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Ants (Formicidae) make an important contribution to the preservation of the ecosystem. Many species are protected. However, they are not wanted on the balcony. How do you get rid of them quickly?

In a nutshell

  • some ant species are protected
  • Carpenter ants can cause damage to the house
  • it doesn't have to be the chemical club, home remedies help
  • react as quickly as possible in the event of an ant infestation
  • Ant trails point the way from the nest to the food source

Remove food sources

Anyone who suddenly notices ants on the balcony feels disturbed by the small creepy-crawlies. Before you take effective measures to combat the insects, you should determine where they are coming from.
Part of the ant colony has the task of searching for food. You explore the area closely. As soon as they find something, they mark the path with a scent. Now they can always follow the scent and take the shortest route from the anthill to the food source. This path is known as the ant trail.
The insects are magically attracted to sugar and carbohydrates. If you like to have breakfast on the balcony or enjoy your coffee and cake there after work, some crumbs will inevitably fall to the ground. These crumbs are welcome food for the insects.

Tip: After each meal on the balcony, clean the table and floor. The effort is worth it. If you sweep up the crumbs quickly every time, you don't have to expect visits from unwanted insects.

Control aphids

Ants and aphids make an interesting association. Aphids eat plant parts and excrete a sweet, sticky substance called sundew. Ants love this sweet juice, they milk the aphids. In return, they fend off the predators of the aphids. Wherever aphids live, ants are not far away.
If you want to prevent an ant plague, you should keep the balcony flowers free of aphids. Rinsing with a strong jet of water is a good way to help immediately. Large-leaved plants can be scrubbed with a solution of dish soap and water. The aphids are removed in the process. Alternatively, nettle broth can help. To do this, pour 1 liter of boiling water over 5 stalks of non-blooming nettles. Leave the mixture for a day and water the balcony plants with it.

Tip: Every child knows that ladybugs eat aphids. Create an environment that is as natural as possible, in which beneficial insects feel at home. Where ladybugs thrive, aphids don't stand a chance.

Cleverly put together balcony plants

The ant gives a wide berth to some plants on its balcony. This is caused by scents that the animals do not like. These scented herbs include:

  • lavender
  • basil
  • thyme
  • mint
  • lemon balm

Plant these herbs between your balcony flowers or combine them with each other. How about, for example, fragrant lavender in the balcony box. Enjoy the violet or white flowers, the beguiling scent and the ant-free balcony!

Notice: When the creepy crawlies have conquered your balcony, it won't be long before they get into the apartment. It pays to act quickly. Scented plants in front of the balcony door help.

Interrupt ant trails

The path of insects, the ant trail, leads straight from the anthill to the source of food and back. When an ant has discovered a food source on the balcony, it marks the way with the help of scents called pheromones. She then returns to her colony, regurgitates the food she finds, and distributes it to other members of the colony. These then search for food along the road marked with scents. If you observe several ants running one after the other in one direction, you have found the ant trail. Interrupt them by suitable means:

  • Draw a chalk line
  • sprinkle baby powder
  • Stick on packing tape or masking tape
  • Apply Vaseline

relocate ant colony

If you notice the ant invasion on your balcony, you should investigate the origin of the animals. Have you spotted the ant trail? Follow these to track down the location of the ant nest. Is the nest near the balcony? With a simple trick you can relocate the creepy crawlies.

  • Fill a flower pot with wood shavings.
  • Place this upside down on the ant nest.
  • The ant colony takes the chance and moves the nest into the flower pot.
  • After three days you can put the flower pot in a remote location and you'll be rid of the uninvited balcony visitors.

Tip: Check newly purchased flower pots for insect infestation. There is often an ant nest in the potting soil.

vinegar and lemon

The ant is repelled by the fresh scent of lemons or the smell of vinegar. Take advantage of this property if you want to get rid of the insects. After the winter break, thoroughly clean all balcony furniture, windows, doors and washable surfaces with vinegar or lemon cleaner. Ants are repelled by what smells pleasantly of lemons for humans. With this simple household remedy, you can keep the balconies and the house free of ants.

Tip: Spray vinegar on the ant trail with a fine spray bottle or lay out a few slices of lemon on it.

fragrance oils

Essential oils help keep ants away. Diffuse lavender, rosemary, or mint essential oils, or set out bowls of dried flowers. Enjoy the aromatic scent!


Use copper if you want to get rid of ants on the balcony. The insects cannot tolerate the smell of copper. Whoever discovers a nest near the balcony can build a barrier with copper sheets and place small pieces of copper or coins on the ant trail

cleanliness and tidiness

Almost all insects come to terraces, balconies and into the house in search of food. Regular cleaning helps fight the ant plague. It is also important to consider the surroundings of the house. Garbage cans, yellow bags and even the compost heap attract ants and pests. Never set them up directly at the house and use well-closable containers.

Tip: Also, remove your pets' food bowls from the balcony.

frequently asked Questions

Ants swarm in the flower boxes. How can I get rid of them?

If you have cleaned your balcony thoroughly, it can happen that the insects move into the flower boxes and tubs. Submerge the vessels under water several times. The animals run away. Then distribute coffee grounds in the vessels. It supplies the plants with important nutrients and drives away the remaining ants.

My grandmother recommends baking soda for ant infestation. Can this help?

Opinions differ on the use of baking powder. Nature lovers suspect an agonizing death for the ant from the expansion of the baking soda in the stomach and reject this remedy. The composition of commercially available baking powder has changed in recent years, so that it is hardly effective against insects. Use the measures mentioned.

Which types of ants damage the building structure?

Carpenter ants can damage the structure of buildings. In the case of severe infestation, the load-bearing capacity of individual parts of the building can suffer, so that a building expert is required. Carpenter ants are black in color and conspicuously shiny. The workers reach a length of 5 to 6 millimeters, the males are 4 to 5 millimeters long. They do not use the wood from roof beams, floors, windows and doors as food, but as nesting material.

How do the ants get on my fourth floor balcony?

Unfortunately, apartments and balconies on the upper floors are not protected from the ant plague either. The insects crawl up the house walls, the green facade or inside the building. During the nuptial flight, the animals grow wings. Some female ants start their own colonies after mating, possibly right in your balcony boxes.

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