Use Dormant Oil To Keep Ants Away From Your Property

While most ants are practically harmless, they can overtake your yard and garden, especially if you're growing fruit trees. Ants are also attracted to the waste of aphids, referred to as honeydew, and even go so far as to protect these plant-destroying creatures that secrete this much-loved substance. Ants will seek out food sources on your property, and if you have a lot of shrubs, trees, or bushes near your home, they could end up inside your house. Dormant oil, which is also known as horticultural oil, is typically made from petroleum or vegetable oil and can get rid of ants and other insects.

Unlike most pesticides that poison insects, dormant oil works by coating the bugs and their eggs and suffocating them. Once the oil has dried, it won't leave behind any toxic chemicals. When using this pest control method, it's important to consider when and where you are spraying the oil, as improper applications could harm plants or the beneficial insects in your garden. Horticultural oil will also not hurt people or animals, making this method as safe as it is effective.

Using dormant oil against ants

Depending on what type of dormant oil you purchase, it will need to be applied to your plants at different times. Some horticultural oils are designed to work on plants that are still dormant from winter, while other versions are made to be used throughout the year. If you use the oil in the winter, you could get rid of ants before they emerge in the spring. Make sure to check the directions on your oil before applying to ensure you won't harm your plants. Spray the oil onto shrubs, trees, or bushes where you've seen ants frequenting. 

It's best to apply your dormant oil when the temperature is at or above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and rain isn't in the forecast. Temperatures below 40 degrees lessen the effectiveness of horticultural oil, while temperatures higher than 90 degrees can cause the oil to damage plants. Additionally, if bees or other beneficial insects are in the area at the time you spray the oil, it could kill them as well. By using dormant oil in the early spring in the morning or evening, you can keep ants away without harming helpful insects.