Yard Ant Identification & Prevention

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Yard ants crawling out of a hole

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Yard Ant FAQs

Little yard ant on a leaf

What do yard ants look like?

Yard ants are the most common ant that people think about when they think about ants. They aren’t a specific species of ant, but more of a term used for ants that live in your yard. Sometimes called Field Ants, these insects are roughly a quarter-inch (¼”) (6mm) long. They vary in color from yellow or brown, to red, black, and even a combination of red and black. You’ll likely spot the anthills before you see any actual ants.

Why are there so many ants in my yard?

Field ants are always looking for new places to colonize. Ants can suddenly appear in your lawn if you haven’t taken any preventative measures, and you have well-drained, dry, warm soil. They don’t care if your lawn is a desert or a green oasis.  A lush and well-drained lawn is a prime real estate for yard ants. Ants can’t live in wet ground. If you have wet or mucky soil you won’t have ants. So even the best maintained and manicured lawn can get ants. In fact, the better the lawn, the more likely you have ants trying to move in.

Will ants go away on their own?

Yard Ants can live for years. Unless the conditions in your yard change, ants will not go away on their own. Left unchecked ants will likely cause any number of cosmetic damages to your lawn. Ants reproduce very quickly! The average yard ant colony is around 4,000 – 7,000 ants, but in rare cases can reach upwards of 40,000 ants! It’s easiest to take care of smaller ant colonies than it is to treat larger ones. If you wait for the ants to go away on their own you’ll only make your ant problem worse and harder to deal with.

Can yard ants damage my lawn?

First off, ants can provide some benefit to your lawn. They eat other insects in your yard and can help with aeration just as much, if not more than earthworms. But left alone, yard ants can cause significant cosmetic damage to your lawn and will kill your grass.  Yard ants create mounds of excavated dirt called ant hills in your lawn. These ant hills can kill the grass around them, particularly if the grass is short. These tiny excavators can eventually make your lawn uneven. In addition, ants eat at the grassroots while they are digging tunnels leading to bare spots in your lawn.

Can lawn ants hurt your garden?

Yard ants eat honeydew. Honeydew is a sweet substance secreted by aphids. Ants are known to protect aphids from predators and tend to their needs. This nurturing of aphids can lead to an increased number of them in your garden. Most gardeners know that too many aphids will destroy your plants. While lawn ants don’t directly damage your garden, their symbiotic relationship with aphids does put your garden at risk.

How do I get rid of ants in my lawn?

The quickest way to get rid of ants in your yard is to call your local pest control service. Safeguard Pest Solutions is a family-owned company that provides safe, high-quality home pest control and commercial pest control. We provide a safe and effective liquid ant treatment that will get rid of ants in your lawn without killing your grass. You’ll see results in 24-48 hours. This once a year treatment will keep your yard ant-free all season long.

Common West Michigan Ants

Carpenter ant close up

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the largest and most common ants in Michigan. Unlike termites, they only nest in wood and do not eat it.

Black ant on a leaf

Black Ants

When a colony grows too large they can devastate patches of your lawn, or burrow into your home looking for food or new locations to start colonies.

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