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Are Ants in Your Garden Beneficial or Harmful to Your Plants and Flowers?

We’ve often been asked, “are ants good for your garden?” or, “do ants cause more damage than good for crops and flowers?” Here’s the answer on whether or not ants in the garden can be beneficial to your garden, and how to know when it’s time to call Magical Pest to get rid of ants.

Ants can be quite the annoying little pests if they’ve made their way inside your home. However, when it comes to gardening, ants in your garden can surprisingly be good.

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Ants in your garden destroy pests that are harmful

Ants destroy harmful garden pests, such as flies and fleas. These pests can eat your crops and take over your yard. Ants will often destroy the egg or larvae of yard pests, and can prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your yard. That being said, ants also ‘farm’ aphids, which are little insects that will destroy your crops and flowers. Ants farm aphids, because they produce a syrupy substance called honeydew, which ants happen to love.

If you notice ants in your garden but your plants are fine, you can let them be. However, if you notice that your plants are being eaten or don’t look as healthy as they should, and ants are present, it is most likely not the ants that are destroying them, but rather the ants are protecting the aphids that are destroying your garden. If this is the case, it’s best to get rid of ants as quickly as possible.

Ants in your garden help pollinate your garden

Most ants don’t fly, which means they’re not great pollinators (although some still do pollinate), but rather they attract great pollinators, especially butterflies.

In a strange act of nature, ants will take caterpillars back to their nests and care for them in exchange for the honeydew caterpillars produce. Once caterpillars transform into butterflies, they will leave the ant nest, but if you have nectar-filled flower, butterflies will stick around your garden.

Ants in your garden will tunnel underground, which may help aerate plants

Ants often build underground tunnels, which causes air to circulate and so provides oxygen to the roots of plants in your garden. The added air circulation allows for better growth for your plants and flowers.

For the most parts, ants in your garden are beneficial. However, they may become detrimental, especially if the ants on your property are playing host to aphids.

Also, if the species of ants that have found their way to your garden are fire ants, they may be dangerous all on their own. Keep an eye out for fire ants, as unlike most other ants, they may eat your crops, tunnel through plant roots instead of around them, and bite you while you’re gardening. If fire ants are in your garden, it’s best to get rid of ants quickly to avoid further harming what you have grown.

If your garden has become overwhelmed with ants, or if ants are causing damage to your plants, contact Magical Pest for safe and quick ant removal. We’ll find a solution to get rid of ants in your garden while protecting your plants and flowers.

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