According to the University of Kentucky, ants are the most common pests that infest lawns and homes. Not only do they eat vegetable crops and fruit, but they also support other pests such as aphids. Aphids suck up the sugars in plants, and ants eat their sugary excretions. In return, ants protect aphid eggs and carry young aphids to other host plants. It is essential when gardening to get rid of ants before you have other pest problems in the yard.
Numerous gardeners want to try organic means to control their ant population before moving on to harsher chemicals. Diatomaceous earth is one of the most popular forms of pesticides employed. This siliceous sedimentary mineral works by cutting through the ants' exoskeletons with its sharp microscopic edges, making it difficult for them to move. One of the main problems with using diatomaceous earth is that you have to apply it to plants in the morning after the dew from the previous night dries. Also, if it rains, the pesticide wash off, rendering it ineffective. In addition, you have to reapply diatomaceous earth everyday for the pesticide to make a dent in the ant population.
Ant baits contain pesticides that ants pick out of the baits and take back with them to their colony. It is important to get the right type of bait for the ants in your yard. Certain species of ants eat sweet material, while other species enjoy proteins. For example, Argentine ants and pavement ants are attracted to sweet baits, while big-headed ants and small ants will pick the baits filled with protein and pesticides. Baits effectively reduce a colony, but it doesn't happen overnight. You will start to see a reduction of ants in roughly two weeks. Also, there are some baits to which you have to add pesticides every few weeks rather than just set them out. It is important to keep track of when you need to add more pesticides to the bait.
Ant mounts are one of the largest problems that plague yards. They can ruin the aesthetic of your turf grass. According to Iowa State University, raking the mounds helps to see if ants are still active in the mound. After a few days, you may see the ants reforming the mound. This is the time to spray a pesticide. Pesticides that contain diazinon can kill ants and not hurt your turf grass. It is better to keep pets and children indoors when spraying this chemical. Also, gloves and a mask to prevent your breathing in the chemicals is a good way of preventing your health being compromised.