Should I kill the ants in my yard just becuase they are there?

ggrumke(z8OR)April 11, 2010

I am in the middle of hand pulling all the dandelions from my 1/2 acre yard. The yard has been neglected for at least 10 years, and the process is allowing me see up close what is going on with my lawn! I have come across a couple of ant colonies that until I was sitting near them I had no idea were there.

My question is: Should I get rid of them just becuase they are there? They have not bothered me, I don't have kids or pets playing in the yard and I don't see any reason to get rid of them. Are they doing some damage I am not aware of? They are small, brown ants.

I have searched this forum and found several ways to get rid of them (I would choose the sugar/yeast method if I need to), but didn't find any reason to get rid of them.

Am I missing something or can I leave the ants alone?

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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Hand pulling? A half acre? On your hands and knees?


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:30PM
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Although in really thick places I can just sit and pull for five to ten minutes.
TMI portion: I am unemployed/self employed right now. When I sit in the house and start getting crazy about the lack of a job, I grab my 5 gallon bucket, weeder tool and glove (for the blister on my palm). Sometimes, I think it is a zen activity and other times a Sisyphean activity.

About four years ago, I hand weeded a very small yard--it had a major crabgrass problem. It took a while, but the results were worth it. It was very calming after a rough day at work to come home and sit in the yard pulling clumps of crabgrass.

I am really getting to know my yard. HAHAHAHA.

So what about ant advice?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Unless the ants are building huge mounds I would leave them alone. Ant's are carnivores for the most part, and won't harm your grass. Their tunneling will probably even provide some benefit to your soil.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:00AM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>" Sometimes, I think it is a zen activity and other times a Sisyphean activity. "

Sisyphe huh?
Y'all talk funny, ROFLMAO!!!! (j/k)

>"So what about ant advice?"

If they aint fire ants biting you when you're out in the yard ..... 'da h*!! with 'em , I say.

A month from now (in my experience) you won't see anything.
I don't know what they're doing or why they're doing it, but it is only for a very short time that they do it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:30AM
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I'd leave the ants. If you think pulling dandelions is a Sisyphean activity, it pales in comparison to trying to rid a lawn of ants (even Sisyphus would be daunted).

As for weeding, get a Weed Hound. It's a lot easier on the legs.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:31AM
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If your really bored, try catching the ants one at a time LOL Good luck

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:07AM
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The ants will stay--although I have been cogitating on the idea of catching them one at a time. If I finish the dandelions, still don't have a job and still have the house, I may consider ant wrangling.

Thanks for all the advice.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:31PM
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I agree -- keep the ants. Ants eat most every sort of thing that eats your grass and other plants, and they are pretty voracious... An added benefit is that they also eat fleas and ticks... so lots of ants = less fleas and ticks.

If you are curious -- watch what those ants bring home. You will see them carrying grubs and small insects, and eating larger insects like crickets, large grubs, beetles, and all the rest.



    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:13AM
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" The yard has been neglected for at least 10 years, "

Now how the hell can you do that and still have a yard?

I left my lawn un-maintained for just 6 months, when it had been a first-class rating at the start. At the end of the 6-months I had run that lawn straight into the ground (literally). Now I'm stuck doing nothing but patch jobs that will never end.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:05AM
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I agree with John.

For the past 2 years, i used ant/flea/tick killer synthetics. Watched all the wildlife avoid my yard.

I was sitting out back with my 2 year old daughter the other day, saw a few ant hills... Made sure they werent fire ants... bastads!!

You wouldnt imagine the sheer happiness she and i had to see what seemed like a flock of cardinals feeding off the bugs in my lawn. Birds avoided my lawn in years past due to the chemicals that i laid down to control the ticks. Yes, it was very noticeable especially after the bird watching event me and the 2 yr old had ^^.

On another note, you have to be persistent with any type of ant if you want to take em out. Theyll move and rebuild a smaller mound over and over the more you dwindle their numbers. Never seen a product that could fully knock them out in one app.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 9:29PM
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gayle0000(zone 5-Normal IL) comment on the ants, but if it means anything, I'm with you on hand-pulling. I hand dug my last house...took me 3 years to get control...and had perfection from there after.

I totally get the zen thing.

Gardening is where my soul is. I sucked up an abusive marriage for too long. Digging dandi's in my lawn was my therapy. I dug and dug while I sorted thru all the junk in my head.

I planned my escape while I dug. 3 years into my current house and out of that mess, I still dig dandi's. It's restful. It's progress. It's therapy.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:07AM
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