How to get rid of ants?!

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
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Our yard feels overrun with small black and large red ants. It has been a problem for a while. I was hoping when we got the chickens that they would have some crazy ant eating tendencies, but this is not the case. They keep building colonies closer and closer to the chicken coop so I would like to get rid of them (also because there are too many).

What are some methods of killing ants? Methods that are SAFE for the chickens and people, of course.

I have tried Diatamaceous Earth sprinkled on top of ant hills, but it is not effective for some reason. I have tried castor oil because I saw that somewhere. It didn't work well. What else is there?
 

trumpeting_angel

Free Ranging
Feb 6, 2019
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Vermont
Ants are dangerous to chickens. They can bite them enough to cause significant harm.

Permethrin products are safe for chickens (it’s the active ingredient in poultry dust, used to treat mites on chickens). It is used to kill ants. Check to be sure there aren’t harmful ingredients along with the permethrin.
 

BlueBaby

Enabler
Mar 21, 2016
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I've had a bad ant problem here also. Last year I had a batch of chick's that got eaten alive by the ant's. I bought a gallon jug of Gordon's concentrated Permethrin 10 Livestock & Premise Spray from TSC. You mix it with water, following the direction's on the back of the bottle. You will have to keep an eye on the anthills after you treat them, because they will make new hill's close to the one's that you treated. The ant's are very active rebuilding the hill's after it rain's, so that's a good time for you to attack them also.
 

Tycine1

Crowing
10 Years
May 26, 2009
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David, Chiriquí, Panama
In addition to the permethrin, I've heard that you can also add powdered cinnamon to the hill. It is said [could be an old wives tale] that cinnamon wonks up their sense of communication with each other, making the task of 'rebuilding' a more difficult task. If it's relatively cheap to buy ground cinnamon at a 'big lots' type of store where you are, then it may prove to be worth the attempt.
 

BirdsBeesTrees

F.R.O.G.
Premium member
Mar 10, 2019
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Iowa
I don't know how you'd kill all the ants in your yard but I put cinnamon around my beehives they don't like to cross it and it doesn't hurt the bees. My mom puts baby powder in her window sills. In the early spring i put out ant traps around the house and the granulated ant poison around the perimeter house. My birds weren't free ranging though...
 

BlueBaby

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Mar 21, 2016
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My chicken's don't free-range, but ant's are attracted to the feed that they will bring back to the ant-hill's. There are 2 types of ant's from my understanding, the one's that like sweet's, and the one's that like protein or meat. The cinnamon is a powder that stick's to the the ant's feet, and can suffocate them since I was told year's ago that ant's breathe through their feet.
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
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247
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I could give cinnamon a try since I still have a large bag of it I bought in bulk. I know I need to consider some other options, too.

I think I will skip the Permethrin.

My chickens are supervised free range. They are only out when we are out there. We have contemplated a pellet type poison they take back to the queen, but they do still eat the small black ants. We also have small children that run around so we don't need them eating it. We feel like we are running out of options, though.

Any more ideas?
 

ValerieJ

Enabler
Premium member
Jul 24, 2016
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I would use Amdro and then fence off the anthill so no chickens or children can get to it. I would sprinkle it directly on the nest. It works amazingly fast and you could just sweep up any excess, if there is any. When we first moved here we had a couple of huge anthills. I sprinkled Amdro on them and the ants and the Amdro were gone in a day or two.
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
110
247
103
I would use Amdro and then fence off the anthill so no chickens or children can get to it. I would sprinkle it directly on the nest. It works amazingly fast and you could just sweep up any excess, if there is any. When we first moved here we had a couple of huge anthills. I sprinkled Amdro on them and the ants and the Amdro were gone in a day or two.
While fencing ant hills is a good idea for this purpose and we did consider this, but it seems there are just too many to fence. We have over 15 ant holes...I do wonder if it is all the same colony, though. They are spread out throughout the yard, it would probably be a lot of fence =P
 
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