For gardeners, ants can be a nuisance; they reproduce quickly, and it takes no time for colonies to expand. Unfortunately, some methods of killing ants can harm other living things. Many homeowners resort to killing ants with ant powder, but the big question is does ant powder kill bees too?
Ant powder may be a great solution for ants, however, unfortunately, ant powder does kill bees too so it’s not a deterrent we would condone!
We would strongly recommend using other methods of killing ants to save the bees. Bees are important for gardens because they contribute to pollination and the environment. You know how important bees are – it’s certainly something that is discussed in depth.
So keep reading to discover how to kill ants without harming bees before you even consider using ant powder in the garden.
Do Ants Cause Harm to Beehives?
Bees are important to the ecosystem, and recently, they have been experiencing a fall in population. Unfortunately, ants can cause harm to beehives.
Ants are opportunistic insects and will take advantage of any beehive that is weak or compromised. Therefore, many beekeepers need to steer clear of ants that could take over their beehives.
Ants love anything sweet, and when they encounter a beehive that has its defences down, they will attack it and enter. This is because ants enjoy eating the sweet honey and bee larvae from which they get their protein.
However, ants will not attack a bee colony if it is strong and full of life.
Will Ant Dust Kill Bees?
Ant dust is a powdered insecticide used to kill ants and other insects. This dust is made from deltamethrin which kills any insect that comes into contact with it. Along with many other insects, and dust also kills bees. However, ant dust will not kill bees until they directly encounter it.
People sprinkle ant dust on the ground in the soil, so it is unlikely that bees would come into close contact with it because they are usually between flowers.
However, there is no guarantee that bees would always fly, and they may come close to the soil. In this situation, ant dust is likely to kill bees.
In addition, ant dust can be harmful to bees in the long run because it does not wash away with the rain. If you sprinkle ant dust, it will last for around eight months. This means that it is eight months of harming any bees that come into your garden.
What Ant Deterrents are Safe to Bees?
While it is important to get rid of ants, it is equally important to use ant deterrents that are safe for bees. Bees are essential to the environment, and we have to be responsible for our choices, so we do not harm them.
Other than ant powder, there are various ways you can use to deter ants without harming bees:
Borax is a popular solution for deterring ants. You can use borax as it does not harm bees. However, borax is a short-term solution for dealing with ants. Hence, you must keep that in mind before using it and considering it as a permanent solution.
Using cinnamon is a great option because it is all-natural. You can make lines with cinnamon to mess with the ant trail. By using cinnamon, you can confuse the ants, and they will disperse.
However, using cinnamon means that you will never kill them or have any effect on their population. Unfortunately, cinnamon does not stand a chance against wind or rain because it will blow or wash away.
There are commercially available powders to kill ants that do not harm bees. You can sprinkle these powders wherever you spot an ant trail to kill them.
Since ants are harmful to bees, you can spray this powder near any beehive you may have in your garden. You must ensure that you do not get any ant powder in the hives, however.
Ant Barrier Coating
Another thing you can do to kill ants without harming bees is to use ant barrier coating. You can use this coating on the entryway to your home or any place you spot ants. The ant barrier coating will only deter ants and not kill them.
The barrier coating works by creating a slippery surface, so the ants slip on it. You can get ant barrier coating which is safe for bees. The ant barrier coating dries and does not harm bees.
You can also take preventative measures to keep ants out of beehives. It is important to do so because if ants have taken over a bee colony, there is no option but to open it and empty it.
It is best to remove any weeds near the beehive, which act as a natural ladder for ants. Weeds help ants climb up to beehives. In addition, also ensure is no honey dripping on the ground because it sends a signal to the ants. Finally, if there are any spills, you need to clean them before any ants come.
Bees are important to the environment and have been experiencing a population decline. Therefore, it is important to keep them safe from ants.
Unfortunately, many ant killers like ant powder also kill bees. Therefore, it is important to switch to bee-friendly options.
Ants will enter a beehive because they are opportunistic. If a beehive is vulnerable and has its defences down, ants will eat the honey also bee larvae for protein.
You can use borax, cinnamon to deter ants. In addition, commercially available bee-friendly ant dust powders are also available. Also, you can create a moat near the beehive to avoid ants from reaching it.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden