Getting rid of ants in your lawn may seem simple, but make sure you don’t destroy your green grass at the same time. Many chemical insect control products can destroy your garden, which is just another problem for you. Therefore, home remedies for insects are very helpful and effective without damaging your lawn. How ants live, what damage they can do to your garden and how to get rid of them without using chemicals are the topics we will cover in this article.
Table of Contents
How ants live
Ants are social insects that form large, organized colonies. They build elaborate nests that often contain thousands of individuals. Ant nests contain one, and sometimes several, fertile females called queen ants. They lay their eggs in specific parts of the nest called brood chambers. Most of the other insects in the colony are smaller females, called workers, whose job is to protect, maintain, and enlarge the nest.
There are other ants called soldiers and drones whose job is to find and bring food. Ants’ nests are very complex structures. They contain nurseries where larvae are fed and cared for, as well as storage chambers and breeding rooms. They even build tunnels to help with air circulation.
How these insects can harm your garden
Many ants build their nests in or under lawns. They prefer well-drained soil in lawns that do not suffer from compaction. This means that even the best-kept lawn can fall victim to an ant infestation. But not all of them are bad. They hunt other insects in the lawn, and their nests can help aerate the lawn. However, when the insects dig up the soil, they leave it on the surface of the lawn. These ants can affect your lawn in several ways :
- They can make your lawn uneven.
- Make it difficult to mow the lawn because the mower blades get stuck in the clumps of soil.
- Destroy the grass under the clods of soil, especially if the grass is short.
- They also feed on the root zone of the grass when they form their colonies. This can result in dead patches of grass.
- Ants indirectly affect the whole garden: ants like to feed on honeydew secreted by aphids (sucking insects). To ensure a constant supply of honeydew, the insects protect the aphids from predators such as ladybugs and take care of their ongoing needs. This protection often leads to an increase in aphid activity in your garden. This in turn leads to plants being damaged as they are used as a food source.
How might you control ants in your lawn
- Rake out the anthills: It sounds too simple to work, but it is the first and best step to be able to control ants in lawns. Most ants prefer dry, sandy soil. If an ant pile is left long enough, the pile (and the nest underneath) can begin to harden. This protects the nest, but also makes it difficult to remove.
- Spread soap and water: choose an environmentally friendly soap (to save the rest of the environment, including your lawn) and spray in and around the mounds. Don’t make the water too hot (another lawn killer), but room temperature water is fine. By diluting the soap, you reduce the likelihood that it will mix with your lawn and make life miserable for insects.
- Spread diatomaceous earth: This staple for gardeners is made from algae fossils and is a natural insecticide. Ants eat diatomaceous earth, which dries them out from the inside and slowly kills any ant that ingests it. This is a great way to kill the ant mound from the inside out, as the insects survive long enough to carry the diatomaceous earth back to the nest. Buy only food grade – diatomaceous earth used in swimming pools or other chemical systems has a completely different chemical content.
- Use bait: This works in a situation where you don’t have small children or pets in the yard. Baits are an obvious choice, and there are even some that are made specifically for outdoor and inclement weather use. You don’t have to spray your yard with chemicals to control ants in your lawn. The only downside to this method is that the ant swarms can move to the other side of the lawn if you don’t put out enough bait.
Effectively control ants in the lawn without damaging the grass.
Try to avoid chemicals if possible . Insecticides are not the most effective means of killing entire anthills unless they are of professional quality and applied properly. Chemicals will also kill your grass in a short time.
- Don’t use boiling water: another popular option that definitely helps to kill weeds.
- Don’t use vinegar: Acetic acid can dry out the top layer of the grass.
- Do not apply soap or water during the day: If you water your lawn with any type of liquid during the day, you will increase the effect of the sun on the lawn and cause burns and damage. When the sun is out, keep the water away!