When dealing with ants, you're usually concerned about the ones that manage to make it into your home. The reality is that ants are nearly everywhere, and there's no way to stop them from infiltrating at least some parts of your property. However, keeping them out of your home and away from areas where they can cause damage or become a nuisance is important.
Controlling ants in this way typically means excluding them from the interior of your home, but is outdoor ant control ever necessary? The answer might be surprising. If you think that you only need to worry about the ants you can see crawling across your floor, here are three situations where a more thorough approach may be necessary.
1. You're Dealing With Repeated Infestations
Ant infestations can occur for numerous reasons, from readily available food sources (such as opened containers left in easily accessible locations) to pure exploration. Ant scouts can explore a fairly large distance depending on the species, leading to occasional incursions into your home. The trails they leave behind can draw in more ants, potentially leading to severe infestations.
In most cases, dealing with the current infestation and removing the food source is sufficient. However, you may find that ants repeatedly return, even after thoroughly dealing with the current infestation. In these cases, outdoor control methods such as barrier spraying or exterior traps may be appropriate. These methods can deal with ants outside your home, preventing future infestations.
2. You Have a Garden Issue
There's no way to exclude ants from a garden completely. Any large outdoor space will inevitably attract them, and their presence is usually not harmful. In some cases, ants can even benefit soil and plant health. However, large infestations can be annoying, and ants can also "herd" aphids, which are much more destructive pests.
If you're dealing with a large infestation or ants are becoming more than just a minor nuisance, you may want to consider professional help dealing with your problem. An exterminator can help set up methods to bait your existing ant population and create barriers to exclude future infestations. While you're unlikely to eliminate the ants, you can make the problem manageable.
3. They're Damaging Your Yard
Ants can do a surprising amount of damage to turf grass, which can be frustrating if you have a carefully manicured and maintained lawn. Anthills are unsightly, but a few here and there typically aren't a problem, and often there's no good solution for dealing with these minor infestations. However, large networks can be much more apparent, and their tunnels may affect your lawn's health.
If you have so many ants in your yard that you suspect that they're causing damage to your lawn, it's time to call in a professional. As with garden control, the best methods often involve minimizing and managing the problem. While you'll undoubtedly still find ants in your yard, you can take steps to ensure they won't cause severe damage to your perfectly maintained lawn.
Contact a local ant control service to learn more.