Table of Contents Hide
With over 12 000 species of ants, how are you supposed to know if the ones in your garden are dangerous or not?
Like most animals, ants have a role in the ecosystem, so you have to expect to see them around. But it’s important to know, are ants dangerous? To your plants, your pets, or even to you?
Read below to know the basics for keeping your garden (and yourself!) safe from ants.
Are ants Dangerous?
While there are some dangerous types of ants, most of the ones you’ll find in your garden are probably more inconvenient or annoying than dangerous.
But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some dangerous ants.
Fire ants are known to cause painful stings, so you (and your pets) should keep away from them. Leaf-cutter ants remove parts of leaves, which damages the overall health of the plants.
Are There Beneficial Ant Species?
Most of the ants you’ll find are attracted to the aphids that live in your garden. Aphids are tiny insects that suck the moisture out of healthy plants.
Aphids secrete honeydew, which is a sugary substance that ants love to eat – which is good because otherwise, the honeydew might lead to fungus growth which can damage your plants.
Ants are also good pollinators and aerate your soil through their movement, both of which help keep your garden’s ecosystem balanced.
So yes! Some ants species can be beneficial to your garden. But too many good ants can still lead to problems.
How Do You Keep the Number of Ants in Your Garden Under Control?
Even though the ants in your garden are probably not too dangerous, they can become a problem if their numbers get too big. They can lead to the aphid population growing too large, and their tunnels can damage roots if the colony is too big.
But don’t worry! There are some easy ways to manage ant numbers in your garden.
Put grease bands around the base of your plant boxes or pot plants to limit how many ants can get into your plants.
Ants don’t like wet soil so water your garden as regularly as you can to keep the soil from drying out.
Ironically, you should also leave ant nests alone – disturbing ant nests disrupt the colonies, which encourages them to create new colonies.
What if There Is an Ant Infestation?
You can spray soapy water onto your plants, which should get rid of any aphids. This should get the ants to leave on their own since there won’t be any honeydew for them to eat.
You can also look at using beneficial nematodes in your garden, but this requires planning and can take a while to be effective. Insecticides are a quick and effective option, but you may risk damaging your plants, your pets, and yourself.
If you’ve tried controlling the ants in your garden, but you’ve still got an ant infestation, it might be time to look into hiring professionals for getting rid of ants.
Now You Can Keep Your Garden Safe from Ants
Is it true that your garden is usually safe from ants? Yes. But are some ants dangerous for the overall health and safety of your garden? Also yes.
The trick to keeping things in balance is keeping an eye on the number of ants in your garden, and knowing when to call a professional in for help.
If you enjoyed this article, please take a look at our blog for more home and garden content!