Ant in grass question

Asked July 11, 2020, 11:20 AM EDT

Hi! Our cottage is on Black Lake near Cheboygan. Over the years, ant activity has encroached further and further from shore into our lawn. I did some Googling but didn't see anything directly relating to my main question, which is: Relating to the ant situation, would it help if we allow a broad swath of grass nearest the lake to naturalize? Stop cutting it entirely, I mean. We don't want to do anything to pollute the lake. If not, are there safe treatments for the ants, given proximity to the lake? There are a lot of anthills (smallish) throughout so a hill-by-hill solution isn't practical. Thank you!

Cheboygan County Michigan

1 Response

I am not aware of a natural solution to this problem. Letting some shoreline go "native" might reduce the number of ants nesting in that area, but I doubt it would have any impact on the number of colonies inhabiting the mowed area.

Leaving tall, thick growth near the shore would allow you to apply pesticides to the mowed area with much less chance of pesticide run-off to the water. It should be safe to apply any of the off-the-shelf ant pesticides to the mowed area, following all label directions for set-back from bodies of water, to get some relief from the ants.