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Category: Pest Rat Control | 13.09.2013
Attempts at general control of ants in turf are rarely successful due to their high numbers in urban environments and their ability to colonize new areas.
What follows is a generalized coverage of ants that typically live in turf areas.Although ants are familiar to everyone, they can be identified by their very obvious 3-body regions of head, thorax, and abdomen. Queens lay the eggs that keep the colony going.These eggs hatch into legless, white larvae, which are kept underground in the anthill's tunnels and fed by the workers.
When an anthill is disturbed, the mature larvae and pupae are carried to safety by the workers and are commonly called eggs by most people.
In some species of ants, those workers that defend the colony are larger than the other workers.Usually two or three times a year, winged males and females called reproductives emerge from the colony. These winged ants look like the worker ants except that they are larger and have 2 pairs of wings; the first pair is much larger than the second.
They shed their wings and tunnel into the soil to construct a new anthill.Ants are quite variable in their feeding habits, but most of them are scavengers and predators that take advantage of situations as they occur.

Soft-bodied, slow-moving insects and other small animals that are poor at defending themselves--such as sod webworm larvae, small cutworms, and small grubs--will be killed and taken back to the colony for food if they are found by foraging ants. Ants more commonly scavenge dead insects, decaying plant parts, and other debris for food and take it back to the colony.The tunnels of their anthills serve to loosen the soil, allowing air and water to more easily enter.
Recent research has determined that the ants in a typical lawn are more effective in aerating the soil than earthworms.
Small numbers of turfgrass plants may die as a result of the removal of soil near the roots and the drying out of roots where an anthill is constructed.
Some species of ants will construct large anthills that may kill the turf in a 1- to 2-foot diameter and stick up into the air high enough to be hit by mowers.
Within a few weeks a new anthill will likely appear in the area, but it will probably be an ant species that will not build such a large anthill. Ants and their anthills may need to be controlled with an insecticide application where new sod is being laid because their tunneling activities under the loose sod will allow the roots to dry out and reduce the likelihood of the sod's surviving.

Ant hills on a golf course.Attempting to control small anthills over an extended time in turf is not recommended.
Ants are so numerous that areas where the anthills have been killed with an insecticide will be colonized by new ones as soon as the insecticide residue degrades, usually in about a month. If there is no other reason for avoiding general ant control in turf, the fact that control is so short-lived against an insect that causes no apparent harm should be reason enough.

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