Table of Contents
- 1 Why are ants attracted to lawns and yards?
- 2 What keeps ants in my yard?
- 3 Are there any benefits of ants in my yard?
- 4 What are the downsides to ants in my yard?
- 5 How do I get rid of ants on my property?
- 6 Conclusion
Are you asking ‘why are there so many ant hills in my yard’? Ants are generally harmless as pests – all they really do is try and get food for their colony. They aren’t quite as bad as wasps, for example. However, they do still tend to sting, and when that happens it can hurt. One sting can burn and itch, but if you accidentally disturb an ant colony, well… you are in for a world of pain. Ant stings can really hurt, and at times they may even cause bad effects such as hives and anaphylactic shock. If you are here, chances are you’ve already encountered some ants.
Yes, ants do tend to infest household properties quite frequently. This is especially true during swarming seasons. If you’re asking the question above, don’t worry. We have plenty of information available here to help you understand ants better, and to help you figure out how to deal with the situation of the infestation. I’ve been there, I’ve had been stung, and I don’t want those ants to start heading into my home either – can you imagine the nightmare of having to deal with hundreds or even thousands of these little critters?
Even though ants don’t generally pose a lot of threat, they can cause some health problems, and also cosmetic damage. If you’re trying to keep your turf grass on your yard or lawn nice and healthy, unfortunately an ant infestation won’t help. So instead of simply asking why are there so many ant hills in my garden, we will also take a look at ants in general. Then, we’ll discuss some methods of getting them off your lawn!
Now, without further ado, let’s get right on it!
Why are ants attracted to lawns and yards?
You might not believe what I’m about to tell you: there are more than 12,000 species of these little creatures we call ants around the world today. That seems crazy when you think about it considering you rarely see just a few ants. Colonies can have populations in the hundreds of thousands. And when that’s the case, can you imagine how many ants there are around the globe? There must be millions, billions, or perhaps trillions of these little six-legged creatures alive in the world today. Undoubtedly, they completely outnumber us humans in population.
So it really comes as no surprise that ants are everywhere. And yes, that includes your lawn and your yard. To answer the question why are there so many ant hills in my garden, we need to take a quick look at ants and their behaviors. In some cases and in some locations, ants love to build their colony’s nests in soil that is sandy and dry. In other cases, ants love to build their nests in moist wood or decaying wood. They love to make their homes in little cracks and crevices that contain moisture, so that basically explains why they are always present in your yard.
Another thing that ants prefer our lawns that are patchy and sometimes struggling. Therefore, if your lawn or yard is healthy and thriving chances are there will be far fewer ants.
What keeps ants in my yard?
Although we have discussed that by nature, ants love to make their nests in dry sandy soil and decaying wood, there are other reasons why they like to stay in your yard. Yes, this is the part where I tell you the answer to the question ‘why are there so many ant hills in my yard?’
The simple answer to this question is that ants love honeydew. No, not honeydew melons. Honeydews as in the substance that aphids as well as mealybugs secrete. Ants love honeydew because they basically feed it to their young. As a matter of fact, ants are known to farm these mealybugs and aphids by offering them protection and helping to provide their daily needs so that they have a constant source of honeydew. Unfortunately, this creates a symbiotic relationship that’s great for the insects, but terrible for your yard and garden. In order to minimize the population of the ants in your garden, you must also make sure that you lessen or eliminate the population of aphids. This also works in reverse.
Are there any benefits of ants in my yard?
The presence of ants in your yard and your lawn isn’t that much of a big concern. The truth is, ants do not eat grass so they won’t exactly cause any damage to your lawn or yard. They do have some benefits, as a matter of fact. For example, ants will help to aerate the soil and even to remove any debris from your yard’s surface. They will use this debris to either feed the young in their colony or to use them as material for their nests. Ants will also eat insects in your lawn and yard that may be harmful, somewhat acting as natural pest control. If there are plenty of seeds from plans around your yard or your garden, ants may also disperse these. And of course, ants have their place in the food chain, becoming food for beneficial insects, toads and frogs, and even birds.
What are the downsides to ants in my yard?
Aside from the fact that ants will attract more mealybugs and aphids, there are other issues to having ant hills in your yard. For example, when these ant hills grow larger in size, it becomes harder to maintain your lawn and your yard. These ant hills also pose a hazard to tripping and are therefore unwelcome if you have small children who are clumsy and do not pay that much attention to their surroundings.
