Ant Problem

Asked June 9, 2020, 7:41 AM EDT

I have had a problem with ants creating a large hole in my yard for several years now. The hole gets to be in excess of 12” in diameter and about 18” deep. Every year I use the standard type yard pesticides available in locates stores with no luck in controlling the ants. Every year I have been digging the hole out to about 20” in diameter and about 24’ deep and spraying the hole with ant killer. After removing any visible ants and reaching good solid soil with no sign of ants I refill the hole with new uncontaminated soil and compact it well. Every year the ants return to the same spot and create another large hole. The picture titled “Ant” is a picture of the ant which is red/brown in color. What type on ant could this be and how can I eradicate them permanently

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

It is unlikely the ants are excavating a nest hole anywhere near this size. While they may be foraging in the area or nesting nearby, their presence is likely coincidental. We suggest looking over these other resources regarding trying to figure out what animal created holes in the yard:
https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/wildlife/diagnosing-holes-yard
https://caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/04/whats-making-this-hole-in-my-yard/

We do not recommend using any insecticide until the culprit is identified. Ants are very beneficial in the yard as predators of many pest insects and as aerators for the soil via their nesting activities. If needing control, an ant colony would be best controlled with ant bait stations (manufactured for use outdoors, as opposed to those used indoors), not a broadcast general insecticide. This use of insecticide may also decimate populations of other beneficial insects and spiders, some of which may even prey on the ants.

If you feel you have narrowed-down the animal responsible based on the information above, we do have some pages regarding common yard burrowers.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/groundhogs
and others here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/wildlife-photos

Miri