The Q&A Archives: Ants in the garden!

Question: Black ants have made anthills all through my raised beds. What can I do to get rid of them without using poisons? Carolyn Fuller Six Mile Run, PA

Answer: A single queen perpetuates each colony, so you'll need to get to her to eradicate the nest, says Stanley Green, an Extension entomologist based in Philadelphia. Your best bet is to try killing her with boiling water, he explains. Since the queen tends to stay deep within the nest, shovel away the top layer of soil. Work quickly so that not many workers swarm out. Then immediately pour the hot water into the heart of the nest. Any workers that escape the hot water will die in a week or so when their normal lifespan comes to an end. Without a queen, they can't start a new colony.

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