Having ants in your yard and wondering how to get rid of ants in a lawn? Buckle up for the ride:
Ants help aerate the soil by digging tunnels that carry nutrients, water, and oxygen to the plant roots.
They also speed the decomposition of organic materials such as dead insects and leaves to have an overall healthy and fertile lawn.
A few ants can be beneficial to the lawn. Unfortunately, the insects are social, so it’s a matter of time before the population balloons and gets out of control.
Impact of ants on your lawn
Ant colonies build complex labyrinths in grass root systems that damage the grassroots, leading to large patches of dead grass.
Also, the resulting ant hills and mounds can be serious tripping hazards for your kids and other members of the family.
The anthills have also been shown to impede proper lawn mowing as the lawnmower blades get stuck in the soil lumps.
If the grass is short, the mounds of earth kill the grass underneath, so you end up with an ugly patched lawn.
While the ants are often harmless to humans, they can sometimes attack your kids and pets as they play on the lawn.
The ants can even sometimes get into your property when provoked or their mounds damaged.
Due to the negatives that come with having ants on your lawn, it’s vital you get rid of them as soon as possible. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways on how to do it:
Soap and water
There are all types of soapy water recipes you will come across. Some call you to use baking soda, cider vinegar, and peppermint oil.
If you don’t have any of these, use the regular dish soap. Fill a water bottle with one part dish soap and two parts water, then shake it up to mix the solution thoroughly.
You should then spray the mixture on the ant mounds to kill the ants crawling around. To eliminate anthills, pour soapy water inside.
I have come across information that you can also use boiling water to get rid of the ants from your lawn.
Boiling water is only effective if you manage to kill the queen and don’t mind scalding your grass.
After boiling the water, carry the water to the anthill and carefully pour it at the anthill entrances.
If you are dealing with aggressive ants such as fire ants and European red ants, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing such as closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, and long pants.
Wait a few days and if you see more ants or see the ants rebuilding the nest, repeat the process.
If you don’t want to damage your lawn, avoid using boiling water as an ant elimination method.
Boric acid is poison to ants where it impacts their nervous system, stomachs, and their exoskeletons.
While boric acid is harmful to other creatures, the amount you need to kill ants is so minute that it won’t cause harm to your kids or pets in the event they ingest it.
To make an ant killer using boric acid, you need to buy it online or from your local pharmacy.
You should then apply it to your desired food bait, which can be sugar water, bacon grease, regular butter, honey, peanut butter, or jelly.
Put ¾ teaspoonful of boric acid to your food of choice, then leave it outside for a few days for the ants to discover it. Of course, you should leave the food close to the anthill.
While this method is effective, it’s slow to take weeks or even months before you eradicate the entire colony.
Besides being a mouthful for humans, it’s also lethal to ants where it sticks to the insect’s oily exoskeleton, cuts through the cuticle, and absorbs fats and moisture within. The insect dries out and dies of dehydration.
To get rid of ants using diatomaceous earth, you need to buy it online or from your local store, then sprinkle it by hand on ant trails and around anthills.
You can also pour the powder inside the ant mound.
While the powder is harmless to humans, it can get to your eyes, skin, and lungs, causing some irritation. To protect yourself, wear gloves and a dust mask when applying.
When buying the powder, take caution, and ensure you buy food-grade diatomaceous earth designed for pest control purposes.
Avoid other grades such as pool-grade, as it can be hazardous to you and your family members.
The powder’s effectiveness depends on the size and species of the ant, temperature, humidity, the wetness of the soil, among many other factors.
Diatomaceous earth only works when dry, so spread it during the dry days and when you are sure it’s not going to rain.
Research studies show it’s more effective on certain ant species than others. For example, the powder will kill red ants within 16 hours and black ants (which are slightly larger) up to 24 hours.
Give the powder several days to fully eradicate the ant infestation.
Ant killer sachets
Most of the above ant killing techniques won’t give you fast results, so if you are looking to get rid of the ants from your lawn immediately, try out ant killer sachets.
While there are many sachets in the market you can use, one of the best I have come across is Nippon ant killer from Vitax.
To use the ant killer, dilute each sachet into 5 liters of water, then spray it over your lawn with a watering can or knapsack sprayer.
The ant killer penetrates the nest and kills all the ants. In most cases, you will kill all the ants in one go, but you may have to make a second application if you have a large nest.
Ant bait stations
Don’t like the idea of spraying the ant killer on your lawn? Use a bait station instead. All you need is to buy the bait station and place it near the ant nest.
The bait station is infused with a liquid that is attractive to ants, so the ants feed on the liquid and take some of it back to the nest.
As more ants bring the active ingredient to the nest, it spreads through the nest and kills the entire colony.
As you might guess, this technique isn’t as effective as spraying the ants, so you should be patient for the ants to spread the active ingredient.
Do you think the bait station is the way to go? One of the best stations you can go with is the Terro ant bait station.
Now you know how to get rid of ants in a lawn.
By using the above tips, you will easily get rid of ants from your lawn.
If you have tried everything without success or you don’t have time to get rid of the ants by yourself, use a professional exterminator instead.
The professional will remove the ants fast with minimal damage to the lawn. Others even give you a warranty where they return to your yard to remove the ants at no extra cost if they come back within a specific amount of time.