How Can We Control Ants In Our Lawn
Unless their nests are causing specific issues, they are best left alone. Even if you can destroy a colony, it is likely that it will quickly be re-colonised and the whole process will commence again.
There are some DIY products which might help control ants, such as ant powder. This can be applied by creating deep holes directly into the ants nest with a garden fork or spike. The holes can then be filled with the powder. For a biological approach, Nemasys Nematode ant killer can be applied between April and October. There have been some reports of good results with these when used against ants.
Some people use boiling water to kill these ants, but this isnt a good idea as can result in scorched patches of turf which are then vulnerable to being colonised by weeds. Its better to water the ant hill regularly with cold water as this wont kill the turf but will disturb the ants and encourage them to move on. In general, they prefer dry conditions, so a well-watered lawn may discourage them.
For the anthills themselves, wait for a dry day and scrape them off with a shovel, or brush them vigorously with a stiff broom to scatter the soil over the lawn and reseed any bare areas. The soil has been nicely tilled and aerated by the ants, so think of it as some free top dressing!
What If Its Too Late For Deterrents
Take all of these steps and youre highly unlikely to find yourself with an ant problem on your lawn. But if the little critters have already set up home there, there are plenty of ways to get rid of them.
Removing ants from locations where they cause a nuisance neednt mean exterminating them.
Ants are part of a healthy ecosystem, eating smaller insects and providing food in turn for birds and other wildlife. So its well worth exploring less brutal ways to discourage them from your lawn. As well see, theres a wide range of options to choose from.
Chemical ant killers are also toxic to human and other wildlife, so they need to be used with caution. If you have pets or children who will be using the lawn, its best to stay away from them.
Cayenne Or Chili Pepper Natural Ant Killer
These two are natural ant repellents and will also wipe out ant trails. Simply pour some around ant hills and into ant nests in your yard and wait for the results. However, youll want to avoid exposing your pets to cayenne or chili pepper, as they can cause digestive irritability when ingested by these animals.
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When To Drench A Fire Ant Colony
Drenching is a great option when you need to quickly eliminate individual colonies. For this method you will need a concentrated fire ant insecticide, a dowel or broom handle, a hand pump sprayer and a 5-gallon bucket. Read the product label of the fire ant killer product you are using for usage rates and the recommended personal protection equipment.
Liquid Drench Method:
- In the hand sprayer, mix 1 gallon of fire ant insecticide solution according to the product label.
- Spray around the mound in a circle 6 to 10 feet in diameter to kill off any foragers. Allow application to dry.
- Mix another 1 to 2 gallons of solution in a 5-gallon bucket.
- Use dowel or broom handle to poke a hole down through the top of the mound.
Granules Drench Method:
- Apply granular insecticide three feet out around the mound according to the product label.
- Add the recommended amount of fire ant granules over top of the mound according to the product label.
- Pour water on and around the mound to soak in the granules according to the product label.
Effective fire ant treatments give you the edge you need to take back control of your yard. Visit The Home Depot website to find the fire ant bait and insecticide you need to get rid of fire ants.
How Can I Control Flying Ants
Flying ants can become extremely detrimental to your property and home. When you know that youre dealing with flying ants, here are ways that you can control them:
- Vacuum You can immediately vacuum the swarm to remove them from the nest or hiding place.
- Fix Damaged Wood Obviously you want to make sure your house is in good shape, but by fixing the damaged wood youre preventing them from furthering the damage that they caused.
- Seal Cracks Make sure no spaces are open for the ants to fly indoors and cause damage.
- Apply TreatmentTerro® Outdoor Ant Killer Spray can help you eliminate flying ants on the spot.
- Prevention and Prep When it comes to dealing with pests, its much easier to deal with them before they come into your house. Use our Terro® Spring Kit to make sure youre protected from all sorts of pests this season.
If you see some bugs flying nearby, safely grab one of them and check it out. That way, youll know when to use TERRO® Ant Products, and when to break out our arsenal against carpenter ants and termites.
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Raid Your Kitchen Cupboards
There are plenty of other common cooking ingredients that deter ants. In most cases this is because of their strong smells, which mask the ants scent trails. Garlic, cloves, chilli, black pepper, peppermint leaves or oil, and cinnamon have all been recommended as ant deterrents.
Weve heard of varying degrees of success with these remedies. But if you want to avoid harsh pesticides, theyre well worth a shot. Make it more pleasant for ants to relocate than to stay on your lawn, and youre onto a winner.
