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Will Ants Damage My Lawn?

Posted by Brian Gerber on Apr 22, 2021 11:36:07 AM

Will Ants Kill my Grass?

If you live in the Northeast, ants will not kill grass. In fact, they won’t even feed on grass. What they will feed on is anything sugary or protein-filled.  This can range anywhere from a cookie dropped in the lawn by your toddler to the carcasses of other dead insects around your yard. 

Ant hill in lawn

Ants exist to colonize. The only time you might want to worry about them in your lawn is if their colonies become too large. While they don’t necessarily cause damage to a lawn, they can pose a cosmetic threat and can be a nuisance. 

Where Do Ants Live? 

  • Underground in tunnels.
  • Hot, dry areas of lawn.
  • Areas that are unable to hold water (sand). 
  • Low traffic areas. 

What Attracts Ants in a Yard?

Ants are attracted to sweet fragrances like flowers, fruits or vegetables and colonize in dry areas. 

How are Ants Beneficial to My Lawn?

Ants can provide several benefits to your lawn’s health.  They will consume any dropped or rotten food left behind, they will consume other insects (some harmful) and while they are digging tunnels they are actually aerating and opening up that section of your lawn.

Will Ants Damage My Lawn? 

  • Ant mounds can make your lawn uneven for mowing. 
  • Ants can potentially eat through the root zone while building their tunnels. 
  • Ant tunnels can cause soil to dry out.
  • Ants could eventually migrate to your home and become a nuisance
  • Since foraging ants like to eat whatever they come across, this does mean they could potentially be feeding on freshly laid grass seeds if you are planting a new lawn. 
  • If an ant colony becomes too large it can suffocate grass.

What Kinds of Ants do we have New England Lawns?

Ants are very common in New England. If your lawn has favorable conditions (like the conditions mentioned above), there is a very likely chance you are going to have ants in your yard. 

The most common types of ants in New England are:

  • Carpenter Ants 
  • Odorous House Ants 
  • Pavement Ants

How Do I Prevent/Control Ants?

  • Keep your lawn’s health well maintained.
  • Rake out ant hills.
  • Keep the yard free from fruit and vegetable scraps.
  • Natural controls can include vinegar or boiling water. 
  • Use insect control product from a hardware store. 
  • Call a local lawn care service that offers surface insect control as part of your fertilization or lawn care program.

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