Saint Augustine grass is actually a wonderful lawn type for naturally repelling ants. And for most healthy Saint Augustine lawns - ants will rarely if ever become a nuisance. This is due to the thick thatch layer of Saint Augustine grass with its thick above ground runners called stolons, these simple factors work against the establishment of ant colonies which needs an opening to their nests as close to the soil as possible.
However, Saint Augustine lawns are not immune to ant invasions, and ants can establish their colonies in Saint Augustine lawns which have become weak or thinned out, as well as in lawns which are growing in more sandy types of soils that are a preferred habitat for ants.
There are several ways to combat ants in our Saint Augustine lawns, including methods which make our lawns less hospitable for ants to establish, as well as ways to eradicate ants nests.
Healthy Saint Augustine Lawns Resist Ants
A strong and healthy Saint Augustine lawn will naturally resist an encroachment of ants. A healthy lawn will have a strong thatch layer, as well as lots of green leaf material which will make our lawn an unsuitable place for ants to live.
Cutting lawns higher in the shade, good lawn watering and fertilization programs, and other good lawn care routines will all help to ensure the healthiest lawn possible to achieve this aim. We will often notice that lawns which have the worst infestations of ants will also be lawns which are in poor health and condition… so the healthier our lawns, the least possibility there will be that we will face ant problems.
Removing Food and Water Supplies For Ants
Ants cannot live without food and water supplies, so if we have ants in our lawns, then they must have a food and water supply at hand in order to thrive. Oftentimes ants in our lawns may even be coming into our kitchens at night time in order to collect all the leftover microbes of food left behind. But the most common sources of food and water for ants are pet bowls. So providing a clean area for pets to eat and drink away from ant colonies is a great first step… but still we may need to do some more detective work to track down all possible food and water supplies that the ants may be using - and then to remove those food and water sources.
Otherwise, no matter how often we may control ants, they will always return and re-establish.
Treating Ants In Saint Augustine Lawns
We’ve now worked hard to make our lawns far less inviting for ants or any other lawn pests to settle in, by maintaining good lawn care practices for a healthy lawn, and by removing food and water sources. Both of which are vital in controlling ants.
Now it’s time for the final blow for these guys, its time to use a pesticide to eradicate the ants in their nests. There are many different types of ant control products available for purchase in garden stores, and it’s not the purpose of this article to recommend one type over any other.
Whichever product you choose, be sure to follow manufacturers guidelines for use, and repeat as is necessary on all ant nests which have become a problem in the turf, as well as treating areas of paving and garden areas where ants may be living.
Controlling ants in our Saint Augustine lawns really is a three pronged approach. If we don’t do each of these things, then we will always have recurring ant problems in our turf.
Follow good lawn care practices to achieve a healthy lawn throughout the year, remove all food and water sources for the ants, and then finally treat the ants with an ant control pesticide.
Finally, raising our lawn mowing heights, if suitable for our own yards, will also help make our lawns far less a hospitable place for ants to live.