Ants are as much of a problem for your lawn as they are for you and your cookout guests. Though they don't eat grass, their very existence destroys it by disrupting nutrient absorption and protecting other insects that do eat grass. Use natural methods to kill ants while protecting your grass.
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Ants like to eat honeydew, a liquid that aphids produce. Ants live near aphids and protect them to ensure the aphids produce a continual supply of honeydew. The problem for you is that aphids eat grass roots, killing your grass. Though ants don't eat grass roots, their existence allows aphids to do so.
Ants also store grass seeds in their nests and eat them. This results in less germination, which may make a noticeable difference in your lawn.
Both ants' above-ground and underground habitats destroy grass. Below ground, their tunnels cause soil to become dry, depriving grass of moisture and nutrients. Ants can also choke grass roots by nesting around them. Above ground, ant mounds block fresh air, moisture and sunlight from the grass, killing it.
Apply ant-killing treatments when you don't expect it to rain so that they maintain their effectiveness. Disturbing an ant mound may cause ants to move, according to the University of Tennessee's Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. If they move within your lawn instead of leaving, grind four orange peels and pour them into the mound. Citrus oil, which orange peels contain, is toxic to ants.
Other methods that kill ants are harmful to grass. Hot water, for instance, means instant death to ants but is harsh on your lawn. Though such methods work more quickly than orange peels, which ants must consume, their effectiveness is not worth the grass they kill.
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