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How To Keep Ants Out of Deck Box

Recycled Sign On Garbage Bin And Large Ant

Deck boxes can sometimes be infested by ante and other pests. Living with such a bug infestation can be discomforting.

For example, imagine offering a guest a patio cushion, and they complain of ants crawling on them. You can avoid potential embarrassment by ensuring ants never enter your deck box. We will tell you how in this guide.


Finding your deck box swarming with ants can be an unsettling experience.

And these crawling insects are yet to invade your box. You’ve got to do all you can to keep them away.

Here are a few tips you can consider to keep them at bay:

  • Remove all ant nests and larvae.
  • Carefully inspect all items before storage to ensure they don’t carry crumbs or anything that will attract ants.
  • Clean out your deck box frequently.

In the following sections, we will walk you through eight practical ways to keep ants out of deck boxes. Also, we will answer some common questions about ant infestations in deck boxes.

8 Ways To Keep Ants at Bay From Deck Boxes

A deck box is a storage container for outdoor items like toys, garden hoses, cushions, gardening tools, and other essentials.

You can keep your patio, deck, or porch free from clutter and distractions with a deck box.

However, ants are fond of crawling around it. Depending on the severity, this can sometimes be hard to deal with.

Thankfully, we researched and found eight sure ways to keep these bugs out of your deck box below:

1. Clean Out Your Deck Box

Man Taking Garbage Bag Out Of Bin At Home

Ants and other bugs love messy places because they give them cover to hide and reproduce. So, clean your deck box regularly to make it inhabitable for ants.

Even If you trace ants to your deck box and successfully eliminate them, they may return.

When they return, they leave a scent trail for their colony to find and join them.

So, cleaning with ordinary water is not enough to permanently deter ants from your deck box.

Take it a step further and eliminate their scent trails.

To do this, pick a free weekend and scrub your deck box thoroughly with strong substances.

These include bleach, detergent, and apple cider vinegar. Wear protective equipment like a glove and mask if you choose to use bleach for this cleaning.

2. Carefully Inspect Items Before Storage

Open Cabinet With Empty Trash Bins For Separate Waste Collection In Kitchen

Before storing anything in your deck box, inspect it thoroughly. Ensure that the item does not carry crumbs or anything that will attract ants.

If you think an item is infested, set it aside. Only add it to the deck box after a thorough cleaning.

Ants love sweet things and will go to any length to reach them. So, be careful not to toss forgotten candy wraps with pool toys when cleaning up.

3. Remove All Ant Nests and Larvae

Selective Focus Of Dried Black Soldier Fly Maggot Larvae Isolated White Backgorund

If ants have already laid eggs in your deck box, you are dealing with more than keeping ants out.

These eggs will eventually hatch and create more problems for you. Your best bet is to take out their nests and any eggs they may have left behind.

Since ants come in different species and you can’t tell what to expect, it is best to wear protective equipment.

For example, a protective glove can protect you from the harsh bites of stinging ants.

If this does not work, hose the deck box with high-pressure water to force ant nests out. After this, allow the box to dry before use, as ants love moisture and may return to the deck box If they find it wet.

4. Apply Some Bug Repellants

Spray Insecticide

Bug repellants are a quick fix for most infestation problems.

After cleaning your deck box, you can use this strategy to deter ants from returning.

Many commercial bug sprays can kill ants and other insects. However, most of these chemicals are toxic and can harm your pets.

So, either go for non-toxic options or try natural repellants that you can sprinkle in your deck box. These include tea tree and peppermint oils, coffee seeds, ground pepper, glass cleaner, vinegar, and diatomaceous earth.

You can dip cotton balls in essential oils and lock them in your deck box alongside other items.

You can mix vinegar with water and spray inside your deck box to deter ants.

5. Use Mothballs or Cedar

White Naphthalene Balls On White Wooden Background

Cedar and mothballs are natural insect repellents that kill many insects, including ants.

Mothballs contain naphthalene, which releases toxic gas into the air and repels pests. However, you must use this repellant with caution because the fumes travel and can harm humans and pets.

Although cedar chips also release chemicals that repel ants, it does not work on all ant species.

So, we recommend you follow this method with any other strategies in this guide.

6. Make a Borax and Sugar Trap

Ant Trap With Boric Acid

Another way to keep ants out of your deck box is to bait them. This is especially if you want to trace the infestation source.

You can get some boric acid from local stores and mix it with sugar. Next, add water to the mixture and pour it into bottle caps.

Place this DIY trap in any area where you have noticed ants, whether inside or around the deck box.

Drawn to the sugary substance, ants will have a taste and return to their nest. There, they will infect other ants in the colony – this fixes the problem for you.

7. Declutter Your Deck Box

Young Woman Pulling Recycling Bin Down Driveway

As deck boxes are storage units, it is common for people to toss about anything inside.

But the problem here is that deck boxes are meant to store essential items and clean your outdoor space.

Anything you do not need urgently should not be there. Instead, relocate these items to other places like your garage or a proper storage unit.

Routine decluttering and cleaning will help separate the things you need from those you don’t.

This further helps you to manage space in your deck box and makes it easy to trace infestation sources.

8. Line Your Deck Box With Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets Stacked

Dryer sheets are an effective ant-repellent strategy. They can help to prevent ants from making a home in your deck box and laying eggs.

To use, clean your deck box, following the guidelines in the first tip above. Then, please wait for it to dry. Once dry, place several dryer sheets on the base of your deck box before returning items.

These dryer sheets will make it difficult for ants to inhabit your deck box again.


Finding your deck box swarming with ants can be an unsettling experience. And suppose you don’t have an ant infestation.

You’ve got to do all you can to prevent one from happening.

The tips above are there to guide you, both to drive ants away and prevent them from coming around.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Mint Drive Ants Away?

Ants hate the smell of mint plants like peppermint. So, planting them around your house can naturally repel ants.

What Attracts Ants to Wood?

Ants love to nest in wet, decaying wood because they are soft and easy to chew through. If your porch or deck has an ant infestation, it may be time to replace the wood.

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