It’s a beautiful day outside. Your lawn needs a good cut, so you take out your lawnmower and begin to push it along. You find an ant hill or two have popped up in your yard. You go around them or simply over them without a second thought. But as you maneuver around your trees, you see the familiar black or red specs of ants running up and down the bark. In fact, they’re on every tree in your yard! Now you’re eyeing your house, wondering how long it is until they find their way inside and make your summer a nightmare. Permanently getting rid of ants may seem like a daunting task and an expensive one at that. In this blog, we will go over how you can get rid of an ant infestation.
Like bees and other insects, ants are diurnal: primarily active during the day. They prefer to live near food sources and water sources. An ant colony can have foragers travel up to 300 feet from their nest, making round trips of almost two miles a day to collect food and water. When ants find new food sources, they will be marked by a pheromone, and more ants will arrive to collect within a few hours. Ants can quickly expand in size over a season and can overwinter. Carpenter ants will damage any trees they can find to make their homes.
Given the ant’s capabilities, it is imperative to take care of an ant infestation as soon as possible. Putting it off for too long can mean their population will grow too large, and it will be nearly impossible to handle them. Acting immediately upon discovering an ant infestation is vital to protect your home and outdoor space.
Destroy The Nests
Some household options will do if you want to save time and money on finding an environmentally-friendly extermination treatment. Pour boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda onto the nests to eliminate ants. For a less noxious option, place Diatomaceous Earth in ant entryways. This substance is safe for plants, however, it must remain dry to work. Should it get washed away by rain, you will need to reapply it. If you can’t find a nest, check around old stumps or any dead wood in your outdoor space; these are often the materials that Carpenter Ants make their homes out of.
The next step in your plan of attack should be ant bait: ant baits will attract and kill ants on contact, so you don’t have to use chemicals or sprays. There are several types available depending on what you feel comfortable using and how immediate and thorough you want results. Some ant baits come in liquid form, so because ants consume liquids easier than solids, they’re more likely to bring the bait back to their nest. Some ant baits come in stakes that are directly placed into the soil, good for defending trees and shrubs when you can’t see how far the ants go. However, anything that kills ants will kill bees, as both insects are foragers seeking food to return to their nests, so use ant bait with caution.
Take Preventative Measures
The best way to prevent an ant infestation is to take precautions against one from happening. Preventative measures in your yard care are ideal to keep ants from coming into your yard by the thousands. For carpenter ants, eliminate or reduce dead or decaying wood, logs or tree stumps from yards. Trim back shrubs or tree branches regularly. For other ants, most will love the sandy or depleted soil and will establish their colonies around root systems such as your trees or shrubs.
Watch out for signs of aphids: not only are these insects a nuisance that actively attacks trees, but they secrete a substance called “honeydew” that attracts ants. Aphids are often a catalyst in an ant infestation. Having your trees, hedges, and shrubbery preventatively treated annually to help keep aphids away also works doubly for ants.
Get a Professional’s Help
Some things to take out an ant infestation you can do on your own. However, the more your backyard is exposed, the harder it is for you to repel ants as they literally suck the life out of your yard. At some point, professional help may be needed when the infestation is moving too fast and too large for you to keep up with. If they keep coming back, or your efforts don’t seem to be working, exhausting yourself in fighting a losing battle isn’t worth it. Having your yard professionally sprayed will save you more money overall as you won’t have to spend thousands on replacing and regrowing damaged plants and treating the interior of your home for ants.
Ant Infestation Experts
Ants can quickly strip your trees of vital nutrients, make your lawn a hilly desert and destroy your plants before invading your home. You can take out a smaller-scale infestation by acting fast, destroying ant nests, and baiting them. The ones that are too vast and too complicated should be entrusted to an expert.
Arcadia Tree & Lawn Care are experts in preventing insect infestations and treating present infestations, whether ants, aphids, or another type of pest. We’ll work to keep your property clean and healthy through our preventative spray programs that are your best defense against unwanted pests. Contact us today to help create a program that works for you!