Ant nests – An incessant blight of green keepers’ lives

Ant nestIf you’ve ever woken up to find your freshly mown lawn sprinkled with unattractive ant nests speckled across the grass, it’s safe to say that you’d be more than a little peeved. In fact the word ‘exasperated’ immediately springs to mind.

With the first sign of spring beginning to emerge, albeit very slowly, gardens and lawns come under a renewed attack from ants, termites, bugs and moles, enlivened and invigorated by the warmer weather. This surge in fauna activity naturally gives green keepers additional work as they battle to tackle the havoc a feverish army of pests and creatures cause on lawns.

Take a look at some of the many challenges green keepers have when trying to combat the damage caused by ants.

Whilst ants can cause damage to plants and grass, what is particularly irritating for green keepers, is the significant amount of soil that is distributed around plants and lawns when ants are building nests. As well as disturbing the soil around plant roots and placing it on the surface during nest building activities, these tiny insects can cause a lot of damage to the overall look of a lawn and to low-growing plants, which can also be prone to be buried under soil.

Carpenter antAs well as underground tunnelling causing unattractive soil to be scattered around a lawn, another difficulty ants cause to grounds keepers is that the grass surrounding the nest areas can often thin out, turn yellow or brown or, worse still, completely “disappear.” As processional ants keep their pathways clear, they can often kill any grass that gets in their way, thus creating odd looking pathways of scarcity to emerge across lawns. Carpenter ants are particularly known for making unsightly trails across lawns as they strive to reach their colonies.

Ants can be controlled with chemicals which come in the form of baits, sprays, powders and aerosols. However, such chemicals, whilst perfect for controlling ant invasions in buildings or on patios and pavements, they are not suitable for general garden use and on lawns, augmenting, no doubt, the infuriation ants cause to green keepers.

As dry lawns are particularly attractive to ants, in order to keep ant populations at bay, it makes sense to keep a lawn continuously moist. If ant nests are visible on a lawn, they can be dispersed by brushing the excavated soil that is dry as evenly across a lawn as possible before it gets mowed.

If the lawn has an extremely uneven surface due to excessive ant activity, green keepers may be required to peel back the turf on the uneven areas, remove the excess soil and relay the turf.

Turfland Turf Supplies have years of experience dealing with the damage that ants can cause to turf. Providing solutions on an everyday basis to the problems that ants cause for green keepers.

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