Is A Trash Bag The Secret To Getting Rid Of Ant Hills In Your Yard?

Ants are known to spoil picnics, but they can do more damage than just that. Especially if they invade your backyard. If you notice ant hills cropping up in your lawn, it's a cause for concern. Not only do they ruin the appearance of your meticulously cared for grass, but they can also harm vegetation and attract pests. They can damage your grass's roots, causing patchy brown spots that will give your yard an unkempt look. It can also make the ground bumpy and uneven, making it difficult to mow. Plus, some ants attract aphids, which are bugs that can wreak havoc on your garden if they amass into an infestation. They feed on young plants, and can do everything from kill shoots to stunt growth to turn leaves yellow. However, a trash bag can help you control your ant colony issue. 

If you don't feel like running to the store and spending money on ant sprays, you can instead head into your pantry and grab a big plastic garbage bag. Not only does this utilize something you already own — saving you money — but it's also eco-friendly. Here's what you need to do.

How to use a trash bag to get rid of ant hills

To use this hack, all you will need is a thick garbage bag, scissors, and a few bricks to weigh the bag down. The idea is to raise the temperature inside the anthill, making it uncomfortable for the colony. To do so, cut the garbage bag down to its center. This will create a plastic tarp of sorts. It's important to choose a thick, heavy-duty bag rather than a flimsy one. Ants will be able to chew through a thin one, and a thicker one will also be able to retain heat better. 

Once the bag is cut, lay it over the ant hill. Secure the tarp down to the ground with bricks, ensuring it doesn't fly away with a breeze. You want to leave it for at least a day or two, allowing the hill to cook. Before removing the tarp, ensure the temperature got hot enough by popping in a thermometer underneath the tarp. If it reads above 95 degrees, you should have success. Just make sure not to leave the garbage bag on your grass for longer than two days, since it can burn and discolor the grass underneath.

Why this works

The ants chose that particular area in your yard because it had the perfect conditions to house their community. You want to disturb those conditions, forcing them to rethink their decision and move to a new spot. Larva can only live between 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, so using the bag to warm the ant hill will kill them. As for the grown ants, they will leave the premises, taking flight to somewhere new.

While this will get the ants to vacate their ant hill, there is a possibility they will build a new one somewhere else in your yard. If you tried this hack and they reappeared elsewhere on your lawn, you might need to take more drastic measures and eliminate the whole colony. You can do so by pouring boiling water with a little dish soap over the ant hill, buying an insecticide spray, or calling an exterminator.