How Can I Kill The Ants
Homeowners who want to kill the ants in their yards rather than repel them often turn to diatomaceous earth . DE is the skeletal remains of tiny marine organisms. Its available for use in a food grade variety as well as a variety intended for use in swimming pools.
Use food grade DE against your ants. Use it dry, not wet. The very sharp DE particles will cut the bodies of the ants, causing them to die. It may take a week or so to kill all ants.
They Arent All the Same
Although there are thousands of kinds of ants, only a few species settle in your yard. These are:
- Pavement ants small black or brown ants that like greasy and protein foods as well as sugary food. Read more here.
- Carpenter ants large ants that can be red or black. They prefer damp wood and will destroy structural parts of your house. Please see detailed descriptions here.
- Fire ants small to large red ants with a painful sting. For more info about how to get rid of fire ants check out this article.
- Odorous ants medium-size brown and black ants that love sugar. for more information about best way to get rid of sugar ants.
Common types of ants
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Kill Ants In Your Yard
If you only have ants in a certain area, like along your sidewalk, spot-treat the area with an outdoor insecticide. Spray in the early morning or late afternoon when the ants are most active. If ants are still building mounds after six weeks, treat the area again. You wont kill every ant in your yard , but spraying will eliminate most of them and stop the annoying mounds. See what other products help keep bugs away.
Professional Ant Killing Products
For the most reliable, quickest results, choose a product that is specifically designed for killing ants.
I have also found there is no one solution to killing ants. It is always best to use a multi pronged approach to give you the best chance of removing them.
I recommend Home Defence products to homeowners as they are usually enough to get the job done.
I use their products in a 3 stage solution:
- Stage 1 Fast acting killer spray: quickly kills ants you have in around the house.
- Stage 2- Ant killer granules: apply on ants and on to the ant nest to kill the colony.
- Stage 3- Ant bait stations: can be left around the garden/house for any remaining ants to feed on and take back to the nest.
Fast Acting Ant Killer Spray
This is usually used on the first stage when you first find the ants and just want to remove them from the area.
While this is not designed to be used on your lawn directly, the ant killer spray is highly effective at killing ants quickly in and around the house.
I would not recommend wasting your time spraying ants around your whole garden, as there are other solutions for that.
Just use this in the areas in and around your home.
Ant Killer Granules
After you killed ants in and around the home, its time to go after the colony.
The ant killer granules can be used to kill ants in two ways:
If you know where the nest is, it would be wise to use both methods above.
Depending on the size of the nest, you may need a second application a month later.
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Nematodes For Ant Control
Consider using nematodes to clear away the pests. Ants hate the idea of having their predators living close by and will move the nest to protect the colony. The parasitic nematode, Steinernema feltiae, can be used as a non-chemical control for black, red and yellow ants. Safe to children, pets and wildlife.
You just apply to moist soil when the soil temperature is above 5ºC and ensure the soil does not dry out for at least two weeks after applying nematodes. Nematodes are capable of surviving the odd frost so dont worry if the temperature falls after you have applied them.
Make Sure Your Lawn Is Lush And Healthy
You can easily avoid having an ant problem in the first place if you practice good lawn maintenance. This means keeping your lawn healthy and free from stress.
Therefore, make sure you mow to the correct height regularly and water when it needs it. Also, make sure that you follow a regular feeding schedule to ensure your lawn is growing at its optimum.
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The Best Ways To Remove Ants From Yard
To keep ants out of your yard, its necessary to:
- Keep your grass and landscaping healthy and trimmed.
- Eradicate insects, such as aphids, that ants like.
- Remove trash containers and other attractants.
- Plant flowers, such as marigolds, that ants avoid.
Applying mint essential oils, especially peppermint oil, repels ants.
Their chemical trails are necessary for ants to survive. You can remove ants by removing their trails. You know youve discovered a trail when you see a line of ants. Squashing the ants doesnt help, nor does killing a single scout ant.
Putting a strong smelling substance on the trail will often mask the chemical scent the ants have deposited.
Once they lose their trail, ants cant find their way back to the nest or to their food source. Being lost is the death knell for an ant. When those responsible for bringing food to the nest dont return, the remaining ants leave the area.
