Ants belong outside, but they’re not always welcome residents in your yard. With more than 700 species of ants in the United States, there are plenty of these insects that can take up residence on your property.
They can ruin your picnic or cookout, disturb the look of your yard or landscaping, and some can even bite or sting. Of course, any ants located near your house can also easily make their way inside. Ants can enter through cracks and gaps while searching for food, water and shelter, and some may infest your home if conditions are suitable.
Keeping ants under control outside can minimize your risk of indoor infestations. Use these tips and tricks to help get rid of ants outdoors.
Using Ant Treatments
Pest control professionals use various treatment methods to either help keep ants out of homes or repel them. Below are two.
- Non-repellant treatment– Ants won’t detect the presence of these liquid insecticides. Instead, they’ll carry the substance back to the nest, and eventually, the colony will die off. Because of the way they work, non-repellant sprays take some time to be effective. These should be sprayed around the perimeter of your home.
- Granular pesticides – Granular pesticides are solid and can be used over a wide area. Ants will mistake the substance for food and carry it back to the colony.
Keep in mind that any product you use must be mixed and applied correctly. If they aren’t, then it’s likely they won’t be effective and may cause other issues. Some ant species may respond to certain types of treatment, while others may not. And using a treatment incorrectly may cause certain types of ants to divide and spread, causing a more complex infestation. That’s why DIY ant control isn’t recommended. Contact a professional instead.
Types of Ants to Look For
While any type of ant can become a problem in your yard, there are a few to keep a close eye out for:
- Fire Ants – Known for their bites and stings, these ants can cause painful bumps and allergic reactions in some people. If you see ant mounds in your yard, then they’re likely fire ants.
- Pavement Ants – As their name suggests, pavement ants typically nest near concrete, including sidewalks, driveways and patios.
- Crazy Ants – Common along the Gulf Coast, these ants can nest under landscape mulch, within lumber and under loose bark on trees.
Remember that pest control professionals are trained to identify ants and know which species will respond to which treatments. Even when dealing with populations outside your home, it is helpful to get professional help. The professionals at Terminix® can treat the inside of your home and the perimeter – up to three feet away from the structure – to create a barrier to help keep ants outside and control any ants that made it inside. Get your free estimate today.