Ants

Asked September 5, 2019, 6:48 PM EDT

I have a bad red ant problem and not sure how to kill them. They come back every year and nothing is working. Been pouring hot water down and nothing. I have 2 small dogs and afraid they may get hurt from the ants. Please help

Grand Traverse County Michigan

1 Response

The approach to management of ants in the lawn/yard depends a lot on the type of ant and whether or not you can tolerate their presence. Ants are beneficial insects that play an important role in pest control and nutrient cycling. Most ants will not do significant damage to the lawn and if the turf is well cared for in terms of nutrition and watering, the grass will grow in to the point where you won't even know the ants are there within a few weeks. However, some species of ants in Michigan can bite and/or sting aggressively, or attack the grass itself, so you may choose to eradicate them from your yard.
Here is an option for getting rid of ant mounds in your yard:
The fastest approach is to use an insecticide to kill the ant colony. You would have to use one that is labelled for use against ants in the yard (i.e. for outdoor use). Be sure to follow the label instructions very carefully. If you decide to go this route, I would recommend an insecticidal dust formulation, and sprinkling it on the entrance to the mound only. The ants will pick up the dust and carry it into the nest and kill other ants before they die. This dust will kill any insects it comes into contact with, so take care not to put it near flowers or anywhere that it might be picked up by bees or other pollinators. Also take care to keep children and pets away from the treated area. The insecticide label will contain detailed instructions regarding safety to humans and pets.