Ants in the Raised Bed: How to Repel Animals

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Warm warmth, gentle, loose, well-ventilated soil and plenty of watering – plants can really make themselves comfortable in raised beds. Unfortunately, pests like ants and mice see it this way too. It can still be easily closed by placing the wire mesh cage closed on the floor when constructing the raised bed and securing it to the lower panels. Outside of the mouse, no one can cross. On the other hand, ants are so small that they can fit anywhere, and they shamelessly exploit this. They quickly find their way to the raised bed, crawling wildly around each other, letting the irrigation water flow through their corridors at lightning speed, and above all, lifting the plants out of the ground so that they either starve or dry out at once. So if you want to grow vegetables successfully, you need to make sure that the ants are gone from the raised bed.

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How to get rid of ants in raised beds

Chemical ants are not allowed in raised beds to combat them, they are biological pesticides, not insecticides. Only pesticides can be used directly on and around plants by law. Also, ant treatments aren’t completely non-toxic, and you don’t want that in a loft bed. Only if the raised bed is located directly on the path or on the balcony, you can put ant repellent or bait boxes there and hope that the animals will grab the bait from the raised bed and feed the brood with it. Therefore, home remedies are the best option to repel pests.

Under certain conditions, you can drive ants out of a raised bed with water. Simply drown the spot in the raised bed of the anthill for several days and at least twice a day. Of course only if the plants can withstand such a deluge on a small scale or if nothing grows right away. After all, who loves water in their apartment? Nor ants! The animals will reconsider their choice of place in the raised bed and settle elsewhere. Another way to combat pests is to pour boiling water into the ground, where ants burn. Effective, but this heat treatment also destroys plants and their roots, and therefore it is useful only in areas where nothing grows.

Remove ants from the raised bed

Organize the movement of the ants and move them to another location in the garden where the animals will not disturb you. To do this, fill a larger pot with sawdust and loose soil and place it in the raised bed just above the nest. The sun warms the pot including the wood wool and the earth and after a few days the ants will kiss their hands and make them a new home. Then you can simply move them with the pot to a place where they do not cause any harm and do not become a nuisance. In addition to watering, this method has the best chance of success.

Ants are not pests, but they can be a nuisance in the garden or home. We introduce insects in more detail and give tips on how to repel them.

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Fight ants with smell

Ants use scents to find their way. Therefore, it makes sense to confuse them with strong odors, to spoil their stay in the lofty bed and eventually fight them. There are many perfume candidates with varying degrees of success. What works in one raised bed leaves the ants cool in the other. But it is definitely worth a try. Herbs can also be used to prevent pests.

  • Herbs: Lavender, thyme, or marjoram grows in many raised beds anyway and ants hate their smell. However, one plant is not enough, only in a team with several plants, this smell attack is promising.
  • Natural manure: Concentrated compost, which you pour into the soil around the nest, is often more effective than weeds. This also works for overripe lemons that would end up in the compost or organic waste bin anyway. A quarter of a kilo of lemon with the peel and boiled in a liter of water for ten minutes. Let the broth cool, then strain and pour it into the anthill.
  • Clove, cinnamon, or chili powder also has a strong aroma of their own. Make several holes in the soil with a stick and insert or sprinkle the spices in. So it is nice and close to the anthill.
  • Incense sticks are intimidating to some and others love the smell. Ants are among those who hate the smell. Simply stick the sticks upside down into the soil around the nest.

There are many home remedies that are recommended for ants, but not all work. We’ll tell you what really helps.

Can you scare ants out of a raised bed with nematodes?

Beneficial nematodes are good for use against grubs and caterpillars in the soil, and nematodes eat pests. Ants are not on the menu, but they should be kept away. The idea is simple and often recommended on the Internet: you pour nematodes into the raised bed to make the ants’ homes miserable, as the ants see their offspring in danger. This is a bit like throwing cockroaches into someone’s bed. Annoying and disgusting as you voluntarily run away. This is also the case for ants, although they often go only one level deeper into the ground and wait there until the ground is clean again.

Video: Ant fight

For more tips on how to get rid of ants, watch our video.

In an interview, botanist Renee Waddas gave advice on ant control
Video and editing: CreativeUnit / Fabian Heckle

Friedrich Strauss / Shutterstock / Irene-K

iStock / claffra

iStock / allgord

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