A sandbox is a fun place for your kids to play. No matter how far away you may be from the coast, you can have a little slice of the beach in your own backyard. However, sandboxes can also attract insect pests such as carpenter ants. This is especially true if you make your sandbox out of wood that is old and weathered. It is more likely to absorb moisture, which attracts carpenter ants. They may then spread to the house and require carpenter ant control. To prevent this situation, here are some tips for keeping insects out of your child’s sandbox.
1. Control Weeds
Vegetation in your child’s sandbox not only makes it less fun to play with but also attracts insects. The best and easiest way to prevent weed growth in your sandbox is to purchase one that is self-contained and sits on the ground. That way, there is a barrier preventing weeds from growing up into it. The more traditional way to build a sandbox is to just build a frame directly on the ground and fill up the enclosure with sand. To keep vegetation out of this type of sandbox, you have to weed it regularly.
2. Refresh the Sand
If the sand becomes infested with insects or otherwise contaminated, you should replace it right away. However, it isn’t only when there is a specific problem that you should change out the sand. You should refresh it on a regular basis. Perhaps you could replace it at the beginning of summer every year before your children start playing with it again or toward the end of fall when they are finished with it for the year. Just keep an eye on it and be sure to replace it right away if it no longer seems sanitary.
3. Cover the Sandbox
If you purchase a freestanding sandbox from a store, look specifically for one that has a cover. That way, you can uncover the sandbox when your children are playing and cover it back up when they are finished. This helps to keep carpenter ants out of your sandbox. It also prevents rainwater from puddling in the sandbox, which can attract not only ants but mosquitoes and other insects as well. The last thing you want is for your children’s sandbox to become a mosquito breeding ground.
Even if you have a homemade sandbox, you may want to consider covering your sandbox when not in use. A lack of sunlight can help prevent weeds from growing. Covering a sandbox also prevents cats from using it as a litter box, which is not only an unsanitary situation but could attract insects, possibly including carpenter ants.
4. Churn the Sand
While you should replace the sand every few months or so, you should stir it up more often, perhaps on a weekly or even daily basis. Insects such as carpenter ants tend to burrow down below the surface. Churning the sand will disturb them, and they should come to the surface. If you stir the sand frequently, the insects may get tired of it and decide to make their nests somewhere else. Churning the sand also helps keep it fresh. If it needs to be cleaned or replaced, you know it right away.
5. Keep Food Out
Carpenter ants are more likely to be attracted to your sandbox if they can find food there. Tell your children never to eat anything, including summertime treats such as popsicles or s’mores, in the sandbox. Enforce this rule strictly for everyone, adults as well as children.
Call Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Control
Carpenter ants in the sandbox may not seem like a serious situation, but they could move to the house. Truly Nolen offers pest control in Kitchener to rid your home of carpenter ants as well as other insects and rodents. Learn more about our services.