At first glance, lawns seem pretty basic – just soil and grass. But below the surface, there’s far more going on than most homeowners realize, and there are countless different pests and problems which can disturb the delicate ecosystem and cause some real headaches. Among the most common of these pests that our lawn care specialists see are ants. For the most part, people see ants as a nuisance but as a rather innocuous insect (other than fire ants, of course – they’re a whole different ball game). But unfortunately, they can actually do some significant harm to your lawn, so if you’re seeing signs that these unwelcome tenants have moved in, it’s time to put ant control on your to-do list.
As most people know, there are many, many different species of ants. While they each have variations in behavior, they cause rather similar problems for your yard regardless of the species (but more on the damage they cause later). Ants tend to thrive best in hot, dry weather, and while we see ant hills as being their homes, the hill is just the front door. Ants live in colonies and create extensive tunnel systems underground, and the hill is formed by the soil and other particles they remove to build their tunnels.
How Ants Can Damage Your Lawn
The primary lawn care problem ants cause is in their tunneling and their hills. The tunnels can damage the roots of your grass, creating patches of dead grass. The ant hills themselves are also a problem, because they can damage mower blades, cause the lawn to be mowed at an uneven height, and create a risk for kids, pets, and anyone else who may be walking or running through your yard and trip on them. While ants may help to control the population of certain other unwanted insects, some species of ants also have a tendency to “farm” specific pests like aphids and mealybugs so they can feast on a unique substance these bugs secrete.
How to Get Rid of Lawn Ants
In some cases of an early lawn ant infestation, you may be able to keep the problems at bay by raking any ant hills in your yard on a weekly basis. Keep in mind that this doesn’t actually get rid of the ants, it simply keeps the ant hills from becoming too large and creating problems. For a more thorough solution, call a professional lawn care specialist who can evaluate your needs and offer the ideal treatment option.
Lawn issues like ant infestations aren’t 100% preventable, but the best way to keep your yard as clear as possible is to keep up with a healthy lawn care schedule, and to keep an eye out for signs of trouble so you can tackle problems before they get worse. To learn more about what we can do for your specific lawn, schedule a consultation with Turf Shield and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions and offer our expertise.