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Why Are Ants in My Yard?

It’s hard to enjoy your time outside if ants have overrun your yard. While one or two ants crawling by isn’t a problem, an infestation is another story. Ants and their nests can cause damage to your lawn and some ants can bite. We’ve gathered information to help you understand why ants are in your yard and how you can get rid of them.

Food Sources

Ants with aphids

Ants invade yards when they can find a steady food source. Your yard has many things that hungry ants can feed on. Check out the most common food sources for ants.

  • Pests: Ants will feed on small insects including fly larvae, termites, and other dead insects.
  • Honeydew: Garden pests, like aphids and mealybugs, produce a sweet substance called honeydew. Some ant species will farm these pests to eat the honeydew.
  • Trash: Your crumbs and spilled drinks are a favorite treat of ants. They enjoy meats, sweets, and greasy items.
  • Vegetation: Ants eat decaying plant matter and living plants. One species, the army ant, travels in large numbers eating grass as they move.


Puddle near tree

Like other pests, ants need water to survive. Keep an eye out for these sources of moisture in your yard.

  • Leaky Pipes: If your home has any leaking exterior pipes or faucets, ants will settle down near it.
  • Puddles: Whether it’s from rain or a dripping hose, a puddle is a great source of moisture for ants.
  • Things That Collect Water: Gardening pots, toys, pet bowls, and other items can collect moisture. Birdbaths and kiddie pools also provide ants with easy access to water.


Ant nest

Many spots in your yard are undisturbed and give ants a safe place to shelter. Here are common sources of shelter for ants.

  • Soil: Many ant species build nests in soil, which your yard happens to have. Some species prefer soil that is dry and drains well. If you notice mounds of dirt, ants could be nesting in your yard.
  • Yard Debris: Things like grass clippings, tall grass, overgrown shrubs, rocks, and leaf litter can act as shelter for ants.
  • Decaying Wood: Some ants, like carpenter ants, construct nests with tunnels in wood. These ants search for decaying or moist wood including rotting logs or tree stumps.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Yard

No Spill Ant Kill

If ants have invaded your yard, you don’t have to let them stay. Check out a few tips to help you control outdoor ants.

  • Clean Up Trash: After enjoying a meal outside, make sure you pick up all of the trash. The smallest crumb or spill can attract ants. Check to ensure your trash bins are tightly sealed.
  • Eliminate Pests & Honeydew: Examine your yard and plants for other pests. If you come across honeydew-producing pests, you’ll want to remove them. Our 3-in-1 Garden Spray kills garden pests on contact, and it will provide you with residual repellency.
  • Eliminate Excess Moisture: Make sure water isn’t gathering in your yard. Keep your gutters clean to prevent moisture build-up. If possible, remove items that collect water, and repair or replace leaking pipes.
  • Keep Lawn Clean: Regularly mow your lawn to keep grass short. Trim overgrown vegetation, and remove yard debris.
  • Create a Repellent Barrier: Spraying your yard with a plant-based insecticide spray, like our Yard Bug Spray, can help create a repellent barrier. It will kill pests on contact while leaving you with residual repellency for long-lasting protection.
  • Eliminate the Source of the Infestation: If a colony of ants is taking over your space, a mineral-based ant bait, like our No Spill Ant Kill, can help. Ants feed on the bait and share it with the rest of the colony. This will help eliminate the ants you see and the ones you don’t.

The key to preventing and eliminating an ant infestation is knowing what’s attracting them. Removing these attractants can help to keep your yard free of ants. If pests are giving you a fit, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products. 

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