How to Repel Argentine Ants from Your Yard

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The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Argentine ants or the Linepithema Humile as one of the 100 most invasive species in the world. These ants can multiply quickly and have more than one queen, unlike other ants that only have one. While they are not aggressive due to absent stingers, they can be pretty invasive and may throw the balance off the ecosystem. What should you do if you find them in your yard?

So how do you repel Argentine ants from your yard? Inspect their location and activity in your yard for a more efficient pest control strategy. Seal off access points and limit the conditions that make them stay in your yards, such as food and water access and garbage. Choose effective pest control products, such as baits, sprays, and other home remedies.

Learn More: How To Get Rid Of Argentine Ants Naturally

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How to Eliminate Argentine Ants from Your Yard 

Argentine ants start building ant colonies in your yard and soon invade your home. They might not cause painful bites, but they still pose risks in your household. They are one of the types of ant species native to South America, specifically Argentina. They are also one of the most common species of ants found in North America, South Africa, and other humid places. They are also present in the United States, particularly in Southern California. Here's how you can eradicate them from your yard:

1) Look for Signs of Ant Infestation

You may have seen ants in your yard, but you may want to be sure that what you have is an Argentine ant infestation. There may be different types of ants in your home, such as carpenter ants, crazy ants, and more. The key is to identify their species and observe their trails.

a) Identifying Argentine Ants

For a successful pest control treatment, it's crucial to identify what type of infestation you and what type of species they are. This allows you to know more about their activity, which will give you ideas on how to repel them.

Worker ants are dark brown in color or may come in lighter shades. Unlike other ants with multiple colors, Argentine ants only have a basic brown color. They are about 1/12 to 1/8-inch long and have segmented oval bodies, which are smooth and hairless. They don't have wings, unlike other insects. 

Source: Pacific Invasive Ant Toolkit

Argentine ants also have elbowed antennae with 12 segments and a mandible with 5 to 8 large teeth. Despite their intimidating teeth, they usually don't bite humans and aren't aggressive. They also don't have known natural enemies.

If you've seen an ant with these identifications but bigger and with wings, those must be their queen. Queen ants are about 1/2 inches long and have wings, similar to reproductive male Argentine ants. Argentine ant populations increase quickly due to having polygynous, which means they have more than one queen. Some Argentine ant colonies even have hundreds of queens.

b) Musty Odor

You may notice that some ant species have a foul odor, especially when squished, while some don't. Argentine ants are one of those ants that emit a smelly odor when crushed. A common odorous house ant may give off an acidic scent, but an Argentine ant has a musty smell. 

2) Inspect Ant Activity

Once you've identified Argentine ants, observe their entire colony next. Inspect their activity, such as the location of their ant trails and food sources. This allows you to plan your Argentine ant control better as you anticipate their behavior.

a) Where to Find Them

You are likely to find Argentine ant nests in areas with enough food and water sources and moisture, such as moist soil near establishments, sidewalks, and plants.

You may also find their nests inside structures, such as in indoor potted plants, bathtub sets, wall voids, and more. If these ants already have an entire colony in your yard, best believe that your house will be next. They tend to enter homes once your yard becomes too wet or dry.

b) Argentine Ant Activity

Ants are social insects. They mate inside their nests instead of swarming. They are pretty mobile and can relocate their colonies more often. While they are quick nomads, they are easy to track because of the active pheromone trails they generate when in search of food and resources. You may also find their trails on busy highways.

Argentine ants also live a longer time than other odorous house ant species. When their needs are constantly being met in their habitat, they can survive up to a year. The queen ant can last up to 10 years. The eggs of Argentine ants take 28 days to hatch and 75 days for larvae to mature. Argentine ant colonies multiply quickly as mating one time is enough for their queens to keep on laying ant eggs their entire lifespan, producing thousands of ants per queen. This means a colony can even multiply into millions of ants.

3) Seal Access Points

While the Argentine Ant colonies are still in your yard, it's best to prepare as early as today to keep them off your home. They may end up foraging your kitchen in search of food and nest in the corners of your house. Avoid odorous house ant infestation and seal the access points. Ant management starts with controlling the environment to make your home less favorable for them to nest in.

Inspect your house and seal small crevices and cracks using caulk. You may usually find these access points in areas where pests from outside may enter, such as window areas and in the foundation. Tend to your garden by pruning and trimming vegetation. Prune the tree branches surrounding your home to prevent ants from invading your home.

4) Limit Access to Food, Water, and Moisture

Limit the ants' supply of food, water, and moisture. Doing this makes it less livable for them to stay in your yard. Ensure that you keep your kitchen and counters clean by clearing them of food particles, especially sugary foods. Invest in air-tight containers when storing food. Ants may still access your food because ants nip at cartons and plastic bags. Keep your pet's dish clean at all times--ants are also attracted to pet food.

Keep your space clean and dry. Water also lures ants to stay and nest in an area, so you should eliminate stagnant water. Drain the water left in flower pots, birdbaths, grill covers, and more. Remember that ants are also attracted to food with protein, aside from sweets. That's why you also need to clear your home of dead insects.

5) Manage Garbage

Ants can also survive just by foraging your garbage. Take your trash out regularly and manage them by segregating it. Invest in garbage containers to ensure that no ants and other pests may forage and infest in them. It's also advisable to rinse off the food residue from plastic bags and containers to lessen sweet liquids in your garbage. Clear the clutter and yard debris.

