Ants are an integral part of the natural environment. They could even be considered nature’s cleaning crew. Ants further the process of decomposition by breaking down and eating dead animals, dead insects, and organic matter. When they are in their natural habitat, ants also provide a stable food source for other insects and animals.
Even if ants haven’t invaded your home, they can be just as devastating when they are on your property. Your lawn and garden can be at risk when ants infest the land around your house. Ants aren’t typically a major threat to your physical well-being, but in mass numbers, ants can cause serious injury to your family and your pets. Learning the ins and outs of outdoor ant control can be the difference between a safe or unsafe yard for your family and pets.
Image via Flickr by Ivan Radic
By comparison, ants in your yard may not seem as bad as ants in your house, but they can cause severe damage. Fire ants are an example of ants in your yard that have a negative effect. They are known for being aggressive, and when disturbed, they will attack the intruder, whether it is your kids or your pets. Fire ants can sting and release venom that causes pain and discomfort. People who are allergic to this venom can suffer from anaphylactic shock. Small pets have been known to die from fire ant attacks as well.
When ants pose a threat to your family and pets, you will need to implement outdoor ant control. The best ant treatments for your yard are non-repellent insecticides. Ants are unable to detect these types of insecticides and are unable to avoid them. Repellent insecticides, on the other hand, might be suitable for some applications, but if used to treat for ants on your property, may cause a bigger problem.
Repellent insecticides will stress an ant colony, causing them to split and relocate, and the result will be multiple new ant colonies that will need to be eliminated. Non-repellent insecticides are odorless, tasteless, and completely undetectable. Ants will walk through them, eat treated materials, or contact the insecticide without even know that it’s there. This will lead to the eventual death of the ants.
Despite your efforts to eliminate a colony, sometimes it may be necessary to contact a professional pest control agency for help. A professional exterminator can assess the threat and create a plan of action to eliminate your ant problems.
There are two main types of ant bait, excluding sprays, that you can use to control outdoor ant infestations, including liquid and solid baits. Liquid and gel baits consist of a sweet solution used to attract ants. These baits are ideal for ants to consume and carry back to their nest for disbursal to the rest of the colony. Gel baits are typically applied with a syringe, making them ideal for treating crevices and cracks that other types of bait can’t reach.
Solid baits can be in the form of granules or dusts. Granules consist of protein and can be applied throughout your yard. Diatomaceous Earth is a dust that can be used to cause ants’ exoskeletons to dry out. You can use both of these types of baits to defend your yard against many different species of ants.
Liquid ant bait is the most effective type of bait to use for eliminating ants. Outdoor stakes with integrated weatherproof ant bait stations allow you to place liquid ant bait throughout your property strategically. Ants are instinctively drawn to the sweet liquid bait contained within the stations and ingest the liquid, taking it back to the nest. A slow-acting bait gives the foraging ants enough time to bring it back and distribute it to the rest of the colony. Ant bait typically disrupts the ants’ digestive system and eventually kills them.
For larger ant infestations, you can use a weatherproof granule ant bait. Using this type of bait around the perimeter of your property will help with ant control in your yard. The placement of bait stations is key to successfully eliminating ant colonies. You will need to find the areas of your property with the most ant activity and place the bait near foraging trails or close to ant nests. When the bait is located near where ants are active, they will be more likely to be drawn to it, eat it, and take it back to their colony.
You may need to use multiple applications as a means of eradicating larger ant colonies. How long it takes for the ant colony to be destroyed is directly related to the size of the colony. Small ant colonies can take up to 48 hours, and larger ant colonies can take up to two weeks before total ant control is attained. Be patient and allow time for the slow-acting bait to run its course.
After eliminating the nests in your yard, you can maintain control by continuing to use bait around the perimeter of your property and yard. Using a combination of liquid and solid baits can help keep ants from re-infesting your yard. As a result, you, your family, and your pets will have a safe space to spend time outside without the threat of ants.
Ants may be one of nature’s most incredible insects, but they can be a considerable nuisance when they are trespassing on your property. If ants have infested your yard and have become a threat, learning how to implement outdoor ant control will help you provide a safe outdoors environment for your family and your pets to enjoy. There is a place for ants in their natural habitats, but your yard, garden, and house are not on the list.