Ants are tiny insects that we all interact with on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not. They’re found in virtually every habitat, are adaptable to urban and rural environments, and are usually so small and harmless that we don’t notice them at all. Unfortunately, they can be a nuisance pest for the home if not managed properly. We’ll help you determine when you should worry about ant presence and when they are actually quite beneficial for your yard and lawn.
While we do understand ants in your home are likely not welcome – the ants in your yard are doing incredible work for your lawn and should really be left alone. Ants are in their natural habitat outdoors and we need to share our green spaces with these tiny, beneficial creatures. Why? Ants prey on other pests, act as pollinators for our lawns and gardens, and the tunnels they build underground actually help aerate the soil, allowing air and water to enter more easily.
Sunday ProTip: There are definitely ants in your lawn that can be harmful (like fire ants and harvester ants). Make sure you know the difference between beneficial and more harmful for your lawn and family.
While we’re certain most people have seen an ant in their lifetime unless you are very familiar with a particular species, most ants probably look pretty much the same. In order to address integrated pest management practices for ants, the first step is to at least properly ID ants from another type of insect.
Quick ID (for most ants)
There are roughly 1000 species of ants in the US. While we realize it’s impossible to know each one, these are two categorizations of ants we think you should be aware of:
A basic quick ID below can get you started on your journey to understanding what ants (from either category) you might be encountering in your home or yard.
Foraging ants, sweet feeding ants, and moisture ants
Tawny crazy ants
Little Black Ants
Odorous house ants
Texas leafcutting ants
Sunday ProTip: Unsure if what you’re looking at is really one of the ants above? We can see why – most ants are really tough to ID on your own. Here are some great guides and resources to help you ID ants:
Ants in the US can be active all year round if located indoors. If found outdoors the range of temperatures can fluctuate, but likely need to remain above freezing. A heightened time for activity tends to fall between seasonal changes or weather. When temperatures or weather shifts occur between seasons, these ants tend to seek refuge indoors or in places with lower moisture levels (e.g. spring rain and flooding).
Sunday ProTip: Be mindful in the spring if you do a bit of spring cleaning to note what areas in your home ants are entering.
Ants are found nationwide, but some species are differentiated by their region and preferred habitat. Regardless of species, most ants are incredibly adaptable creatures and able to live indoors, outdoors, near homes and of course, our backyards. Luckily, the only ants that you really need to manage are the ones entering your home.
At Sunday, we’re here to help keep your home ant-free this summer. A really important note here, fire ants, harvester ants, and Allegheny mound ants are really the only ants you should limit in your lawn. Other ants should be welcome within a lawn and will help your grass (and garden!) thrive.
Having said that, here are ways you can avoid encounters and deter the smaller, less harmful ants from entering your home:
Sunday ProTip: Consider removing objects that ants are nesting under, including stones and landscape fabric near the home foundation outdoors.
Sunday’s Bug Doom is a biodegradable, canola oil and pyrethrin-based yard and home pest control spray to kill and repel ants (among other pests) on contact and for sustained periods of time.
Here’s how to use it:
Sunday Application Tips: