Many people use artificial grass in their lawns and patio areas because it is easy to maintain and clean. In addition, these do not require high maintenance procedures and last for years without causing any damaging effects.
Can Ants Live in Artificial Grass? Ants do not live in artificial grass because of the absence of microbes and bacteria, plastic material smell, no mud, and dirt trails, absence of soils, spot differences, and quick moisture draining. Sometimes ants come on artificial grass because of their installation method, yard dust and moisture, food particles, liquid drink spillages, and honeydew presence.
People mostly use artificial grass to get rid of the insects and bugs from their lawns. However, these do not completely repel ants; they come on these surfaces because of secondary factors.
Why do ants not live in artificial grass?
You can limit ants in your home by installing artificial grass in your lawn and patio areas. It reduces the number of ants crawling on the grass, but you cannot make your lawn and home completely ant-free.
Absence of microbes and bacteria
Ants usually do not come on this type of grass because of the absence of bacteria and microbes. Instead, these come on the natural grass because of the presence of decaying matter.
These species use decaying plant matter as the food source, which is necessary for their survival. Therefore, these usually come on decaying and logged plants and trees to get food.
The high-quality synthetic turf contains no microbial or bacterial infestation to protect them from damage and discolorations. In addition, insects do not crawl on them because they do not get food and nutrients.
In addition, they do not come there because of the absence of leaf clutters in surroundings that hold fungus species. They do not prefer to eat the leaf clutter but get their food from the fungus on them.
The plastic material of artificial glass
Artificial grass is made of plastic to increase its longevity and decrease maintenance. These are commonly made up of nylon, polyethylene, and polypropylene plastics.
Ants crawl on this plastic material because they resemble the packaging material.
They can also chew them but do not prefer to live there because of their plastic materials.
Some species of these insects do not come near the plastic and hate their smell. These do not make their nest in plastic because of lightning conditions and unfavorable environments.
They prefer to reside in the mud because these places are warm and dark.
No mud and dirt trails
Natural grass contains mud and dirt trails in their surroundings, which is the favorite place for ants. Ants live there because of the presence of the food source and favorable environmental conditions.
Synthetic turf does not contain any mud and dirt trails in its surroundings because of the absence of soils on the ground floors. Some of these have sticky mats for installation on different floors.
Synthetic turf does not attract them because of the absence of mud and dirt trails. However, these can come on them because of the presence of dark and warm mats that are present underneath.
Absence of soil
Insects do not like artificial grass because of the absence of soil material. In addition, people do not prefer to install them by removing the soil layer.
I use the geotextile mat, which is made of propylene and polyester material, for their installation on floors. The plastic mat has a porous surface to decrease the risk of damage and increase its durability.
Moreover, people also use foam and silica soils to add synthetic turf. Ants do not come on this material because these are not favorable conditions for their nesting.
Easily spot difference
Ants can easily spot the difference between synthetic and natural grass through their smelling power and touch receptors.
The crawling feels on the synthetic ones are rough because of their hard and elongated fibers. They do not like them because of their hard material and cannot live there.
However, the natural ones are soft and smoother, and they can identify this through touch receptors. Moreover, they can also spot the difference by smelling these materials.
The natural ones contain typical soil and leaf clutter smell which attracts these insects. Synthetic turf has a plastic smell, which they do not like.
Quick moisture draining
The specific structure of artificial grass allows quick water drain from their blades. In addition, these blades have more spaces between them relative to the natural grass, providing more water movement spaces.
Moisture does not remain on their surface for longer, which is not favorable for the ants. They prefer to live in moist, dark, and warm places because of their body structure and food requirement.
They need water for survival and can also die in dry places. These do not live in artificial turf because they remain dry and cannot meet the water requirement of these insects.
Why are some ants attracted to artificial grass?
You cannot make your yard free from ant infestations after installing artificial grass. However, they can still crawl on their surfaces depending on their installation method.
These can come when you install the fake grass by removing a layer of soil. Soil dust attracts these insects because they get food from the decaying organic matter.
The leaf clutter and yard debris can also come on their surface, which attracts these species. In addition, yard debris can come on them and contain the fungus and bacteria, which are these species’ food.
In addition, moisture also resides in some synthetic grasses because of their unique structure and design, which attract these species.
They can also come there because of sugary and salty food particles. Food crumbs can also get stuck in them because of the closed structure of some types.
Food crumbs can also come on them when you arrange outdoor lunch and dinner for your families. Sometimes people install these grasses in the patio area of their homes for their pets.
Food crumbs from pets also attract the ants, and they can come there. Aphids take the honeydew from your lawn’s natural flowers and plants and come on the synthetic turf.
They leave the honeydew droplets there, which attract ants because of their sugary texture.
Can ants damage artificial grass?
Ants can damage artificial grass because they can chew the plastic material. The plastic material of synthetic turf resembles food packaging material, and they chew them to get food from them.
They can make small holes in the grass blades by chewing them with their large mandibles. Sugar ants are the famous types that come on synthetic turf when sweet food particles are present.
Omnivorous ants can also come on them when salty food crumbs are on their surface. Carpenter ants and sugar ants also eat thin plastic, and these are attracted to synthetic turf.
These also come there because of the presence of geotextile mats underneath them.
How to get rid of ants from artificial grass?
You can make your fake grass ants-free by using warm water on them. However, check the water temperature before pouring it because boiling water cause shrinkage of plastic material.
You cannot use boiling water on artificial grass because it damages the nylon and propylene grass blades. Instead, it is better to sprinkle the boric acid powder on their blades so they can repel the insects.
They prefer silica sand and geotextile mat for their installation instead of removing the soil layer. Keep them clean and remove the food crumbs from them so ants cannot attract these food particles.
You can also spray them with essential oil solutions because their smell repels these insects. You can also use ant baits to get rid of their colonies and nests, which are not damaging for plastic material or synthetic turf.