What Can I Do About Fire Ants On My Lawn?
Most of the time fire ants are unwanted on our lawns, so it may be surprising to hear that they do offer some benefits for homeowners.
In this brief article, we will highlight some of their benefits, identify reasons why you might not want them on your lawn, and will offer some options for getting rid of them without using toxic chemicals.
Benefits (Surprisingly, there are some.)
Fire ants help to naturally aerate the soil which helps water and nutrients reach the roots of the grass. They also help to control some unappealing insects such as fleas, ticks, termites, cockroaches, and mosquitos.
Thanks, but no thanks…
While they may have benefits, there are a few reasons why you might not want them on your lawn…1. First, they can be unsightly. A mound of ants in the yard doesn’t look so great.
2. They can also cause damage to wildlife such as ground-nesting birds, reptiles, and deer.
3. Their sting is painful and can cause blisters and itching for days (and can result in an allergic reaction for some). This is the primary reason most homeowners don’t want them around.
How do I get rid of fire ants on my lawn?
Crownover Green does not treat fire ants because they are usually beneficial for turfgrass. If your goal is to eliminate them, there are a few options:Professionals: You can hire a professional pest control company. They will likely be able to eradicate the ants quickly. Though, you will want to find out what they are planning to use to ensure that it isn’t toxic to you or your pets.
If you are looking for a Do It Yourself (DIY) solution, there are a couple of options:
Boiling water: You can pour a few gallons of boiling water on an anthill mound. As a bonus, boiling water is also a non-toxic way to kill weeds. However, boiling water will also kill the grass, so you’ll want to avoid getting the boiling water on the grass.
Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade): Diatomaceous Earth scratches the outer shell of the ants, causing them to dry out and die from dehydration. This is our preferred method for treating and eliminating fire ants as well as many other unwanted insects. While the food-grade type can be consumed, it is important to avoid inhaling the Diatomaceous Earth.
We’re often asked for a recommendation for what to buy. You can pick up diatomaceous earth from a local garden store or here’s a link to an online option: https://amzn.to/3hcNM5P
Baits and Sprays: We don’t recommend baits and sprays because they can be harmful to your lawn, your family, and your pets.