Ants are common here in Florida, and they can take up residence throughout your yard. While they are not generally harmful to you and your loved ones, they can still be a bit of a pain to deal with, especially if they make their way inside your home. Even outdoors, ants can be a hassle. If you have issues with ants in your lawn, here’s what to do to get rid of them safely, without damaging your grass in the process.
Why Ants Are Problematic for Lawns
For the most part, ants themselves are not harmful to your lawn. In fact, they may actually be helpful, as they sometimes feed on lawn grub larvae, aphids, and other creatures that eat grass. That being said, it is the anthills that are the problem.
When ants create their homes, they dig up large amounts of dirt, which is why you see mounds or hills around the openings. These piles of dirt can smother your grass, making it more difficult for your lawn to get the water and sunlight it needs to thrive. Digging up the dirt can also expose the roots of your grass, causing patches to die.
Common Signs of Lawn Ants
In addition to the telltale anthills, there are a number of other signs you should watch out for that may signal that your lawn is infested with ants. If you notice areas where the soil is disturbed, this could be the beginning of an anthill, so keep a close watch on it for any progression. Dry, patchy areas that look more like hay than grass are also common. Of course, be sure to keep an eye out for the ants themselves. If you find a trail of ants, follow it to its source so you know where they are coming from. This will make treatment easier.
Keeping Ants Out of Your Lawn
Once you have identified that you have an ant problem in your yard, the next step is to eliminate that problem. Of course, you’ll want to do this without destroying your lawn. Try these tactics to get rid of ants while still preserving as much of your lawn as possible:
- Keep Your Grass Tall – Ants prefer sparse, patchy lawns, so do your best to keep yours long and lush. This will make it more difficult for the ants to get around, making them more likely to choose another location for their home.
- Water Your Lawn Frequently – Water your lawn as often as permitted under local watering restrictions. The frequent flow of water will help to flush out the anthills and keep the ants away from your lawn.
- Pour Boiling Water on Anthills – If you already have anthills in your lawn, this is a great, natural solution for getting rid of them. Boil some water on your stove, then pour it directly over the anthill. The heat and rapid influx of water will eradicate the colony.
- Break Open Any Nests – Use a stick or other long, narrow object to break up the anthill. Aim to go down into the soil at least a few inches. This will demolish any tunnels that remain after flushing with boiling water. Without a nest to come back to, the ants will typically scatter and rebuild their nest somewhere else.
- Try Chemical Solutions – For stubborn ant colonies that keep coming back, you may need to resort to more drastic measures. There are a number of ant-killing products on the market, but be sure to look for those that are marked as safe for plant life to avoid damaging your lawn. If you have children or pets, look for varieties that will be safe for them as well.
Bringing Back Your Lawn
If ants have done irreparable damage to your lawn, you can bring it back to life with fresh sod. Duda Sod is here to help with all your sod needs in South Florida. We have a wide variety of sod for sale, including popular varieties like St. Augustine, Floratam, Zoysia, and more. We can assist in arranging installation for you as well if you don’t want to do it yourself. Get in touch with a sod installer for your home lawn today to get started!