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What Kinds of Pests May I Have?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist


Ants are not exactly a problem when it comes to your lawn. In fact, ants often feed on white grub larvae and can serve you well in this regard. However, fire ants can become a nuisance when large anthills start to form and/or they simply overpopulate and start invading your home. Moreover, large amounts of fire ants and anthills can also cause problems if you or your pets spend time on your lawn. Most people know how lovely ant bites are! Fire ants are a redish to black color and measure around 1/8 inch in length.

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  • Getting Rid of Them: The best way to rid of ant hills is to spot treat them when they first appear. This is commonly done by spreading ant bate (poison) around the mound. This bait is actually a poison that the worker ants will carry down to the queen that will effectively kill the queen and the rest of the ants when eaten. Others methods of extermination are to pour liquid insecticides on the mounds. If ants are a nuisance when they enter your home, you may want to spread Dursban around the perimeter of your home's foundation to help repel ants from entering your home. In extreme cases, concentrated sprayable insecticides can be used to either spot-treat certain areas, or apply to your entire lawn. Just remember that if you decide to kill all the ants on your lawn, you may end up encouraging other pests to take hold. So make sure you understand why and when they can be important.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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