Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I have an infestation of red ants in my retaining wall area where I also have plants. What is the best way to get rid of the red ants so I can weed etc. in that area?
Rate This FAQ
The answer to this question is not so straight forward, and really depends on the type of ant. Some ants have more than one queen, one or many satellite colonies, create new colonies by various methods, while some are of concern and others are not.
You can see that if a colony has more than one queen or many satellite colonies it might take more than a soil drench to
kill off the ants. It would be ideal to have some samples of worker ants sent in for me to identify so we can properly treat the ants. And, by the way, just because these ants are red doesn't mean that they are imported red fire ants, we do not have those in Utah; a lot of ants are small and red.
If you are looking for a quick fix you can try to use pesticide ant baits. Because ants share food within the nest, they will spread the pesticide around to each other (and hopefully 1 or all queens). These are not fast-acting because they are purposefully formulated to take a while to kill giving the ants time to pass it around the nest. That said, depending on the ant species baits may not be effective. A soil drench of something like ALLECTUS G INSECTICIDE which will target adult ants AND larvae might work, but the whole subterranean colony would have to be soaked. Spraying worker ants will do nothing to alleviate the problem. The queen(s), eggs and larvae must be killed. If main colonies are treated and satellite colonies exist, then the area will become re-infested.
In summary, I really need to ID the ants before a management strategy can be formulated.
This is probably not the answer you were looking for, but ants are difficult to control when you know which species you are treating, let alone having no idea. If you can get samples to send in it would really help. (collecting as many ants as you can would be best). And be careful...some ants sting, some bite, some bite and spray formic acid on the wound and some do nothing.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I have 2 cottonless cottonwoods in my back yard. They are both about 7 years old. I noticed this spring that the trees have really grown tall but on the main limbs in the middle of the trees there are no limbs coming from them. I also find little pieces of new branches all over my lawn like they have come off right at the base where they connect to the tree. There are also at those points little scabs of some kind right where the branch has broken off. What is wrong and can I save these trees? I grew this kind of tree because they are fast growing trees and I wanted to enjoy some shade while I was still around to enjoy it. I am so afraid that there is something seriously wrong and those years will be lost. Can you help me with the info I have given you? I would appreciate it so much if you have an idea of what is wrong and what I can do to fix it.
- What's killing Spruce and Pine trees in Utah?
- I've noticed lots of caterpillars eating the leaves of my Birch trees--they look like inchworms. I've also seen them in neighbor's trees. Is there an infestation, and what can I do about it?
- Do you test soil?
- Do you have tips for making my yard more colorful this spring?
- I have a 25-foot tall scrub oak that appears to be dying. If it is anthracnose that is killing it, can it be saved? There are some commercial, injectable products that claim success. Is it possible?
- I have several Dwarf Blue Arctic Willows in my yard. This year they were full of some kind of wasp or bee. I waited until winter and the leaves dropped off to see if there was a hive or nest and there does not seem to be one. In looking for the nest I noticed some small black bugs on the wood. What should I do, if anything and are the two pests related in any way?
- We live in West Jordan in an area with very clay soil. We would like to plant some low-lying evergreen shrubs in a narrow strip between our RV pad and a short vinyl fence. Do you have any plant recommendations that will work in our soil and don't require a lot of maintenence?