My friend, Tommy in our allotment community, has a perfectly manicured small lawn where he sits, looking over his allotment in Brentford. I thought it was a bit much when he showed me the original design, but now I am rather envious.
He’s just discovered ants nest in his prize seating position and asked me for some solutions – knowing my history of allotment pests.
Ants can be a common sight in UK lawns, particularly during the warmer months of the year. While they are generally harmless, they can become a nuisance if they create unsightly mounds or interfere with the growth of your lawn. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to remove ants from your lawn and prevent them from returning.
Identify the type of ants
Before you begin any treatment, it’s important to identify the type of ants you’re dealing with. This will help you to determine the best course of action, as different ant species have different habits and behaviours.
The most common ant species found in the UK are Lasius niger, the common black garden ant, Lasius flavus, the yellow meadow ant, and the Red Ant (myrmica rubra). These ants are known for their quick, robust and prolific nests, feeding on insects, nectar, and even the bodies of their own dead. They are also fond of sugary substances.
Formica sanguinea, Formica rufa, and Black Wood Ant are large, aggressive wood ant species that raid other Formica species and steal their brood. They are polygynous and can have hundreds of egg-laying queens in one nest.
Black garden ants are the most common and are usually harmless to lawns. They create small mounds of soil which can be unsightly but generally won’t harm the grass. Yellow meadow ants and red ants, on the other hand, are more aggressive and can be harmful to lawns. They create larger mounds which can damage the roots of the grass, and their presence can also deter other insects and small animals from the area.
Remove food sources
Ants are attracted to food sources, so one way to discourage them from your lawn is to remove any food sources that may be present. This can include spilt bird seed, leftover pet food, or fallen fruit from nearby trees. Be sure to keep your lawn clean and tidy to prevent ants from being attracted to it.
Use a natural insecticide
If you’re dealing with an infestation of ants in your lawn, you can use a natural insecticide to control their numbers. The guys over at Truegree Lawncare recommend Nemasys Biological ano ants.
Another natural insecticide that can be used to control ants in lawns is neem oil. This oil is extracted from the neem tree and can be sprayed directly onto the lawn to repel ants and other insects.
Use ant bait
Ant bait can also control the number of ants in your lawn. Ant bait is a type of insecticide designed to attract ants, who then carry the poison back to their nest, killing off the colony. You can purchase ant bait from most garden centres or hardware stores, and it should be placed near any ant mounds.
Prevent future infestations
To prevent future infestations of ants in your lawn, there are several things you can do. Firstly, ensure that your lawn is well-maintained and healthy, as a healthy lawn is less attractive to ants. You can also create a barrier around your lawn using diatomaceous earth or other natural insecticides, preventing ants from entering your lawn.
In addition, it’s important to keep your lawn free of debris and standing water, as these can attract ants and other insects. Finally, ensure that any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation are sealed, as ants can enter through these openings and make their way to your lawn.
In conclusion, ants can be a nuisance in lawns, but there are several methods you can use to remove them and prevent them from returning. By identifying the type of ants you’re dealing with, removing food sources, using natural insecticides and ant bait, and preventing future infestations, you can keep your lawn free of ants and looking its best.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!