6) Use Ant Control Products

After addressing the root cause and controlling your environment, use insect repellent products to eliminate the ants that may multiply in your home. Use tried-and-tested products, such as non-repellent insecticides and different ant bait types, such as sweet ant baits, liquid baits, and more.

a) Ant Bait

One of the options for eliminating invasive ants from your home is to install bait stations, preferably sweet baits. The best ant bait to use is the slow-acting insect baits. This type of ant bait poisons not only the foraging ants but also the entire colony. Ants searching for food will be attracted to the sweet baits and bring them to their individual mounds to feed their queen and other ants.

Be attentive to the ants and the bait you are using. If ants don't check out your bait, you might need to switch. Study what the ants might need for your ant bait to be more effective. Those with protein, carbohydrates, and grease might be effective because it provides the nutritional needs of the ants, making them more attracted.

Best Outdoor Ant Bait

Make sure to choose outdoor ant bait for eliminating Argentine ants from your yard. With all the ant baits available in the market, it might be challenging to choose the one that might work for you. Here are some of the best outdoor ant baits:

Terro Outdoor Ant Baits

This sweet ant bait is convenient and was said to be effective. It can kill different types of outdoor ants, such as carpenter ants, fire ants, and even Argentine ants. It's also weatherproof and comes in a green color to easily blend in your yard or garden.

Gourmet Green Way Liquid Ant Bait

Gourmet Green Way Liquid Ant Bait is a preferred liquid bait for outdoor Argentine ants. It has a honeydew formula that highly attracts ants and other insects who eat sweet food. This liquid bait has a slow action to ensure that the pesticide will reach the queen. It's also dedicated to protecting crops, so your plants will surely be safe. Just dilute this in water and use it with refillable bait stations.

a) Non-Repellent Spray

Some homeowners make the mistake of spraying random insect repellent sprays they find under the sink on ant trails. These ants might have stopped and started crawling in all directions. While insect repellents are pretty useful, eliminating ants is sadly not one of them.

That's why non-repellent sprays are more advisable in getting rid of ants. Repellent sprays will only cause the ants to scatter and split into multiple sub-colonies where they can multiply, making it more complicated to eliminate them.

Using non-repellent insecticides is more advisable because it prevents ants from scattering. Ants have a keen sense of smell, so they tend to be sensitive to their surroundings. However, they won't sense residual insecticide from your non-repellent spray. Unlike sugary baits, where ants are lured into eating poison, this spray allows insecticides to stick to ants on contact and infect the entire colony when they return.

Best Non-Repellent Spray

Using residual insecticides for eliminating Argentine ants from your entire yard will also be effective with the right products. Make sure that you use outdoor insecticides and apply them on strategic surfaces. Here are some recommended products:

Taurus SC Insecticide

This contact pesticide is also recommended for nasty termites, aside from Argentine ants. It offers a sure action as insects wouldn't be able to detect and avoid it. Spray this residual insecticide along the perimeter of your home.

Dominion 2L Insecticide

You can spray Dominion 2L Insecticide not only on the perimeter, but also on flower beds, foliage, ground cover, and turf. You can spray this insecticide on the infestation or pour it on the ground. It's also effective on termites, carpenter ants, and other outdoor insect pests. While it may be more effective outdoors, it can also be used as spot treatment indoors.

Learn More: How to Differentiate Argentine Ants and Fire Ants?

7) Use Natural Insect Repellent

Aside from pest control products, you can also use natural ant killers that you may find in your kitchen. These will help repel Argentine ants from your yard if used correctly. Here are some of them:

a) Dish Soap Mixture

Creating soapy water mixed with dish soap may serve as an insecticide. Prepare soapy water by mixing water and dish soap and spray this around the plants in your yard. Control the amount of soap, so your plants will not be harmed. You may do this with hot water and pour it into ant mounds to eliminate ants.

b) Vinegar Mixture

Ants rely on their ant trails to know which way to go. These trails came from the pheromones they emit as they crawl in a line. Using vinegar mixture to wipe the scent trail off may keep these crawling pests at bay.

Mix equal parts of water and vinegar and pour the mixture into your spray bottle. Spray this on surfaces with ant trails and wipe them. You can also substitute vinegar with eucalyptus, lavender, laundry detergent, and more.

c) Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic to pets, birds, and others. It's inexpensive yet effective in repelling ants, ticks, fleas, beetles, and other insects from your yard. This type of soil is made with fossilized remains of algae and diatoms that you may scatter around your house, plant beds, shrubs, or anywhere there are ants.

Eliminate Ants with Pinnacle Pest Control

confident male pest control worker, after a job well done exterminating argentine ants

Argentine ants may not be aggressive, but they pose health risks as they crawl in different areas. They may contaminate your home and cause allergies and bacterial infections. They're pretty invasive and quick to multiply. Inspecting your entire yard and executing proper pest control methods will help you eliminate ants in your yard.

If the ant infestation in your home has gone out of control, you may rely on pest control companies for comprehensive eradication of pests, such as Pinnacle Pest Control. We are a professional exterminator committed to freeing households and establishments of different pest species. Schedule a free inspection now for integrated pest management!

Read More: Why Are Argentine Ants Bad?

Guaranteed Pest Extermination Services, Right at Your Doorstep

No matter what kind of pest problem you’re dealing with, you can count on Pinnacle Pest Control to provide top-notch pest extermination services. With decades of experience under our name, we have already helped hundreds of residents and business owners in Sacramento eliminate pests in their property and keep them away for good.

Call Now

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