Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:52 pm
Sooner or later it will be hard to avoid the presence of ants in your garden. Flying ants are looking for a new nest and your lawn seems like a suitable invitation. There is enough space available, the lawn is well-kept and threatening enemies are not around either.
So it seems only logical that ants will settle on your lawn. If you want to have a barbecue on the lawn in the best weather or just read a book on a lounger, the ants prove to be uninvited guests.
What are the dangers of ants and how do you effectively drive them out of your lawn?
- 1 Why are ants harmful to your lawn?
- 2 Relocating the ants in the lawn
- 3 Use ant traps
- 4 Fast acting ant spray
- 5 Home remedies against the ants in the lawn
- 6 Odors against ants
- 7 Soda against the ants
- 8 Chalk against ants
- 9 Keep the lawn short
- 10 Natural enemies of the ant
- 11 Keep the lawn free of ants
- 12 Author
Why are ants harmful to your lawn?
The ant proves to be a useful helper in the ecosystem. It eats carrion, as well as smaller creepy crawlies, and the excretions are considered beneficial to plant growth. You might think that there is no need to fight them.
In your garden the situation is more complicated. Especially if you raise a lot of crops, the ant should be considered a pest. The ant does not pose a direct threat. However, it enters into a symbiotic relationship with aphids, so it is to be expected that aphids will soon settle in the garden along with the ants. This happens because of the sweet excretions of the aphid, which serve as a food source for the ant.
If the ants find themselves in your lawn, it is not impossible that individual scouts will also stray into your house. If they find a food source there, an ant trail will quickly form and other animals will follow the first ant. In the house, the ants can penetrate electrical appliances and damage cables. In addition, the animals attack any food supplies and make them inedible.
Also, if the ants populate the terrace is not to be underestimated. If you leave the cake or the drink out of sight for a moment, an ant might have taken up the scent and attract other animals from the nest. This doesn’t exactly turn the garden party into a joyous celebration, but rather into a gauntlet. Another danger is that the ant loosens the floor slabs by creating underground tunnels. They no longer stand stably on the ground, but pose a tripping hazard.
To avoid this damage to plants and the building structure, it is necessary to expel the ants from the lawn at an early stage. Otherwise, they will settle there in large numbers and continue to spread.
Relocating the ants in the lawn
The ants are quite useful animals. Although less so in your garden and lawn, but perhaps elsewhere. If you do not want to kill the ant colony, you can relocate them in a peaceful way.
To do this, equip a flower pot with some wood wool and place it on the ant nest with the opening facing down. With a little patience, the pot or another bucket will be accepted as the new nesting site and the old nest will be abandoned. The important thing here is to wait until the queen is also in the flower pot.
Then simply take the entire pot and place it in another location where the ants will not be disturbed. You can now destroy the old nest and a new infestation should not occur. Thus, you do not have to kill the ants and you have saved the lawn in a pet-friendly way.
Use ant traps
It is not always possible to relocate the ants. If the nest is in a hard-to-reach place or the flower pot is not accepted, you will have to resort to other means. For a particularly lasting effect, the use of ant traps is recommended.
These are equipped with an ant poison that has a time-delayed effect. The ants carry the bait into the nest, where it is ingested by all the inhabitants. After a short time, death occurs, so that harassment by the ants no longer occurs.
The bait boxes are designed in such a way that the poison cannot be reached by children or pets. Only the small ants get through the opening and can carry the active ingredient into the nest. Thus, with these ant traps you get an effective way to keep the lawn free of ants. Place the cans near the nest or on the usual walkways. After a few days, the problem should be taken care of.
Fast acting ant spray
The ant traps are the best solution for a long-term effect. If you need a means that immediately acts against the ants, a special spray is necessary for this. The ant spray is equipped with a poisonous substance, which kills the individual ants. If an ant gets lost near the house, you can prevent further infestation in this way.
However, with this application you do not eliminate the cause of the ants in the lawn. They can spread further and fighting the nest in this way is not possible. Thus, the ant spray serves only as a short-term method of defense against the ants. In the long term, however, it will always happen that individual animals stray onto the terrace or into the house.
Home remedies against the ants in the lawn
If you do not want to buy traps and immediately try to fight the ants, there are several home remedies available. These prove sometimes more, sometimes less effective, but are inexpensive and ideally already available.
Odors against ants
For ants, the sense of smell is an important orientation aid. In search of food sources, the animals follow the smell of food. Once you have found a viable source, the scouts make their way back to the nest. On this way back they leave a scent, which serves as orientation for the other ants.
You can use various home remedies to interfere with the ant’s sense of smell. These include, for example:
- Essential oils
- Odorous plants
In particular, planting lavender, marjoram, sage or anise are considered effective in driving away the ants in the lawn. The animals can no longer orient themselves properly and prefer to look for another place to do their mischief.
Soda against the ants
Soda proves to be effective against weeds. Once sprinkled, the weeds die and will not spread further in the garden.
Sodium bicarbonate is also effective against ants. Baking soda is mainly used in cooking and is a main ingredient in baking powder. Contrary to what is often assumed, baking soda and baking powder are not identical. Baking soda still contains an acid and starch component.
If the ants ingest the baking soda, ammonia is released in their bodies. This has a toxic effect and kills the ants. To ensure that the baking soda is absorbed, you should add an attractant to it. Mix a sugar solution with the baking soda to make sure the ants absorb it.
Chalk against ants
If you do not want to kill the ants in the lawn, but only to keep them away from certain places, it may be worthwhile to use chalk. Chalk is strongly alkaline and an unpleasant surface for the ants. If the small animals come across the chalk, they prefer to take a long detour and stay away from it.
You can take advantage of this to protect the terrace or entrances to the house with generous coats of chalk. If you apply the chalk to the ground, most ants will keep their distance.
In practice, however, chalk proves to be less effective against ants. Not all ants are impressed and some simply walk over them. In addition, the application is relatively laborious. During the application of the chalk, fine gaps are created, which can be used by the ant. Therefore, you need to be very careful. In addition, not only the entrance to the house provides an entry point for the ant, but also cracks and other openings in the masonry. Thus, the ant will be difficult to keep away with the help of chalk.
Keep the lawn short
Ants like to seek shelter in a taller lawn. If you have previously allowed the lawn to grow longer, the ants may be a reason to increase the intensity of lawn care.
During the summer months, mow the lawn about every 7 days. This should be kept as short as possible so that there is no longer a suitable retreat. In addition, more frequent watering of the lawn is also advisable, so that the ants feel disturbed by it.
Due to the noise pollution and humidity, the ants will no longer feel comfortable in your lawn. They prefer to look for another place where they will find better living conditions. By the way, liming the lawn is also a good way to prevent the ants in the lawn.
Natural enemies of the ant
Do you perceive the ants as problematic but other animals are welcome in your garden, then you can take advantage of these natural enemies. Ants are on the menu of birds, beetles, spiders and dragonflies.
Use a perch to attract birds to the garden that are targeting the ant. An insect hotel is also a wonderful way to provide bugs or other beneficial animals with ample space in the garden.
Control any aphids that are in your garden. To do this, you can make a decoction of garlic cloves or nettles to drive the aphids off the plants. Soap will also cause the aphids to lose their grip and be literally washed away.
If the ant is to be driven off the lawn naturally, then design the garden so that the predators will come in and fight the ants.
Keep the lawn free of ants
You have now been given detailed tips on how to drive ants off the lawn and prevent a new infestation. Dedicate yourself intensively to the care of the lawn and take action against the ants when you first observe them. Then you will prevent the little animals from spreading and soon claiming the entire garden or even the house.