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Pest Ants In the Grass

Updated on December 28, 2011
Organic garden with no ant problems.
Organic garden with no ant problems. | Source

Ants play an important role in the environment. Of the many species living in the wild, only a few truly bother humankind. In order to avoid an infestation, keep a check on the comings and goings of your local ants.

When you notice anthills in your lawn, act quickly before they take over. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is a nonnative pest that should be eradicated whenever they are noticed in North America.

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What to Do About Lawn Ants

Check your pathways and lawn for the typical lines of ants that form as they are foraging. You can follow the ants back to their mounds and then treat the mound with an appropriate pesticide. Keep in mind, using products such as borax will take a while to work. It can be days to weeks before the colony dies.

Species of Common Ants

Common ant species that live in our homes, lawns and gardens include pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum), imported red fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis), thief ant (Solenopsis molesta), and field ants (Formica spp.).

How to Kill Ants

Remove the ants’ food source whenever possible. If they cannot find a good place to gather food, they will not plague you. There are many pesticides used to kill ants. A few natural and synthetic products include pyrethroid (synthetic), pyrethrum, neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and borax mixed with sugar, peanut butter, catfood or another choice carrier.

Additional Lawn Damaging Insects

Japanese beetle and other beetle larvae commonly infest lawns causing browning over isolated or vast areas. A few other lawn-killing beetle species include the masked chafer (Cyclocephala borealis), rose chafer (Macrodactylus subspinosus), June beetle (Phyllophaga), and the false Japanese beetle (Strigoderma arbicola). Destructive wireworms are the larvae of several species of click beetles (Elateridae). Control Japanese beetles by the use of synthetic pesticides or by using a natural product called milky spore. Wireworm control consists of using the nematode (Heterorhabditis megidis). Planting flax or white mustard is said to kill and repel wireworms. You can also plug your lawn with bits of potato, wait a few days and then pull the potato and wireworms out for disposal.


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