Ants in Turf

What is it?

Similar to worms, if you have ants in your turf, they aren't much of a nuisance. They mainly consist of wingless worker ants and female queen ants that can take flight. They exist in large colonies and can in fact benefit your lawn in some ways! On the other hand, ants can cause unsightly volcano like mounds of soil at the opening of their nests, but these are typically quite small. Back to the good points! Ants can in fact protect plants from disease and get rid of nuisance pests such Aphids. So why is this a good thing I hear you ask? Well, Aphids (which we will go on to talk about here) secrete a substance called honeydew. This sticky, gooey substance can be detrimental to turf if left unconsumed as over time it can then become mouldy.

What to look out for

  • Small volcano shaped mounds at the opening of nests.
  • An increase in flying ants around and about your garden. This could indicate that there is a nearby nest. Be on the lookout! 

When does it occur?

Ants typically swarm in August and are most active between April and October. 

Treating and Preventing

  • As a general rule, ant’s nests should just be left alone within a garden. However, if it does start to get out of hand, or if the nest is located in your house, chemicals may have to be used. 
  • Chemical treatment can take the form of powders or gels. These should be used indoors or near the outside of buildings but not near or directly on plants.
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