Tip # 0: Using White Vinegar And Water:
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White Vinegar Is Safe To Grass But Can Kill Ants
White vinegar with five percent concentration and the distilled type can also exterminate ants without hurting the grass. Upon contact with the vinegar, the ants will be killed because they cannot tolerate its low-pH acidic components.
As you can see, there are many ways to exterminate ants in your lawn without hurting the beautiful grass. They also cost less than the ready-made ant repellants that are sold in the market.
Is There A Natural Way To Destroy Ant Hills
There are several natural substances and deterrents that you can use to deal with your outdoor ant problem. They offer the least expensive method of destroying ant hills.
Lets find out what these natural solutions are:
- Carbonated waterThe carbon dioxide in carbonated water displaces the oxygen in the ant nest. This suffocates the lower levels of the nest, killing the queen. Depending on how deep the nest runs, you may have to pour a liter of the water or more over the hill.
- Pipe tobacco and waterAn excellent way of destroying ant colonies is using nicotine-infused water. The same pipe tobacco that can harm your health can also affect ants. It can quickly eliminate a colony. Soak the tobacco overnight. Discard the wet tobacco in the morning and pour the liquid over the ant hills.
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What Plants Are Impacted By Ants
- Lawns, garden plants, indoor and outdoor potted plants.
- Nests and excessive tunnelling caused by ants can cause dead patches in the lawn and plants to deteriorate and/or die. This is due to evaporative loss of water in the soil, causing lawns and plants to dry out.
- Most damage to plants from ants occurs indirectly. Ants form a symbiotic relationship with honeydew producing and plant-sap-sucking insects such as aphids, scale, psyllids, mealy bugs, whitefly and leafhoppers. Various plants prone to sap-sucking pests:
- Fruit trees such as citrus, apples, figs, stone fruit trees, etc.
- Non-edible plants such as roses, fuchsias, magnolia, camellia, azalea, lillypilly, murraya, pittosporum, viburnum and many more.
- Freshly planted seed can be removed from the soil and carried away to the nest.
Issues Caused By Lawn Ant Colonies
There are a number of problems caused by ant colonies making nests on your lawn.
However, it is worth noting that ants are not a big problem for most lawns you dont need to kill the ants unless their numbers get out of hand. The most common type of ant in the UK, the black garden variety, does not sting, and will not harm your grass growth. In fact, their nests can help to aerate your lawn, and ants often eat the larvae of other types of insects that will cause more damage to your grass.
You will need to weigh up the issues caused by the ants, such as how many ant hills youre getting, to decide if exterminating them is worth the effort.
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Ants Have A Sweet Tooth
Ants love sweets. Most will appear anywhere they can find sugar. Although its unlikely that you intentionally have sugary foods in your yard, its easy for children to drop food crumbs during play times. Other foods, such as BBQ sauce on grills, also lure ants to your yard.
Ants may seek water. Ants usually get all the water they need from their food, but they will invade moist areas in dry climates. Ants will also invade trash containers left outside. They also like uncovered pet food.
Are Some Ants Good For Your Lawn And Garden
Most of the ants are not a potential threat to your lawn. Anthills or mounds can be a cause of nuisance but in return, some ants help in soil aeration, pollination, seed dispersal, and protect your lawn from aphids. Ants eat up aphids, bugs, and other pests that can harm your lawn or garden. Ants facilitate the redistribution of nutrients in the soil, act as scavengers and decompose dead material and insects into fertilizer which helps in plant growth.
They patrol all over your lawn and protect your vegetation from plant-eating insects. They also help in flowering by eating the sticky outer layer around the buds which is a great food source for ants. However, keep an eye on the ant colonies in your lawn because established larger ant colonies can do more harm than help.
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Is There A Way To Kill The Ants Without Killing The Grass
But what about the beautiful grass that you have worked so hard to cultivate? Will they be destroyed if you will just use any kind of insect repellant to kill the ants? Lets examine this subject and discover if there are ways to kill the ants without killing the grass.
Yes, There Are Several Ways To Do It.
Thankfully, there are several ways to eliminate the ants without destroying your beautiful grass. But you really need to do it fast since ants are good at breaking the good news to their colonies. If they find a good food source in your garden, thousands of them will soon crawl over your yard.
How To Get Rid Of Ant Hills From Your Lawn
Ants don’t pose an existential threat to most garden and, in fact, often help keep them in order.
But some people will find the nests pose issues when populations explode every spring.
The insects sometimes find their way indoors or burrow through some of their carefully cultivated plants and flowers.
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