Ants Damage and Kill Bunch Grasses

2013 is the worst year I have seen for ant damage to grasses. Apparently the dry conditions last fall were good for ants. They prefer to colonize a mound or bunch grass and develop a colony right inside the crown that then kills the plant. The ants are not eating the plant, but their social order damages the crown. Signs are a mound of soil almost covering the crown of the plant. The soil mound easily falls away, revealing a large ant colony. See photos below. IMG_2284 IMG_2296 The first photo is Miscanthus sinensis ‘Klein Fontaene’. Second photo is fall featherreed grass, or Calamagrostis brachytricha. 

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About grasstalk

University of Minnesota Professor and Extension Horticulturist
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