How ants damage your lawn and the best way to be rid of them using nematodes.
Ants aren’t usually considered dangerous lawn pests. We’re used to them, and we normally think about removing them from the house and keeping them outside where they belong. But what if we told you that ants can be detrimental to the health and appearance of your lawn?
Damage from ants
The main problem that ants can pose for your lawn is creating their trademark mounded nests. Not only can these be unsightly, become a trip hazard, and make mowing difficult, but they can also cause root damage to the grass plant below ground. The nests that ants build can be expansive and complex, and often contain thousands of ants.
Ants prefer dry and well-drained soil, meaning that the better condition your lawn is in, the more likely you are to fall victim to an infestation, and whilst many species of ants aren’t generally a problem for human beings because they don’t sting, some species of red ant can cause skin irritation. As a result, we advise wearing gloves before attempting any treatments.
The main problem that ants pose is their numbers. Since ants form communities, the populations and their associated problems can vary. But once ants build a nest, they colonise rapidly, so the sooner the treatment is completed, the less damage there will be to the grasses and lawn appearance.
Though there are a few homemade treatments you can try, such as pouring boiling water or a combination of dishwasher liquid and olive water onto hills or areas of the lawn – these are temperamental at best and can be outright damaging at worst. For proper and effective control of ants within your lawn – the best course of action is to use nematodes. Nematodes are a purely biological solution, meaning that they target the ants, and the ants only – so the ecosystem of your lawn isn’t disturbed and you don’t have to use any harsh chemicals either!
There are precise conditions and instructions for using nematodes, so you’re better off enlisting the help of a lawn care professional like TruGreen. Our expert lawn care technicians are trained to properly handle and use nematodes to ensure your lawn receives the best possible treatment.
Nematodes can be applied between late spring and early autumn, or when the ground temperature is above 10°C. If you’re applying nematodes yourself, make sure to mix them well beforehand, following the instructions on the packaging. You’ll need to locate the centre of the nest and apply the nematodes directly using either a handheld sprayer or a watering can. If nematodes aren’t applied during rainfall, it’s best to irrigate afterwards, keeping the soil damp for a minimum of two weeks.
Richard from Rich Lawns and TruGreen Milton Keynes getting ready to apply nematodes using a handheld sprayer
The benefits of using nematode treatment from TruGreen
Nematodes are safe to use on the lawn without any precautions associated with chemicals, so children and pets will be allowed on the lawn immediately after the treatment has been carried out. In certain cases, especially where a large number of ant nests are located, there may be the need to complete additional treatments to clear the lawn of ants. But unlike most applications you can purchase online, ants are not solely killed by nematodes, and you will instead see them disperse and leave the area that has been treated – leaving your lawn ant-free humanely.
As previously stated, ants and their colonies need to be treated on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re worried about an infestation on your lawn, get in touch with your nearest TruGreen lawn care experts. If ants are a problem for your lawn, our technicians will pick up on them during your free 14-point lawn analysis, and draw up a treatment plan to suit the needs of you and your lawn. Get in touch with us today and start a professional lawn care programme to give yourself the lawn you’ve always wanted.
By Tom Page, Digital Content Writer