Harvester Ants Wreaking Havoc on Your Lawn? Kill Them with Cotton Candy!
Harvester ants, aka red ants, are reddish to dark brown in color. They form large mounds at the entrance of their nests. Their nests are located outside, under the ground. This is not a problem when they reside in a field, but it's a huge problem when they reside in your lawn!
I am told that Harvester ants are good for the environment, but my experience has been just the opposite. Harvester ants will pull on your lawn grass to cover, protect and shade their ant mounds. Unfortunately, this causes the grass roots to be exposed to the sun and the grass dies. The grass does not recover. Bare patches on your lawn, 6 to 8 feet in diameter, then become evident!
There are liquid and granular applications that you can apply to your lawn, but these are only topical solutions. These applications will kill the ants that are on top of your lawn but will not kill the ants within the underground nests. The ants will continue to surface to your lawn.
An effective solution that I have found was offered by my landscaper.
Boil 2 cups of water, 1 cup of Borax, 2 cups of sugar (optionally, add some honey).
Let cool and dip cotton balls in the solution.
Place some cotton balls near the ant mounds.
Caution: do not allow your pets to have access to the cotton balls.
The ants will carry pieces of the tasty “cotton candy” back to their underground nests. Since they cannot digest the Borax, they will die.