s picked up by city & we just have to throw into, but my neighbors don’t always seem to be able to make a basket.

      • Edith says:

        Haha@Debbie That was awesome. I have the same red ant issue and even an immaculate house doesn’t keep them out. I sure hope birds start swooping through my living room soon so I don’t have to poison any of the ants that keep biting my children… That would be a shame.