Ants in raised beds are primarily a nuisance, but they can also cause real damage and become a plague. With these tips, you can effectively drive ants out of the raised bed without harming the insects.
Comfortable warmth, nice loose-airy soil and watering en masse; plants can really make themselves at home in a raised bed. Unfortunately, pests like ants and voles also see it that way. Voles can be easily locked out by placing tightly woven aviary wire on the ground and nailing it to the lower boards. That’s it, no one can get through. Ants, on the other hand, are so small that they can fit through anywhere, and they exploit this shamelessly. They quickly find their way into the raised bed, crawl wildly through each other, let water trickle through their passages in no time at all and, above all, lever the plants out of the ground, so that they starve or dry out immediately. So if you want to grow vegetables successfully, you have to make sure that the ants disappear from the raised bed.
How to fight ants in the raised bed?
Chemical ant control products are not allowed in raised beds, because they are biocides and not pesticides. And only pesticides are allowed by law to be used directly on and around plants. Besides, ant control products are not exactly non-toxic, and you don’t want that in your raised bed. Only if the raised bed is right next to a pathway or patio can you put ant repellent or bait boxes there and hope that the animals from the raised bed will grab the bait and feed their brood with it. Home remedies are therefore the best choice to drive away the pests.
Drive ants out of raised bed with water
Under certain conditions, you can use water to drive the ants out of the raised bed. Simply flood the area in the raised bed with the ant nest for several days and at least twice a day. Of course, only if the plants can tolerate such a deluge in small or if nothing grows in the place. Because who likes water in his home. Nor do ants! The animals will reconsider their choice of location in the raised bed and settle somewhere else. Another method of fighting the pests is boiling water, which you pour into the soil, where it scalds the ants. Effective, however, this heat cure also destroys plants and plant roots, so it’s only useful where nothing is growing.
Relocate ants from the raised bed
Organize the move for the ants and relocate them to another place in the garden, where the animals will not disturb. To do this, fill a larger clay pot with wood wool and loose soil and place it directly over the nest in the raised bed. The sun will warm up the pot, wood wool and soil and the ants will accept it as their new home after a few days. Then they can simply be relocated together with the pot to a place where they will not cause any damage and will not be a nuisance. This method, along with watering, promises the best chances of success.
Fighting ants with scent
Ants orient themselves by means of scents. Therefore it is obvious to confuse them with intensive scents, to spoil their stay in the raised bed and finally to fight them with it. There are numerous possible scents with different chances of success. What works in one raised bed, however, leaves ants cold in another. In any case, it is worth experimenting with them. Herbs can also be used to prevent the pests.
- Herbs: Lavender, thyme or marjoram grow in many raised beds anyway and ants hate their smell. However, it is not done with one plant, only in a team with several plants such a scent attack is promising.
- Swill: Often even more effective than herbs are concentrated liquid manure from them, which you pour into the soil around the nest. This also works with overripe lemons, which would end up on the compost or in the organic waste garbage can anyway. Quarter a good kilogram (2 lbs) of lemons with peel and boil them for ten minutes in a liter of water. Let the broth cool, filter it and pour it into the ant nest.
- Cloves, cinnamon or chili powder also have an intense inherent odor. Press several holes in the soil with a stick and stick or sprinkle the spices into them. This way they are nice and close to the ants’ nest.
- Incense sticks are a horror to some and yet others love the scent. Ants are among those who hate the scent. Just stick the sticks upside down into the soil around the nest.
Can you scare ants from the raised bed with nematodes?
Useful nematodes are good to use against cockchafer grubs and maggots in the soil, the nematodes eat the pests. Ants are not on the menu, but should be driven away. The idea is simple and is often recommended on the Internet: You pour nematodes into the raised bed to spoil the ants’ home, and the ants also see their offspring in danger. This is somewhat like pouring cockroaches into someone’s bed. Annoying and disgusting, they leave voluntarily. The ants feel the same way, but they often just move one floor deeper into the ground and wait there until the earth is clean again.