Other than that, a large population of ants in your garden may pose a health risk to you and your pets or children if anybody is allergic and gets stung.
Dealing with ants outside
Let’s not forget the annoyance of having to deal with these little critters when you are trying to eat outside. You simply cannot leave food out for longer than a few minutes because it will become swarmed by these bugs. If you like feeding your dogs outside, it can become a nightmare because the ants will swarm your dogs’ bowls.
Most importantly, a huge population of ants in your yard and gardens may mean that you will soon be facing a humongous ant infestation inside your home.
Is your next question “How do I get rid of these ants, and How do I keep them away?” If so, then don’t worry because that’s what we are about to talk about.
How do I get rid of ants on my property?
There are quite a number of ways to get rid of ants and to keep them away. There are some methods that are natural, and some methods that require synthetic chemicals such as pesticides. If you don’t want to deal with the infestation yourself, you can also choose to hire an ant exterminator to deal with the issue for you. Hiring a professional to do this job is the easiest and most effective way to get rid of these little critters. After all, people who are trained to do this job will know how to do it in the most efficient way.
However, if you do not want to spend money on hiring an exterminator to get rid of the ants on your property, I am here to recommend a few methods that you can do by yourself. So now that we have answered your question about why are there so many ant hills in my yard, let’s talk about getting rid of them.
Rake Their Ant Hills
I know, that sentence sounds really weird. But that is exactly what I mean – yes, rake their ant hills. if you are noticing that there is a colony that is starting to take up residence in your yard, one way to make sure that their ant hill does not grow is by taking a rake to it every week. In doing so you’re undoing a lot of their hard work to build their nests. On top of that you are destroying their nest faster than they can build, effectively capping the growth of their population. By raking the Hills, you are also scattering their population, which is also an effective way of deterring them from further staying in your yard.
Although this method is not 100% effective in completely eliminating the ants in your yard , it’s a great way of keeping their population down so that you can then use one of the other methods on this list to eliminate them completely. We do still recommend this method if you see any hardened bumps forming in the soil in your yard, especially since it is completely safe. This method leaves no residues whatsoever that may harm your pets and children.
Another method which you can use to get rid of the ants in your backyard is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance that is made up of water plants that have been fossilized. This powder is basically a sedimentary mineral that are made from plants that are algae like. These plants are called diatoms. Please note that if you were considering using this substance for your garden or your yard that you should only use food grade diatomaceous earth.
The reason why it is so important to use diatomaceous earth that is food grade instead of the ones that go into the filters of swimming pools is because it can cause issues to your respiratory tracts. Even when you’re using diatomaceous earth that is food grade, you still need to wear a dust mask to avoid getting any irritations in your mucous membranes such as the ones in your mouth and nose. Don’t worry, once this dust has settled, you and your family as well as your pets are completely safe.
How does diatomaceous earth work?
Diatomaceous earth works by cutting up the exoskeletons of the ants that come into contact with it . As an effect, the ants’ bodies begin to dry up until they die. Diatomaceous earth is fantastic for keeping most insects away from your garden and yard. Additionally, this powder can also be used indoors along your entryways and in places where you usually see ants. You can even use a baster or a syringe to get this substance into the tiniest cracks and crevices where the ants usually go.
Please do note that if you plan to use this inside your home, you should be careful to put it only in the places where your children and pets will not have access.
Using Chemicals and Pesticides
There are many different chemicals that are made to eliminate ants on your property. You can usually find them in hardware stores as well as home and garden stores. When using chemicals to kill the ants in your lawn, the best method to do it is by spot control. You don’t necessarily need to spread the chemicals all over your yard. Ants love to congregate into small areas, and so all you need to do is find the spot in your yard where they have built their nest. You can then apply the chemicals to this area and a small radius around it.
By using spot control instead of spreading the chemicals all over your garden, you limit the toxic zone created afterwards. Therefore, the beneficial insects in your yard as well as your pets and children are safe because their exposure to these chemicals will be eliminated or limited.
Please know that if you plan to use chemicals, you should wait a couple of days before you allow your pets and your children to play out in the yard again.
Ants can be both beneficial and detrimental to your property. When this is the case, the best thing that you can do is to make sure you control their population. I hope that the tips I have given you today will help you to get rid of the ants in your yard!