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Getting rid of ant hills in lawn

CollareddoveCollareddove SE WalesPosts: 112
I have a wild flower 'meadow' as part of my lawn. As this is not mown from April to August/September some pretty big ant nests grow unseen in the long grass. I've been digging them out this spring, pouring boiling water into the wide hole as l go. Is there a better way? How do l know if I've killed the queen? Do the ants, like honey bees, make a new queen if they lose the old one?

Posts

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,307
    Please stop using kettles to kill the ants. It's such a horrible way to get rid of them...even using ant powder has to be preferable. Really don't understand why people think it's acceptable. They really cause no harm in a wildlife area, if you encourage birds they'll probably help by eating a few. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • CollareddoveCollareddove SE WalesPosts: 112
    I disagree "it's a horrible way to get rid of them", it's instantaneous, unlike poisons which rely on slow action so the ants have time to take it back to the nest to poison other ants before they die, or powder which relies on suffocating ants' 'breathing' mechanism in their skin. These ant hills have grown over a couple of years; the ants seem to live entirely underground, and up to a foot deep, so impossible to get at without digging. 
    Plenty of birds, including wrens in the garden - minimal effect on the ant population.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    I’m not sure you need to kill them, and it may be that the ants are increasing the porosity of your soil and reducing compaction.

    I get them in my lawn which is more bother than in a wild meadow (are they even a problem?) but I just scrape the tops off, rake and reseed.
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