What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on an ant?
May 31, 2014 12:48 PM   Subscribe

There are two large, underground ant nests in our yard. The ground has gotten spongy and soft where they are located. The grass above them is completely dead. How can we get rid of them?

We left them alone last year, but the nests have gotten bigger this year (about 3 to 5 feet across). These are not the small ant hills like you see in cracks in the pavement.

They seem to be black ants of some sort.
posted by schnee to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Call an exterminator. They know how to handle this kind of thing.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:52 PM on May 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

When I have ant problems I always go for Terro traps - as I understand these are just corn syrup + borax. The sweet syrup draws them in, they get the borax on their bodies and bring it back into the nest which eventually kills the queen.

They have always worked better for me than sprays or other bait - even if you don't know where the ants are coming from.

I'm not sure how well they work on big ants, but for the small ones they work great...
posted by NoDef at 1:05 PM on May 31, 2014

Whoa. That's BIG! I agree, this is exterminator territory. The very last thing you want is for the colonies to split after a failed attempt. Drop the cash on a professional.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:47 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pour dentist's plaster or molten aluminum (careful!) into the nests; when it hardens, dig out casts of ant nests. You will also probably kill all the ants.
posted by bad grammar at 2:18 PM on May 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Terro traps work pretty well, but when a nest is as big as this one, you'd need 20 or 30 of them. They also don't work fast; after the queen(s) are dead, the nest will continue on working down the backlog of eggs until they're all gone, and then all the workers have died of old age. Five or six weeks, maybe.

An exterminator will finish it in a day or two.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:56 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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