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Ants have an important part to play in maintaining healthy eco-systems, as great scavengers that also ward off other pests. However, if you have a serious infestation on your hands, or are concerned about an increasing number in your yard, there is a simple trick worth trying.
When it comes to how to get rid of ants, various recommended methods risk damaging your grass. Enter: diatomaceous earth – this expert ants' nest removal tip for lawns will do the job without any burning or discoloration.
This is a white powder that often comes in a similar bag to garden soil. The mixture is made from ground-down sedimentary rock, shells and water-based creatures, and will dehydrate the ants in your lawn.
'Diatomaceous earth is a small, sharp powder composed of fossilized diatoms that can cut an insect's body and cause it to die of dehydration within two weeks,' says Nancy DeWitt, owner of Patriot Pest and Termite Control. 'To be effective, this should be placed in dry conditions.'
Make sure you reapply it after rain, she says, and once done, you may need break the ant nests using a fork.
The process is very slow, comments Holly Maguire from Simple Lawn Solutions (opens in new tab). She says that using diatomaceous earth will only work on the ants that come in contact with it.
Therefore, she recommends reapplying the powder several times until the ants have gone. 'The benefit is that it will not hurt your lawn,' she adds.
So although it doesn't bring instant satisfaction, this product enables you to remove ants without ruining your existing lawn ideas or creating unsightly patches.
Many of us who enjoy spending time gardening are just as conscious of local wildlife as the appearance and fragrance of our outdoor spaces. It's also worth remembering that ants help to keep the soil in your yard healthy. Consider if it's absolutely necessary to remove the ants in your lawn in the first place before taking any steps.
However, if the ants are dangerous fire ants with a painful bite, then it's definitely worth taking action to remove them. Simply trying to destroy the nest will likely result in a swarm of angry ants, so you need to use a substance that will get rid of them. Diatomaceous earth on Amazon (opens in new tab) is a cost-effective ant-removal method – and it can also work to get rid of mites and gardener enemy number one: slugs.
Looking for another convenient method of deterring unwanted bugs? Our guide to the best plants that repel insects will come in handy.
Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.
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