Plants and sweaty, mischievous kids are not the only ones that love irrigation systems They also attract ants, which can really wreak havoc on the system in several ways. The six-legged pests tend to gravitate towards the sprinkler heads for moisture. However, they will also colonize the soil around the tubing as well as take refuge inside any electrical components (e.g. timer boxes). In the process, they’ll often restrict the heads’ movement, destroy coated wires and tubing.
Once colonies are present, getting rid of them and restoring an irrigation system’s efficiency isn’t easy. Many people assume that they can just apply ant bait or other pesticide treatments and be rid of the pests. Unfortunately, this isn’t true because the chemicals used in many, common pesticides may damage the irrigation system’s non-metal and digital parts just as much as the ants themselves. So, a significant amount of care must be used when applying solutions near the piping and electrical components.
The good news is once commercial service providers have removed the colonies, the property’s existing irrigation systems may be cleaned up and repaired. Or, property owners may wish to install systems considered ant-resistant. The resistant ones tend to feature pesticide-treated or other special materials designed to prevent access as well as discourage rapid colonization. Plus, there are landscaping techniques that may work with other, systemic features to help reduce ant invasions as well.
For example, using rip rap near the irrigation system’s points of entry may discourage the insects from burrowing into the soil. If the area is not suitable for rip rap use, there are other options. Other features that tend to help control populations are ornamental plants, shade trees, artificial turf, bird houses and buffer zones. To learn more about them and have irrigation systems thoroughly checked for insect damage, please contact us.